Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career background?
I am responsible for building Stonehage Fleming’s global sustainable multi-asset portfolios. Stonehage Fleming is the largest multi-family office in Europe, advising on over £45bn of assets. I have 12 years of experience in asset allocation and manager selection.
What makes your business sustainable?
Stonehage Fleming’s sustainable portfolios aim to achieve excellent risk adjusted returns alongside improvements in 12 wide-ranging environmental, social and governance-related impact metrics.
How did you start incorporating sustainability more into your business practices? When did you first realise this was necessary?
I first realised having surveyed the client base in summer 2018 and then began building a sustainable investment offering in October 2018.
What there a stat or figure that made you take stock and realise that you need to play a part in sustainability?
Our 2018 survey revealed that 75% of the firm’s clients have expressed a preference for socially responsible investing in their portfolios.
What’s the biggest challenge to having a sustainability-focused business?
Greenwashing is ubiquitous, so we spend a lot of time ensuring all our investments genuinely do good.
What are your biggest learnings?
Be humble – maybe I can’t change the inherently unsustainable systems and structures we live in, but I can make a significant difference by making better choices and working within the system.
Which businesses do you admire in this space?
I deeply admire Patagonia for setting up the B Corp as the highest Kitemark of sustainability for a business.
What’s one thing you believe everybody should be doing to lead a more sustainable life?
Drastically reduce flying and eating meat. Government policy has economic growth, not sustainability, at its core; this should have changed at the Kyoto/Paris climate agreements. It needs to change NOW.
Do you follow anybody on Instagram that’s great at getting the message out there?
What are your top tips for living more sustainably at home?
Invest in a water filtration system or a Brita water filter to stop buying bottled water. I get vegan meals delivered from Allplants as I don’t enjoy cooking.
If you could invent anything, what would it be?
Carbon neutral flying!