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An Overview of Affirmative Investment Management

  • 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.

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Unless otherwise specified, this document has been prepared by Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) based on its understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at the date of publication. While all care has been taken in the preparation of this document (using sources believed to be reliable and accurate), to the maximum extent permitted by law, no person including CFSIL, accepts responsibility for any loss suffered by any person arising from reliance on this information. CFSIL is the issuer of interests in FirstChoice Personal Super, FirstChoice Wholesale Personal Super, FirstChoice Pension, FirstChoice Wholesale Pension, FirstChoice Employer Super offered from the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557. It also issues interests in the Rollover & Superannuation Fund (ROSCO) and Personal Pension Plan (PPP) offered from the Colonial First State Rollover & Superannuation Fund ABN 88 854 638 840. CFSIL also issues other investment products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments, other than FirstRate Saver and FirstRate Term Deposits which are products of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124, AFS Licence 234945 (CBA). The investment performance and the repayment of capital of CFSIL products is not guaranteed. This document provides information for the adviser only and is not to be handed on to any investor. It does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial situation or needs. The Target Market Determinations (TMD) for our financial products can be found at and include a description of who a financial product is appropriate for. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) before making any recommendations to a client. Clients should read the PDS and FSG before making an investment decision and consider talking to a financial adviser. The PDS and FSG can be obtained from or by calling us on 13 18 36.

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