The equity fund: DNB Future Waves was launched on the 7th of June 2021 and has the focus on blue investments for the future.
In the future, DNB Future Waves will be managed by Isabelle Juillard Thompsen and Audun Wickstrand Iversen. Isabelle Juillard Thompsen is back in DNB after almost 17 years in other roles. She comes from a previous role of portfolio manager in Gjensidige Foundation.
What brought you back to DNB?
- The sea and the management of water resources stand close to my heart. I have also worked well with Audun Wickstrand Iversen previously, during my time as a TMT analyst in DNB Markets, Juillard Thompsen states.
DNB Future Waves is dependent on good collaboration
She points out that good collaboration is very important in the management of a fund such as DNB Future Waves, and that the management of this fund was too exciting of an opportunity to say no to. TMT stands for technology, media and telecom.
- I think it is also very rewarding to be allowed to work in Norway's largest environment for active management, where there is a lot of competence in many areas, she explains.
- The set up for the fund is unique as we are able to collaborate across the various sector managers and their strong competence for idea generation, in addition to our own thematic analysis, Juillard Thompsen explains.
She specifically highlights the team responsible for investments and funds such as DNB Fund Renewable Energy
Alternative investments and sustainability
Isabelle Juillard Thompsen is originally French, and has a degree in economics from her home country and the USA and has worked in several countries.
How did your interest in sustainable investment start?
I worked at Storebrand within alternative investments. When working in alternative investments, you must make in-depth analyzes of the companies' strategy, quality and management. I believe that sustainability is a natural extension of this, says Isabelle Juillard Thompsen before she continuous:
- There is research that shows that there is a connection between the most sustainable companies and the quality of the companies, management and longevity in the strategy.
She points out that companies that think long-term to a greater extent also take the bigger picture into account.
Water and Education
Juillard Thompsen explains that the two things she is passionate about are water and education.
- When I worked as an analyst at NBIM, I analysed water issues in particular. This is of great scope, and it is not as prominent in the debate on climate change as the challenges would suggest, Juillard Thompsen explains.
NBIM, Norges Bank Investment Management, manages the Petroleum Fund.
Isabelle Juillard Thompsen is a co-author of a guide that deals with valuation of companies where ESG assessments are an integral part of the analysis.
Are you juggling a lot at once?
- Yes, the common denominator is sustainable investments, which means that I can use my skills and time in an effective way, and learn a lot at the same time. I can also share my knowledge with others, she answers.
DNB Future Waves
Isabelle Juillard Thompsen explains that she and Wickstrand Iversen use the UN's sustainability goals as a framework. DNB Future Waves is a global equity fund that invest in companies that contribute to sustainable economic growth.
- We use the UN's sustainability goals to communicate the topics that are relevant to DNB Future Waves, she says.
She further explains that eleven of the UN's sustainability goals are investable.
- 40% of the fund's exposure will focus on the sea and water. 30% on green economy, such as circular economy and low carbon. The rest is related to climate, quality of life and health.
She believes that active management is the key to being able to use active ownership, dialogue and voting to support the investment process and to get companies to set sustainability goals that are followed up.
Why is it important now?
- We are in the middle of a strong acceleration to the transition to a more sustainable economic model, for example, President Joe Biden has increased his efforts to have a low-emission society, Isabelle Juillard Thompsen states.
- The need for investment to achieve the green shift is extremely high, about one to two oil funds a year, she continuous.
She believes that this transition will drive structural changes in many industries and create good investment opportunities.
Isabelle Juillard Thompsen is convinced that the financial industry is at a turning point where sustainable investments become a matter of course. The EU's "green agreement" is accelerating this trend. In the long run, the risk of not being sustainable will increase significantly as more investor begin to make the correct calculations in parallel with stricter regulations.
What practical challenges do you see?
- We have challenges with access to quality data in this area that we can integrate into the management job. That is why Audun and I have started the "DNB ESG lab", where we have hired six students who will help us close an information vacuum says Isabelle Juillard Thompsen.
ESG stands for "Environmental, Social and Governance", ie the companies' ability to take care of environmental and social conditions, as well as corporate governance.
She points out that the development in reporting of environment, social conditions and corporate governance is fast, but it is a challenge to see transparency and gaps in the assessments.
- In the long run, I believe that the EU's taxonomy will help us with standards for sustainability reporting, but so far there will be both gaps to close and a lack of standards concludes Isabelle Juillard Thompsen.
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