The formation of Affirmative Investment Management, or AIM as we're known, is somewhat unique, but reflects our core beliefs, which we've had right from the beginning. Back in 2013, I was helping a group here in Australia develop a bond, which we thought would be considered as a green bond. Although that sounds quite simple, the engagement and verification exercise we went through put me back in touch with an old colleague, Stuart Kinnersley, who'd actually ... I'd worked with 30 years ago.
I knew that Stuart and his team had launched the world's first green bond fund, while at Nikko Asset Management, back in 2010, and the bond we were working on, thankfully, did pass the criteria, but it became evident in the conversations that I had with Stuart and his team that they were keen to evolve this business, where it had just been a product in a bigger firm, and they wanted to set up as a pure play business. So we hired the team from Nikko and we formed Affirmative Investment Management.
One of our first next hires was Dr. Judith Moore, who'd previously been global head of corporate responsibility at the World Bank in Washington. It was Judith and her team that actually built the original criteria for green bonds, how we rate them and how we verify them. So we combined a conventional portfolio management team and some real deep expertise in verification, and formed Affirmative in 2014. Although we are a relatively young company, the collective experience in verification and portfolio management is over 250 years.
The company's vision, right from the beginning, has been to mobilize mainstream capital to help the world address some of the challenges it faces. Given our conventional background in terms of portfolio management, we recognize that you can only mobilize mainstream capital by delivering mainstream returns, so within the fixed income space, we're investing in social bonds, in green or climate bonds, and also what we call sustainable bonds. These come through our spectrum universe. From here, we manage portfolios, seeking to add financial alpha against a mainstream benchmark. We believe the future of investing is going to be the intersection of capital and purpose, where mainstream capital is being mobilized for impact, but never by compromising returns.