Saturday, June 15, 2024

Jamie Ritblat: Responsible Investment

Delancey Real Estate founder Jamie Ritblat recognises all too well the need for businesses to give back to the local communities they operate in by implementing robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies. This article will examine Delancey Real Estate’s approach to responsible investment, recognising the opportunities and risks that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors can have on investments.

Responsible investment requires companies to consider ESG issues in all operations and decision-making processes. Complementing traditional portfolio construction and financial analysis techniques, responsible investment incorporates several related – and in some instances overlapping – forces, including principles for responsible investment, client demand, financial materiality, sustainability outcomes, policy and regulation, and fiduciary duties.

Sustainability issues can significantly affect market and portfolio returns, in some cases posing risks beyond a single company, industry or geography. Examples of ESG incidents and sustainability issues that have had a huge impact on global markets include the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered a sharp contraction in global GDP, and the payment firm Wirecard’s insolvency amid accusations of accounting fraud in 2020.

In recent years, corporate and investor regulations relating to ESG have increased significantly. Today, the financial sector plays a critical role in terms of meeting global challenges such as ending modern slavery and tax avoidance and mitigating the worst impacts of climate change. Fiduciary duties and equivalent obligations exist to ensure that companies managing client assets act with appropriate skill, care and loyalty, protecting the interests of clients and beneficiaries.

ESG incorporation means continually considering, reviewing and assessing ESG issues in investment practices through screening, integration and thematic investing. Stewardship, meanwhile, involves leveraging influence to maximize overall long-term value, including common social, environmental and economic assets that client interest and returns depend on. Stewardship activities can centre around both existing and potential investees, as well as other stakeholders such as policymakers and standard setters.

Delancey Real Estate is a UK investment advisory company that was founded by Jamie Ritblat in 1998. Over the years, the organisation has grown a diverse portfolio of retail, corporate, office and residential assets across London. In addition to his role as chairman and chief executive of Delancey Real Estate, Jamie Ritblat has also served as a committed supporter and trustee of several organisations and boards, including Marylebone Cricket Club, Maggies Cancer Caring Centres, the Southbank Centre, Tate Britain and Kings College University London.

Delancey Real Estate is dedicated to delivering positive outcomes for clients, tenants, partners, borrowers and the wider community. A proud signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment, Delancey Real Estate’s responsible investment strategy informs all its investment activities, acknowledging the company’s role as a custodian of capital deployed for investors, clients and joint venture partners.

Recognising its responsibility to local communities and the surrounding environment, Delancey Real Estate’s strategy provides a framework that captures its ESG-related policies, plans and protocols. As Jamie Ritblat points out, Delancey Real Estate values the opportunity to do good, with the company cognisant of its caretaking role regarding all assets under its stewardship.

Delancey Real Estate supports the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050 across all its assets under management in alignment with UK Government efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. To that end, Delancey Real Estate has set minimum targets appropriate to individual investments, with the aim of supporting IPCC requirements for a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.

Having undertaken an initial Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) analysis and roadmap exercise, Delancey Real Estate has planned out its pathway for full TCFD alignment, including a full review of governance strategy and risk management, as well as analysing metrics and targets in relation to climate-related risks. Moving forward, the company has pledged to develop a comprehensive approach to TCFD reporting and alignment, integrating responsible policies and strategies as well as enterprising thought and critical action.

Delancey Real Estate’s responsible investment strategy encompasses four key policy areas spanning the company’s four core business activities, namely responsible investor, responsible developer, responsible manager and responsible business strategies. In the realms of responsible investment, Delancey Real Estate integrates ESG opportunities, impact and risk factors into its decision-making processes and investment analysis for real estate equity and debt financing. Known for its impact on communities and emissions intensity, Delancey Real Estate recognises the real estate industry’s responsibility to analyse, consider and act in an environmentally and socially conscious and sustainable way.

Fully committed to responsible investment, development, management and business, Delancey Real Estate strives to make a positive difference in local communities through its corporate strategy and investment activities, ensuring that ESG principles are deeply embedded in all systems and decision-making processes.

Delancey Real Estate’s responsible investment activities have been recognised with numerous ESG awards and certifications over the years, including RIBA’s ‘Building of the Year’ Award for Here East in 2019; RICS Social Impact’s ‘Best Commercial Category’ Award for Here East in 2020; and BCO’s National and Regional Award for ‘Refurbished & Recycled Workplace’ for Here East in 2018.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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