At the end of May, Citadele Bank’s subsidiary, CBL Asset Management, created Latvia’s first pension plan whose pension savings are invested in businesses which are the most sustainable in their respective industries: protecting the environment, taking care of their employees and acting responsibly in the long term.
In just over four months, Latvia’s first pension plan based on responsible investments has been able to attract a relatively large amount of attention from the public, and currently, total assets have reached more than 1.4 million Euro.
This pension plan differs from others with its investment strategy. When evaluating whether to invest a share of pension savings in the assets of a business, CBL Asset Management’s investment experts analyse not only the financial results of this business, but also its environmental, social and corporate governance, or sustainability aspects, such as the business’ environmental policy, whether the business sufficiently acknowledges the risks of climate change, and whether they behave responsibly towards employees and the local community, among others.
“We are pleased that our clients are increasingly starting to think about their impact on sustainable development by selecting a pension plan in which assets are invested in businesses which behave responsibly towards the environment, natural resources and society. The 1.4 million Euro invested in our responsible, sustainable pension plan is a good result for a new investment strategy product in Latvia,” explains CBL Asset Management Chairman of the Board Kārlis Purgailis.
“Even from a profitability point of view, it is becoming increasingly important to evaluate whether a business in which we are planning to invest is sustainable. Worldwide precedents and studies confirm the direct effect of sustainability on the business’ financial results and thus investment value. We can take a simple example: by not paying sufficient attention to environmental risks, a business can prompt a local-level environmental disaster, which will negatively impact the share price of this business and thus also the pension plan participants’ savings. When we invest in businesses which pay increased attention to the sustainability of their actions, we can significantly decrease risk,” says Purgailis, adding “now, when selecting a pension plan, each of us can influence what kind of businesses our savings are put into.”
The level 2 pension is state-funded for all residents of Latvia; every month, the state puts 6% of a resident’s gross income (income before taxes) in a level 2 pension fund. These pension savings are managed by the pension manager chosen by the individual person, investing the pensions in the capital financial markets to increase them. The level 2 pension supplements savings in addition to the level 1 state-funded old age pension.
More information on the CBL Sustainable Opportunity Investment Plan can be found at manapensija.lv.
About CBL Asset Management
Citadele Bank’s subsidiary, IPAS CBL Asset Management, is one of the leading and most experienced financial asset management companies in the Baltics. It has been managing investment portfolios since 2002. Meanwhile, in 2003, it became one of the first in Latvia to manage level 2 pension savings.
CBL Asset Management has the largest team of managers in Latvia, which regularly analyses the financial and capital market and macroeconomic trends, investing pension savings in both large international and local Latvian businesses, as well as in the bonds of various countries.