A philanthropy workshop opened Henri Kulvik’s eyes: investing creates not only monetary profits but also profits measured in wellbeing.
Talk of ethical and sustainable investing had been around for a long time but back then, in 2012, impact investing wasn’t a topic many people were familiar with.
Impact investing was introduced to Kulvik on a course by the international Philanthropy Workshop. Established in 1995, the organisation’s goal is to accelerate social impact by mobilising a global network of investors.
Whereas sustainable investing only invests in companies that behave well in terms of environmental, social and corporate governance, impact investing goes one step further.
An impact investor only selects to invest in projects that make the world a better place with their operations.
Kulvik had previously engaged in both charity and investing, and he was drawn to the model combining charity with investment profits.
In 2014, Epiqus, Finland’s first asset management company with a focus on impact investing, was established and the following year, Henri Kulvik became a partner and a member of its Board.
When Epiqus issued its first impact bond, Kulvik joined as the only private investor. Other investors included the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the We Foundation set up by the founders of the gaming company Supercell. As can be seen from this example, foundations and other non-profits are typical impact investors.
FIM acquired Epiqus last year. In connection with that, Kulvik left the company’s Board.
In late 2019, Henri Kulvik was selected as the Chairperson of the Board of Sifter Capital that operates behind Sifter Fund. In the role, Henri Kulvik is following in the footsteps of his father Hannes Kulvik. Hannes Kulvik continues as a member of Sifter’s Board.
Henri Kulvik has significantly affected the creation of Sifter’s sustainable investment principles.
“Sifter’s key responsibility has always been related to the stable long-term increase in the value of its investors’ assets with a moderate risk. That is exactly what sustainable investing means for us, as well as following and developing the principles of environmental, social, and corporate governance in everything we do,” he says.
Sustainability is in the DNA of Sifter’s investment philosophy
We acquire high-quality business operations for our portfolio, and we don’t think a company can be of high quality if it doesn’t take environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) seriously.
We are patient owners of our investments, which is why we emphasize the integrity of businesses. In the long term, sustainable work bears fruit and on the other hand, irresponsible operations will lead to bad news, or even catastrophes, sooner or later, and they will inevitably also affect the company’s vitality and stock price.
Investing in irresponsible companies benefits no one.
We have excluded some companies from our investment space because of ethical reasons. We won’t invest in them no matter how good they are within their field.
Sifter does not invest in companies manufacturing tobacco products, alcohol companies, cannabis companies, adult entertainment companies or companies with a large share of business operations that derives from arms manufacturing.
If we don’t find a company’s business operations advisable, we will not invest in it. We don’t want to invest in companies that are making the world a worse place.
Morningstar gives Sifter five out of five globes
Fund analysis expert Morningstar assesses investment funds also based on sustainability. Morningstar’s sustainability rating describes how well the companies owned by the fund manage their ESG risks in relation to the global fund category.
Instead of stars, Morningstar uses globes to express fund sustainability. A high globe rating indicates that the companies owned by the fund have relatively smaller ESG risks.
Currently, Sifter’s rating is a full five out of five globes.
Sustainability doesn’t only apply to our selection of investments but also how we act as a fund.
If we require sustainability from our investments, we also demand it from ourselves, says Kulvik. We are fair to our customers, investments, and other stakeholders.
We want to take sustainable investing even further. That’s why we started to explore the sustainability of the Sifter Fund with the Upright Project and were surprised.