ESG due diligence – how to respond and how to analyze ESG risks

Our goal is to highlight challenges for investors, asset managers and portfolio companies. 

February 18th, 2021
4 pm- 5 pm, CET

How can asset managers improve              their answers? 

Real ESG integration v. marketing

Challenges for hedge funds

What can be standardized?     

February 24th, 2021
10:00 am – 12:00 am, CET

Why ESG ratings vary and what to do about it 

How to collect and use ESG data     

Active ownership – what’s next?             

Enquiry fatigue for portfolio companies?

Date to be announced
for next ESG webinar

Showcase: Asset manager with successful integration of ESG.         

What types of ESG funds are investors looking for?

February 18th, 2021

How can asset managers improve their answers?

Speakers –

Louise Hedberg
ESG advisor to asset managers Advisory board, GRC WATCH

Lingyi Lu
Head of Sustainability Söderberg & Partners,

Ann-Sofie Odenberg
Head of Sustainability    Brummer & Partners

Linda Hellström
Founder of GRC WATCH  Product owner ESG services

16:00 – 17:00, CET

It’s time-consuming to respond to unique questionnaires by each investor. At the same time, it can be challenging for investors to get the right answer to certain questions. How can this be solved in practise and to what extent can it be solved by a standardized questionnaire?

We will talk about questions that are normally hard to answer and how questionnaires can be improved. ESG specialists will give concrete examples and cover the following topics:

Louise Hedberg, ESG specialist, will share how she is advising asset managers on ways to improve ESG integration and responses to due diligence, RFPs and reporting to UN PRI. Lingyi Lu, Söderberg & Partners, will talk about the need to read between the lines in questionnaires and to avoid text that sounds like marketing. Ann-Sofie Odenberg, Brummer & Partners, will mention challenges with questionnaires when you are a hedge fund manager. Linda Hellström, GRC WATCH, will summarize conclusions after five years of work with standardization of questionnaires.

We will focus on the following:

  • Indicators of true integration of ESG v. “window dressing”
  • Feedback by investors to asset managers about quality of answers
  • Achieving a fair ESG scoring for different types of funds. E.g. hedge funds.
  • To what extent can questionnaires be standardized? 

February 24th, 2021

Why ESG ratings vary so widely (and what you can do about it)

Speaker –

Florian Berg
Researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

10:00-10:40, CET

The explosion in ESG research has led to a strong reliance on ESG rating providers. Florian Berg, one of the two authors of the award-winning paper “Aggregate Confusion: The Divergence of ESG ratings”, will share insights from research in this webinar. 

In the paper by researchers from MIT, Florian BergJulian Kölbel  and Roberto Rigobon, break down the differences in measurement noise and different concepts of sustainability. Measurement noise accounts for a bit more than 50 percent of the overall divergence. In addition, they detect a rater effect, i.e., the rating agencies’ assessment of firms’ attributes seem to be influenced by the view of the analyzed company as a whole.

Links to their papers and blog posts:

February 24th, 2021

How to collect ESG data and what to do with it

Speaker –

Karine Hirn
Partner & Chief Sustainability Officer, East Capital,

Robert Vicsai
Senior ESG investment specialist SEB Investment Management

David Czupryna
Head of ESG Development      Candriam                       

10:40-11:00, CET

David has written an article about ESG ratings and will talk about a few challenges after Florian’s initial presentation about divergencies of ESG ratings. Karine Hirn and Robert Vicsai will talk about challenges related to collection of data and how to use it in practice.

This session will cover the following areas:

  • Choice of data suppliers
  • Questioning data and ratings by external suppliers
  • Dialogue with portfolio companies
  • Aggregated ESG scoring according to their own model

Link to David’s article on ESG ratings:

Investors beware: ESG fund ratings

February 24th, 2021

Active ownership in 2021 – what’s next?

Speaker –

Emma Sjöström
Researcher on ESG, Stockholm School of Economics,          Deputy Director, Stockholm Sustainable Finance Center

Pia Gisgård
Head of Sustainability, Swedbank Robur Fonder.

David Nicholls
Portfolio Advisor, Russia          East Capital Moscow

11:00-11:30, CET

Based on the past 10 years of research about active ownership, what is expected the coming years? Pia Gisgård will share on-going work related to ”Finance for Biodiversity” and plans to engage with forestry companies. David will talk about differences in corporate structures in Russia and how to achieve the right level of transparency.

This session will cover the following areas:

  • Lessons learned in 2020
  • How to measure result of active ownership
  • How can portfolio companies improve in their engagement with investors?