While green and sustainable finance has become a central issue for asset managers, Sycomore, a pioneer in the sector in France, is the first to take the plunge and become a company with a mission.
Sycomore is taking a new step in its commitment to sustainable finance. The boutique, a pioneer in ESG investment in France (according to environmental, social and governance criteria), which last year became a subsidiary of Generali Investissement, has become a company with a mission. “We want to be a force for progress in the industry and encourage other managers to take part in a useful finance process”, enthuses Christine Kolb, co-founder of the management company and director of development.
“It’s a natural development for us, we had already formalized our mission a few years ago and participated in the work on mission companies during the study of the Pacte law”, she recalls. Sycomore, which manages 8 billion euros in assets, is thus committed to investing “To develop a more sustainable and inclusive economy and generate positive impacts for all of our stakeholders”.
This formulation is broad enough to remain relevant over the years but needs to be translated into concrete objectives. This is the role of the “Mission and Sustainable Development Committee”, made up of representatives of the various Sycomore businesses, including managers, risk control and human relations.
“The most important thing is to define quantifiable objectives in order to be able to measure our progress”, insists Christine Kolb. These objectives will be published in an annual report, along with the indicators selected. Some will use the methodologies already developed by the management company to measure the environmental and social impact of the companies in which it invests.
Donations to associations
Sycomore also undertakes to donate part of its management costs to charitable associations. Each fund will be paired with an association, in line with its management strategy, with envelopes which should reach several hundred thousand euros per year. A first partnership will be announced by the end of the month.
Sycomore is not the only management company to donate part of its management fees to charities. As part of its thematic fund with an impact on oncology, Candriam donates 10% of management fees to cancer research.