The NZ Super Fund is an autonomous crown entity with over $37 billion in funds under management; it aims to reduce the future tax burden of New Zealand's superannuation scheme.
The main focus of the talk centred around the Super Fund's focus on responsible and ethical investing.
As a responsible investor, the fund considers the environmental, social and governance issues (ESG concerns) relating to its investments.
The Super Fund believes that by considering the social costs of their investments, they can find areas where the rest of the market has not properly valued an investment.
This can be seen in the way the fund restructured its portfolio across 2017 and 2018 to reduce its exposure to carbon-based investments; the Super Fund reduced its exposure to carbon reserves by 32% due to the expectation of increasing carbon taxes.
This discussion surrounding the Super Fund's ESG concerns is particularly relevant to students looking to enter the finance sector today.
Global issues such as climate change are likely to greatly disrupt markets in the future and understanding how to avoid climate risks will be a valuable and profitable skill for students interested in finance.
Hugo Reeves (Year 13, Major)