This article is the second of the NordicSIF blog series 2020 hosted by Finsif.
It is amazing what can be achieved in a relatively short timeframe when everyone feels enthusiastic and is ready to take part. IcelandSIF was founded 13th of November 2017 with 23 founding members. Only three years on the association has grown over 40% to 33 members and virtually every asset owner or asset manager in the country has joined, including almost all the pension funds as well as all the banks, asset management and insurance companies. Total assets under management of our members amount to over EUR 45 billion.
IcelandSIF has no dedicated staff but is managed by an annually elected board of seven representatives from the different member organisations on a voluntary basis. The members have also provided resources for fixed or ad-hoc working groups responsible for involving the universities, organising events on specific topics or themes and producing material for our website.
From the beginning the aim of IcelandSIF has been to promote awareness and facilitate debate by being independent forum for discussion and education on the methods of sustainable and responsible investment. Every winter the board has put together an ambitious conference with introductions to different topics including the importance of shareholder engagement, green bond issuance, corporate governance, money-laundering and many more.
IcelandSIF has enjoyed fruitful cooperation with the University of Iceland resulting in many interesting projects on the different subjects of responsible investment and ESG being worked on by masters or bachelor students in association with IcelandSIF members.
It is also very rewarding to see that our efforts are not in vain. According to a poll commissioned by IcelandSIF in February 2020, 85% of our members say that they have set a responsible investment strategy, up from 73% in our previous poll early 2019. Similarly, 25% of the poll participants said they now have significant knowledge regarding the methods of responsible investment, up from 15% a year earlier. We still have some room for improvement.
Cooperation between us and the other Nordic SIFs is and has been a very important part of the IcelandSIF development. Not only have the others been very generous with sharing experiences on board level but also the sharing of content and most recently virtual seminars and meetings that have been invaluable for IcelandSIF members.
Hot topics this year for our members are implications for them linked to EU taxonomy, disclosure of non-financial information and impact of investment decision on climate change which will be covered through either seminars or virtual events.
Margit Robertet, chair of IcelandSIF
Head of Private Equity
Kvika Asset Management
+354 858 6506
Kristbjörg M. Kristinsdóttir, vice-chair of IcelandSIF
Chief Operating Officer
+354 856 6676
The other articles in NordicSIF blog series:
NORSIF ACADEMIC COLLABORATION ON A GUIDE TO ESG IN VALUATION