In their introductory message, Ariane and Benjamin de Rothschild focus on the need to leverage the uniqueness of the Group which incorporates sustainable development as a central theme in its commitment, reflecting our ability to anticipate and respond in innovative ways to the changing outside world and our aspiration to make a positive contribution to society’s progress. The report demonstrates the Group’s ability to be bold in anticipating market trends and new business models, helping to clear the way for areas of investment that combine economic, social and environmental performance. Accordingly, the report illustrates how several of its investment strategies contribute to 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
"Today, the Edmond de Rothschild Group wants to embody a new way of managing its investments, guided by firm beliefs. That means moving beyond simply seeking out short-term financial return to giving our clients the opportunity to make their mark on the world and make their investments meaningful."
The report presents the dashboard for the Group’s sustainable development goals by 2020, which reveals the considerable progress made in 2016 on the five pillars of its sustainable development strategy. This strategy takes its inspiration directly from the family’s values and feeds into the Group’s business strategy and culture.
A regulatory framework that is also growing in terms of sustainable development
The year 2016 was not only marked by the entry into force of numerous pieces of legislation requiring financial institutions to demonstrate an unprecedented level of transparency, but also by the acceleration of regulations and standards in terms of sustainable development. These cover climate change, inclusion of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria, sustainable development reporting, application of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the duty of care in companies’ value chains.
Against this backdrop, the report explains how risk management is changing within the Group, with a focus on Edmond de Rothschild (Europe), as well as considerable efforts made in 2016 in terms of training to support employees as much as possible in this increasingly complex environment.
“Investing in potential, skills and leadership for our teams remains… a priority”
Emanuela Bonadiman, Group Head of Human Resources, explains, “The Edmond de Rothschild Group has chosen to invest heavily in [the field of training and development] in an effort to create custom programmes which help respond to specific business needs and strengthen the skills and behaviours required, in line with the Group’s values and culture.”
In late 2016, HR therefore launched the ‘Managerial Expertise’ training programme, with one of the goals being to contribute to the development of a managerial leadership culture, in keeping with the Group’s new Leadership Model.
The 25% increase in internal mobility in 2016 also highlights the Group’s commitment to helping employees grow, and developing their skills. The 25% ratio of women in senior management (up 5% compared to 2015) is further proof of the importance placed on equal opportunities in the Group’s culture and activities.
Responsible investment at the heart of the Group’s strategy
The Edmond de Rothschild Group firmly believes that the solutions provided by the private sector to the challenges of sustainable development represent a source of economic growth and return on investment.
In this context, the Group’s various entities rallied together to proactively contribute to this structural change in the economy:
- Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management formalised its 2017–2020 responsible investment strategy; 15% of assets under management at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management (France) are covered by responsible investment strategies
- 93% of assets under management at Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity are covered by responsible investment strategies
- The Group’s Private Banking entities have introduced a Responsible Investment Mandate to help clients align their portfolios with their personal values
In the report, Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management and Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity also explain their approach and commitments to help combat climate change.
In 2016, the Group’s assets under management in accordance with responsible investment strategies were up 15%, demonstrating its desire to show leadership in this area.
Standing out for excellence remains a priority for the Group
In 2016, the Group once again performed well in terms of environmental results, all in line with its goals by 2020. It also launched an insetting programme, not only to offset some of its CO2 emissions but also to generate positive economic, social and environmental impacts in Nicaragua, in the area where Edmond de Rothschild Private Equity’s impact investing strategy for agroforestry made its first investment back in 2014.
In the context of its commitment to a sustainable society, the Group continues to work with numerous responsible investment players in an effort to promote and spread the concept. In particular, as part of Swiss Sustainable Finance, it co-manages a working group for developing training designed to introduce the vast topic of responsible investment and raising awareness among key players in the finance sector with regard to major trends and the role they can play in their day-to-day work.
Working closely with the Edmond de Rothschild Foundations, the Group offered its 53 employees the opportunity to get involved in philanthropy programmes focused on diversity and entrepreneurship with a strong positive social and/or environmental impact.