- Bank of America is the 3rd largest investment bank in the world
- Bank of America manages $1.08 trillion in AUM
- Jackie has advised investments around $900 million in gender-mandated strategies in US
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Jackie Vanderbrug, Head of Impact Investing for Bank of America with Matt Bird
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back to the Traders Network Show broadcasting a worldwide from Greenwich, Connecticut. I’m Matt Bird, we’re covering the 2019 Greenwich Economic Forum. And my next guest is the managing director, head of sustainable and impact investment strategy for Bank of America, Jackie Vanderbrug. Jackie, welcome. Listen, I appreciate you taking the time to come over here. I know you have a lot going on. You’re coming right off the heels of a workshop panel. Why don’t you be our eyes, ears, tell us a little about what you guys went through.
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 00:30
Yeah, so we had a great conversation. I mean, part of it, to be honest, is starting with when we talk about sustainable and impact investing, what are we talking about? Right? Cause as you know, this can get a lot of jargon and a lot of language and there’s a lot of misperceptions out there like that. This is about ethically losing money. So we started with a little bit of what are we talking about and who’s interested.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 00:55
And where did it ultimately end up?
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 00:59
Well, so I mean, we talked a lot about the millennials interest in this and especially as we see a large transition of family wealth, how millennials are saying this is the way that we want to invest for our future. Both because we think it’s about the planet that we want to live in. But also because we think it’s the best way to get long-term returns. So we went into specifics in terms of core themes that are driving, not surprisingly, the environment and climate gender and more broadly inclusion and then community and local investing.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 01:38
You know, you mentioned climate, I would imagine from an impact standpoint, does climate effect are you taking, is climate a major determining factor now between short term and long term investments?
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 01:49
Climate affects everything, right? If you, if you look across a savvy, did this research across different sectors and sub sectors really said, look, there’s hardly any investments that are not affected by changing climate in some way or another. What we are seeing is investors understanding that what they thought was really a 30 year horizon has come much closer. And the impact from climate disruptions to business is now in that five and 10 year frame.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 02:19
Where do you see impact investing kind of this sustainable, the social corporate responsibility impact investing area? Where do you see it kind of shifting the next five years?
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 02:30
We talk a lot with clients about three things and we try to keep it really simple. So avoid benefit, contribute A, B, C. Right? And so for you, with your capital and your family what is it that you want to avoid and do you want to do that for values or do you want to do that because of risk? Right? What are the benefits that you want to have in the world? How do you see corporations benefiting broadly, communities, employees and their clients, their customers? And where’s that contribute piece? Right? As we’ve created through the sustainable development goals, kind of a roadmap for the world. How do you want your investments to contribute to achieving our collective vision? So I think, you know, what we’re seeing is a shift down that leg. So where people initially started with a lot of avoiding their focus more on benefiting now and those who are doing benefiting are saying, okay, and I want to go even further and make my investments contribute.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 03:26
You mentioned the SDGs, which would be wake we spoke about offline prior, prior to this. And our involvement with the SDGs is, and we were huge supporters of the UN STGs. And those of you don’t know the SDGs are there, they’re called the sustainable development goals. But the trends is us, it’s transitioning this into a larger topic, which is how important are public private partnerships to economics?
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 03:49
So it’s core, right? I mean, I think that what the SDGs got right, that the millennium development goals didn’t get right was that this cannot be a government only or government and civil sector, right. We need governments to work in conjunction with private enterprise in conjunction, you know, with the broader public to make this work.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 04:12
Yeah. You think that is because of trusts and the corporate responsibility for corporate to see through and follow through the commitments that they make.
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 04:21
So I do think that the next generation is looking for corporations that are very clear about their purpose and their values, right? So at bank of America, you cannot hear Brian Moynahan speak for more than two minutes without him starting in on, you know, E S and, G environmental, social and governance is a lens for our responsible growth. It is our commitment. And so part of that is, you know, in the loan portfolio we have in communities, part of that is in our commitment to a $20 minimum wage. Part of that is our commitment to being carbon neutral. And then there’s, you know, how is it that we can move forward in catalytic climate investments and things like that.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 05:04
You know, we only got a few more minutes left before we get to cut a commercial break. But I want to ask you a couple more questions. One, how important is this event to the geographic area in this community here in Greenwich?
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 05:15
So there’s no question that this event and is specifically, if you’re in the room today, it’s fundamentally different than it was even last year in terms of the role of sustainability woven through all of the conversations, both from these factors, these E S and G factors making you a better investor because you can see risk better. You can see opportunity better. And also because it is what the American public is asking for.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 05:43
That’s excellent. Well said. So I guess the last question is what’s next for bank of America and sustainability side?
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 05:48
So we will continue to have more conversations with our clients. You know, this has been something that historically has been a smaller fraction of clients saying, I’m interested in. Now we’re realizing that these are conversations that you want to have with every client and different clients want to manifest this differently. But that aspect of we want to understand what’s on your mind. We want to understand, you know, what you want the power to do and, you know, do you want to have the power to have impact through your portfolio?
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 06:19
You know, I don’t want to really you know, put myself in a hole and comma too far in this, but I’m finding also being out there in the meeting or anything else, that people are looking more towards quality versus quantity. And that even goes into how things are made and how they’re, what they’re made of and what they mean and identifying stuff that those brands are the, are the sociological, the psychological aspects of the consumer consumption becoming a large part of this.
Jackie Vanderbrug – Head of Impact Investing, Bank of America: 06:46
So there’s no question that the millennials especially have thought about this as they’re purchasing is part of their identity, right? So it’s the, I’m drinking fair trade coffee, you know, the shampoo that I’m using for my hair or my baby’s hair, right? Millennials, one in two babies born to a millennial. Do you think that mom and dad and increasingly dad is, he’s on paternity leave, aren’t thinking about that? So it’s all related, right? How I’m consuming where I’m living, who I want to work for.
Matt Bird – Host, Traders Network Show: 07:21
And has become a really important thing. So in their own personal ecosystem. Well listen, Jackie, thanks so much for coming down. I really appreciate you taking the time. Jackie Vanderburg the managing director, head of sustainable impact investing strategy. Welcome. Thank you again for taking the time. We’re going to be right back after these messages, especially with the shout out and thanks to our affiliate network partners, ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS. Don’t go away. We’ll be right back.