IMPACT Awards 2022

Wealth manager of the year: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse Asset Management has won 'Wealth manager of the year' for its impact efforts, most notably for its pursuit of 'additionality' and engaging companies on their impact in 'Life below water', or Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.

Credit Suisse focusses on providing 'additional' finance to sustainable ventures that would not have been funded if such an investment had not taken place.

James GiffordIts head of sustainable and impact advisory, James Gifford, told Environmental Finance: "The industry doesn't like to mention the word 'additionality' – it is the Voldemort of investing – you shall not speak its name!

"The reason is, that it's pretty hard to pin down. But...we have to channel significant capital to strategies that are additional."

Its $520 million Ocean Engagement Fund has supported around 50 companies to make sustainable improvements to their business models.

Jointly run with Rockefeller Asset Management, it is the first engagement-focused, impact investment listed equities fund exclusively targeting SDG 14.

Steven Bates, Credit Suisse's head of sustainability analysis and solutions, commented on the fund: "Every second breath you take comes from the oceans. People talk about the Amazon rainforest being the lungs of the planet, but it's really only one lung. The other lung is the world's oceans."

Commenting on the fund's sustainable thesis, Bates told Environmental Finance: "We want to engage with companies to reduce CO2 emissions, to think about renewable energy, to promote carbon offsets and to promote ocean conservation, which is really all about overfishing, unregulated fishing, harmful fishing practices and coastal development; it can also include tourism or industry."

The $420 billion investor also made several investments in telehealth, AI diagnostics, digital payments, vaccine developments and health tech targeting women or the elderly through its Health and Wellbeing private equity impact fund, this year.

The fund was launched in collaboration with BlackRock in 2021.