23 September 2021

IAR 2021 Americas: Day 2 round-up

The Insurance Asset Risk 2021 Americas conference has wrapped up after two packed day of panels and fireside chats.

A round-up of Day 1 is available here.

Day 2 was dedicated to the topic of sustainability and ESG investing, where delegates heard Sun Life chief investment officer Randy Brown say that divestment is not a solution.

Brown argued that insurers should be judged on where they put their new money, rather than what they invested in 10 years ago.

Echoing these comments, Scor's head of group investment risk and sustainability Michele Lacroix said engagement was the most powerful tool in the investor's toolbox. If done effectively, she argued, investee companies would move to greener business models, allowing the investor to keep the company in its portfolio.

Panellists acknowledged that climate and environmental issues enjoyed more of the limelight currently, yet social investing remained an important component of sustainable investment strategies - and one that can provide handsome returns.

Danielle Brassel, sustainable investment analyst at Zurich, highlighted that COVID-19 had brought social issues to the fore for the investment community. But she noted that social investing carried more complexity than environmental investing where metrics such as carbon footprint are more easily understood.

The conference ended with a panel on the topic of net-zero, where panellists said not all targets were equal and while interim targets in the net-zero journey are important, tying that in with return targets is not necessarily helpful.

But panellists concluded that the transition needs to happen, be it a smooth ride or a bumpy one.

All panels and sessions are available on demand on the events platform for another two months from today.

Registered delegates can access the replays. Non-registered delegates can contact events@fieldgibsonmedia.com for access. Re/insurers, regulators and commissions can register for free by emailing events@fieldgibsonmedia.com