I'm delighted to be part of business community which strives to improve the business environment.
Roberts Melbardis, Country Manager, Encompass Digital Media Latvia
In just over six months, Latvia's first pension plan based on responsible investments has been able to attract a relatively large amount of attention from the public, and currently, total assets have reached more than 2 million Euro.
This pension plan differs from others with its investment strategy. When evaluating whether to invest a share of pension savings in the assets of a business, CBL Asset Management's investment experts analyse not only the financial results of this business, but also its environmental, social and corporate governance, or sustainability aspects, such as the business' environmental policy, whether the business sufficiently acknowledges the risks of climate change, and whether they behave responsibly towards employees and the local community, among others.
"We are pleased that our clients are increasingly starting to think about their impact on sustainable development by selecting a pension plan in which assets are invested only in businesses which behave responsibly towards the environment, natural resources and society. The 2 million Euro invested in our responsible, sustainable pension plan is a good result for a new investment strategy product in Latvia," explains CBL Asset Management Chairman of the Board Kārlis Purgailis.
"Even from a profitability point of view, it is becoming increasingly important to evaluate whether a business in which we are planning to invest is sustainable. Worldwide precedents and studies confirm the direct effect of sustainability on the business' financial results and thus investment value. We can take a simple example: by not paying sufficient attention to environmental risks, a business can prompt a local-level environmental disaster, which will negatively impact the share price of this business and thus also the pension plan participants' savings. When we invest in businesses which pay increased attention to the sustainability of their activities, we can significantly decrease risk," says Purgailis, adding "now, when selecting a pension plan, each of us can influence what kind of businesses our savings are put into."
The level 2 pension is state-funded for all residents of Latvia; every month, the state puts 6% of a resident's gross income (income before taxes) in a level 2 pension fund. These pension savings are managed by the pension manager chosen by the individual person, investing the pensions in the capital financial markets to increase them. The level 2 pension supplements savings in addition to the level 1 state-funded old age pension.
More information on the CBL Sustainable Opportunity Investment Plan can be found at manapensija.lv.
We are very pleased to be part of AmCham and are looking forward to driving innovation forward in Latvia.
Mikko Fernström, General Manager, Biogen Latvia