APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
Swedbank in partnership with The Foresight Group aims to establish a co-investment mechanism for social and environmental impact, which will offer the Bank's clients a new way of investing in the issues that are important to them. This 'Passionate Investments' concept builds on three synergetic processes:
1) Establish Investment Clubs: Swedbank will interview its high net worth private banking clients on an ongoing basis to identify their respective personal passion to make a difference in this world. Based on these interviews, Swedbank will organize investment clubs clustered by shared interest in a specific issue. These groups will be used both to understand the types of investments clients are seeking and to inform and inspire clients on current opportunities in their particular interest area.
2) Identify Opportunity Provider Partners: Swedbank realizes ample investment opportunities already exist within the social and environmental sector. Leveraging the innovative work of this community, Swedbank will seek out partner organizations offering both for-profit and not-for-profit deal flow which may include investments in science parks, green technology, fair trade, impact investments funds, as well as philanthropy, etc. On an annual basis, each Opportunity Provider Partner will recommend five to ten topically- and geographically-diverse investment opportunities. In addition, an opportunity to see the investment on the ground and engage with other investors should be an option; this would serve as an additional learning space for clients.
Swedbank plans to grow this concept, first, with private banking clients. Should it prove successful, an opportunity could exist to engage the Bank's broader client base including mutual funds and retail services, which would have the potential to increase the impact of the Passionate Investments program significantly.
The Clinton Global Initiative, with over 2,000 Commitments to Action, will serve as an Opportunity Provider Partner to this initiative.
3) Link Investments Opportunities with Clients: Swedbank will conduct due diligence on the investment opportunities recommended by the Opportunity Provider Partners where needed. Swedbank plans to share the vetted opportunities with the Bank's clients, their foundations, and eventually to incorporate similar financial products through the Bank´s retail and mutual funds.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Swedbank and The ForeSight Group have established the following timeline:
- To fully establish the concept of this co-investment impact mechanism in 2011;
- To start actively engaging with high net worth individuals and Opportunity Provider Partners, including the Clinton Global Initiative, during 2012-2013; and
- To seek to establish the basis for this co-investment impact mechanism among Swedbank´s foundation clients, and via retail and mutual funds services in 2014-2015.
Swedbank is the oldest bank in Scandinavia, founded in 1820. It now seeks to service high net worth clients and its broader client base to make investments of their choice for the benefit of humanity.
During the spring 2011, Swedbank and the ForeSight Group interviewed 10 % of the bank´s most important private banking, high net worth clients to understand the level of interest for commercial, social business, and philanthropic investments with an aim to benefit humanity. The clients showed a strong and explicit interest to learn and further develop their engagement in this space. To achieve this outcome, this commitment was built on the following:
- The demand among the bank´s high net worth clients to make social and environmental investments;
- The need to source investments from partner organizations ('Opportunity Provider Partners'); and
- The interest among the bank´s ten million private clients, as well as close to one million corporate clients, to potentially expand this concept to the Bank's mutual funds and retail services.