SAM heads south for sustainable growth

Sustainable investment boutique SAM is looking to Italy and Spain for new corporates with sound governance, able to generate positive returns.

After having gained traction in Nordic markets, a sustainable approach to investments is becoming more popular in southern European countries, such as Italy and Spain.

By looking at additional factors on companies’ performance beyond the traditional economic matrix, portfolio managers can detect investment opportunities that offer better risk management, says Rainer Baumann, head of portfolio management and member of the executive committee at SAM in Zurich.

This is particularly true in uncertain and volatile markets, when the sustainability of a company or of a project is translated into returns for investors.

“We look not only at corporate governance, but also at social and environmental factors, mainly to have additional insight on corporates. Evidence shows that the combination of those criteria provides value, enabling us to select companies that tend to perform better in current market conditions,” Baumann says.

Performance driver

SAM is an investment boutique focused exclusively on sustainability investing, part of Rotterdam-based Robeco. “Spain and Italy were lagging behind in this area, but we see the interest for sustainable investments coming out. We see more acceptance of sustainability as a driver of performance. Integration of sustainability into broader strategies and thematic investing has become accepted in portfolios,” he adds.

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