Every dollar allocated to one of our programs has a meaningful environmental consequence
Twelve years ago, we started the business with bold ambitions: change how capital is allocated, deliver meaningful environmental impact and target better risk-adjusted returns. Our journey has not been an easy one. Our lofty ambitions colliding with real-world feedback that our firm was too young, our AUM not high enough, our data set and track records lacking maturity. More than one well-intentioned industry veteran advised us to fold the business before investing another dollar. Another was bold enough to state that environmental investing was a fad and would never gain mainstream adoption.
Fast forward to today, and the world is a different place. ESG is gaining mainstream adoption, and in particular, the environment is rightly taking centre stage. Lack of action, by society, governments, regulators, and investors, is no longer an option – the fad has become mission-critical and is viewed by most as a systemic risk.As with all business successes, there is an element of luck, but I am a firm believer that you need to work hard to find that luck. Through the hundreds of investor meetings over the years we have been fortunate, and indeed privileged, to find investors who shared our beliefs and were willing to take on board early manager and strategy risk. This support has been invaluable, and through adding two institutional shareholders, the business has matured, as have the strategy track records, the team and the efficacy of our research programs.
Asset growth is essential for the firm to prosper and allows us to continue our journey of strengthening the efficacy of our existing strategies and innovating new environmental investment programs. However, we never lose sight that every dollar allocated to one of our programs has a meaningful environmental consequence. The higher the AUM, the more significant the impact can be. Therefore, it’s an exceptional achievement that my colleagues’ hard work, in partnership with our clients’ support, has taken firm-wide assets through the next milestone of $2 billion as of 31 December 2020. We now have $5 billion as the next target.
As assets scale, we are rolling out a meaningful engagement program focussed on corporate environmental disclosure. We must focus on what we know, and believe that we can play our part in changing corporate behaviour by requesting broader and more nuanced disclosures. The premise holds from the day we launched – a company that discloses its environmental footprint is more likely to manage, measure and reduce its impact.
*Assets includes discretionary assets under management and assets invested in model programs provided by Osmosis Investment Management UK Ltd and Osmosis Investment Management US LLC as of 31 December in each consecutive year.
*Footprints. Average saving across all our strategies based on aum as of 31 December 2020
*People. This includes founders, directors, part time and contract staff as well as full time employees as of 31 December in each consecutive year