Sustainable Investment Awards 2021

ESG innovation of the year, research: GIB Asset Management

GIB Asset Management produced a paper with the World Economic Forum (WEF) with a unique approach to analysing the barriers to humanitarian and resilience investing (HRI) data.

According to GIB Asset Management, before 2020, development finance was insufficient to meet the demands of people in fragile contexts. The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated the situation.

In January this year, GIB Asset Management and the WEF published a paper that highlighted ways of overcoming the lack of data needed for HRI, while calling for targeted action. GIB Asset Management is a London-based global asset manager, the trading name of Gulf International Bank, with over $11 billion of assets under management.

HRI is defined as "capital invested in ways that measurably benefit people and communities in contexts of fragility, conflict and violence, while creating a financial return", Katherine Garrett-Cox, GIB Asset management CEO, wrote in Environmental Finance in March.

Unlocking Humanitarian and Resilience Investing through Better Data introduced a new theme for investors in HRI, an area where previous analysis had largely ignored their needs, in a report that bridged the financial, humanitarian and development sectors.

The paper identified three priorities:

  1. Increase the disclosure of standardised HRI data;
  2. Widen the adoption of existing standards to improve their relevance for investors;
  3. Make the collection of HRI data more efficient by leveraging digital technologies

The paper proposed piloting HRI disclosures in a range of projects, helping others adopt the data requirements, and assessing the viability of pilot projects from an investment perspective.

Since the publication of the paper, GIB Asset Management has been taking these steps through collaborations with the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), International Rescue Committee and the US Agency for International Development.