Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act requires retirement fund Trustees to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into their decision making processes. What is Responsible Investment and why is the investment world making such a fuss about it?

Although Trustees may make use of the services of experts, ultimately the responsibility of decision making rests on the shoulders of the Trustees and therefore Trustees need to empower themselves with adequate knowledge in order to make responsible investing decisions confidently. It is therefore key to obtain ongoing training and guidance on such matters.

Responsible Investment is at the core of the GraySwan investment advisory and wealth management philosophy. GraySwan is a signatory of the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UN-PRI) and thereby forms part of a growing global network of investment peers who participate in online or live in-person events, forums and initiatives focussed at integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into investment decision-making. We also have an internal Responsible Investment Committee which is strengthened by ongoing inputs from independent industry experts. Our clients participate in our Committee meetings as part of our focus to empower them to make informed Responsible Investment decisions. As a result, most of our clients have already made meaningful allocations to such investment managers and funds.

We currently advise to and provide training on Responsible Investment to some of the largest and most prestigious institutional investors in South Africa. Whether, you’re a Trustee of a Retirement Fund or a member of a Wealthy Family Office or a private investor, we will empower you to incorporate Responsible Investment thinking into your investment process and without sacrificing on performance or adding additional risk to your portfolio. To the contrary, our experience has been that Responsible Investment decisions provide superior returns and risk adjusted returns!

We tailor-make our training workshops and interactive sessions for Trustees and investors. In terms of Responsible Investment, we typically cover areas such as:

  • What is Responsible Investment and Sustainability?
  • Defining Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues;
  • Risks associated with ESG investing;
  • Development and implementation of Responsible Investment (RI) policies.
  • Defining the universe of investment managers and funds that are Responsible for potential inclusion in a well diversified investment portfolio.

Post our training we can also assist Trustees to implement a formal RI policy for their Fund. Our clients have leading edge policies which we believe empowers them to be at the forefront of Responsible Investment.

GraySwan has conducted numerous investment training workshops. In addition to our focus on Responsible Investment, we also cover topics such as:

  • Simplifying investment terms and terminology;
  • Asset allocation and investment strategy;
  • National Treasury and Retirement Reforms;
  • African markets and economies;
  • Emerging markets;
  • BRICS;
  • Active versus passive investing;
  • Basics of bonds;
  • Debt markets explained;
  • What are options;
  • A to Z of hedging;
  • Introduction to Private Equity;
  • Introduction to Hedge Funds;
  • Conflicts of Interest in the Retirement Industry;
  • Simplifying Long/Short Equity strategies;
  • ….and many other topics.

About Our Trainers

GraySwan has a highly qualified and experienced team with more than 100 years of investment experience and has a presence in Johannesburg and Somerset West. The two senior investment consultants which conduct most of our Investment Training Services have collectively 33 years’ experience in the investment industry and have consulted to most of the largest and most prestigious funds in South Africa. The rest of our senior staff members are equally equiped to provide such training. The core members of our investment team have worked together for over 10 years.

Duncan Theron has been working in the retirement fund investment industry for the past 17 years. During this time he fulfilled the role of Director, Head of Manager Research and Senior Investment Consultant at two of the largest investment consulting companies in South Africa. He also fulfilled the role of Managing Director and finally the Chief Investment Officer of a large offshore alternative investment management company..

Gregoire Theron has over 14  years’ investment experience of which 9 years as an investment consultant and 5 years in offshore alternative investment management. His has fullfilled the role as Head of Risk at one of the largest investment consulting companies in South Africa and of a large offshore alternative investment management company.

About GraySwan

GraySwan is an independent investment advisory and wealth management company that empowers investors to structure robust short-, medium- and long-term investment strategies, select global best of breed investment managers or products and, thereafter, implement a holistic risk management and performance measurement framework to ensure the ongoing success of the long term investment strategy.

  Download the PDF version of this snippet.