Van Berkom continues its ESG positioning work
In our last communication in November 2022, we told you about the initiative we had begun a few months earlier to structure and consolidate our ESG approach. Since then, we have continued to make progress, and we are now excited to share our latest advances with you.
First, we are pleased to inform you that the three-member positions on our ESG Advisory Committee have been filled. Our first meeting in early February was very beneficial, and we are particularly pleased with the ESG expertise the members bring to the table and the complementary nature of their experience. The membership of the Advisory Committee is as follows:
Amr Addas is the Strategic Advisor for Sustainability and a lecturer at the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University. He is also the Director of the Van Berkom Investment Management Program and Van Berkom Small Cap Case Competition. Amr leads Concordia’s Sustainable Investing Practicum. He is also the Academic Director for Concordia’s Sustainability Ecosystem and responsible for the Sustainable Investment Professional Certificate (SIPC).
In addition to his academic work, Amr offers portfolio management and sustainable investing consulting services to corporate clients and financial institutions. He also serves on several advisory boards and industry working groups, including the Institute for Sustainable Finance’s Research Advisory Council and Concordia University’s Joint Sustainable Investment Advisory Committee (JSIAC). Amr has been interviewed by media on sustainable finance and investing, including CBC TV, CBC Radio, Global TV, the Toronto Star, CBC News, Reuters, the Financial Post, and La Presse.
Bhakti is managing director, Responsible Investing at Trinity Church Wall Street, a thriving Episcopal congregation in lower Manhattan. Among other things, she is also a contributing writer at the Milken Institute and Forbes.com; teaches an award-winning impact finance class that she pioneered in Columbia University’s Masters in Sustainability Management Program, as well as an impact investing program in Columbia Business School’s Executive Education Program; is a co-founder and steering committee member of Institutional Allocators for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and serves as an independent director of Live Oak Crestview Climate Acquisition Corp. Previously, Bhakti was managing director at FCLTGlobal, ESG advisor to Corbin Capital, an investment management strategist at One William Street Capital Management and Lehman Brothers, and a sustainable finance banker at Barclays Capital and Unitus Capital.
Her work has been featured in The New York Times, the Financial Times, Institutional Investor, CNBC, and at the G-20 and Davos
Valérie is co-founder and managing partner of BOREALIS Global Asset Management. She is responsible for fundamental, sustainable research and the investment process. She also oversees shareholder engagement activities to promote good corporate governance and represents BOREALIS in the global sustainable finance ecosystem.
After 25 years of success as a portfolio manager with major asset management companies, she decided to dedicate her career to managing assets in keeping with the principles of responsible investment and to promote sustainable finance within the investment industry. Before founding BOREALIS, she managed one of Canada’s oldest and largest SRI equity funds, which performed exceptionally well against both financial and sustainability criteria, while leading ESG integration efforts in her team.
At our Advisory Committee’s first meeting, the members had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with our approach and to offer some valuable advice, particularly concerning our voting rights policy, which is currently under review and will be shared with you as soon as it is finalized.
In addition, our investment professionals continue to work on ESG assessments of portfolio holdings using our proprietary assessment tool. We are still aiming for a full portfolio review this year, followed by the deployment of our strategy for working with companies.
We are also working on calculating the carbon footprint of our portfolios. We will be able to share more information with you on this subject during the year.
If you would like more information about the subjects covered in this communication or about our ESG approach in general, please contact one of our two colleagues below.