Responsible Investment Summit Success for LGPS Central Partner Funds

We held our annual Responsible Investment Summit, bringing together thought leaders and industry experts to explore the connection between responsible investing and contemporary global challenges with our Pools’ eight Partner Funds. This year’s theme focused on some very topical issues, from artificial intelligence and the climate transition to geopolitical uncertainties and effective stewardship.

We welcomed 14 experts and over 70 delegates from the Pools’ eight Partner Funds. The event featured presentations and interactive Q&A sessions, all of which were well received by enthusiastic attendees.

The Responsible Investment Summit began with a session on “Artificial Intelligence: The Cultural Climate Change,” where Professor Andreas Hoepner explored the profound implications of AI advancements for responsible investors, delving into the opportunities and threats posed by AI for ESG data analysis and research, and its broader societal impact.

Our Net Zero Manager, Ed Baker, hosted a panel discussing current trends in clean energy investment and deployment. The panel examined the influence of political factors on the pathway to Net Zero, concluding with the observation that while politics may influence the pace, the transition is inevitable. As part of the discussion, it was disclosed that an encouraging 1.8 trillion dollars were invested in energy transition in 2023, with the expectation that this will continue to rise in line with investor demand for clean infrastructure investment opportunities.

The geopolitical landscape was another key theme, with John Goodall and Jakril Hoque from our Active Equities Team discussing the risks and opportunities presented by a volatile world. They explored how investors can manage and mitigate these risks through robust bottom-up and top-down risk analysis, assessing the impact on the global economy, of a busy election year where half the world’s population is going to the polls.

An insightful session with BP’s investor relations team provided a practical look at how a major oil company approaches the challenges of the energy transition. This session offered a unique opportunity for attendees to engage directly with the presenters, reinforcing our commitment as a company to transparency, positive engagement and long-term strategic thinking.

Steve Sowden and Hill Gaston from Mercer continued the discussion on developing technology with their session on climate scenario analysis. They addressed the conjecture around this discipline and its future development, highlighting how scenario analysis adds value to investors’ attempts to assess climate risk.

Stewardship, a quintessential element of responsible investment, was addressed by Sheila Stefani, our Head of Stewardship, alongside a panel of renowned experts. They shared perspectives on effective stewardship, the influence of regulation and technology in this area, and whether stewardship is delivering benefits to beneficiaries.

Will Martindale closed the summit with a sobering yet hopeful presentation on the challenges associated with Responsible Investment. He highlighted successes and areas for improvement within the ESG sector.

Reflecting on the successful event, Patrick O’Hara, our Investment Director for Responsible Investment & Engagement, stated: “I’m really pleased with how much content we managed to cover at our Responsible Investment Summit, with some exceptional speakers. Engagement from Partner Funds and their Elected Members illustrated the depth of knowledge that exists within our pool and a broad spectrum of opinions on critical issues. At LGPS Central, investing responsibly is core to everything we do, and we will continue to show leadership tin this area, wherever we can”.

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