Brian Kennedy, Senior Equity Portfolio Manager, Mediolanum Asset Management
How did you get into CRS, and why did you choose this profession?
Before working in asset management, I had very little awareness of sustainable investing. I would emphasise that, compared to now, it was very much on the periphery of the investment industry. I was drawn by the potential to solve broad societal problems as a day job, the passion of the people who worked in the area and the enormous growth potential of the field. While I had enormous faith in the future of my area, I had no idea that we would see the explosion of interest we have seen in recent years.
What makes your sector unique from a CRS perspective?
Versus other sectors, sustainable investing allows you to develop a broad knowledge of multiple sustainability areas versus working in a typical CSR role where you are focused on one company. As part of this, you get to meet hundreds of different companies and gain access to thousands of industry experts. It also allows you to allocate capital where you see the most significant opportunities to make a difference. These can be companies with cutting-edge technology or companies that operate in ordinary industries but are making exceptional efforts in areas such as climate change.
What advice would you give to others on getting into CRS?
I believe any job in sustainability requires passion as a prerequisite. I believe this is the fuel that leads you to do the extra work required to remain at the top of your field. Given how quickly the industry is moving, it is vital to keep on top of the latest developments. Reading about industry developments and maintaining a network of fellow sustainability professionals can help support your learning. People are generally obliging if you ask them for a coffee or a call!
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