Accelerating ambition

Van Lanschot Kempen is a specialist, independent wealth manager dedicated to preserve and create wealth, in a sustainable way, for our clients and the society we serve.

Van Lanschot Kempen purpose statement 

Wealth is no longer just about financial assets, but includes the collective values, norms and wisdom of society, and how we use them for good. It means combined wealth creation is no longer the preserve of the few, but a necessity for all. 

The Fifth A 

As sustainable wealth managers offering growth opportunities, we know we need to respond to social, economic and environmental shifts, as well as evolving client needs. With this in mind, the four ambitions of the Van Lanschot Kempen, which includes our private banking arm, was joined by a new ambition, a fifth ‘A’, to underline our commitment to sustainability. 

In early 2021, Van Lanschot Kempen adopted sustainability as a strategic ambition group-wide. Since we made this move, we’ve already seen a huge demand from our private banking clients for more sustainable and impact investment, moving money from regular investment solutions to sustainable solutions such as the Sustainable+ (Duurzaam+ in Dutch) proposition, and our award-winning Global Impact Pool.

In considering how our investments impact wider society and the planet, we draw on an analogy from the Kempen-supported initiative FCLTGlobal, which likens sustainable investment to a rippling pond. The concentric ripples express an interdependency, and drive home that creating value means benefitting not just bottom lines, but all stakeholders in society by creating a positive ripple effect.  

Figure 10: The ‘why’ of sustainable investment

See our July newsletter for more. 

With this Fifth A, in all of our different roles – investor, service provider, lender, employer and purchaser – we set concrete and measurable targets so we can make a meaningful contribution to wealth creation, for people and planet. Our three priority themes are Climate action & biodiversity, Smart & circular economy and Living better for longer. This involves cultivating and nourishing close relationships and a deep-rooted trust with our clients. It also plays into our Real Active approach, which again this year has enabled us to act as long-term engaged shareholders of our investee companies.  

Putting the biodiversity crisis on the same footing as climate

Sustainable investing naturally tilted towards the ‘E’ this year as mainstream attention focused on the environment. In our work to make sustainable investment the new normal, we’ve elevated biodiversity issues into our decision-making. Other areas of natural capital have been a critically underemphasised area up to now. 

According to the UN, biodiversity loss is accelerating and threatens to make around one million animal and plant species extinct. Yet biodiversity is a crucial defence in tackling the wider environmental crisis, due to the high potential of carbon dioxide removal by our natural capital.  

The UK Dasgupta Report in February 2021 pointed out that “balance sheets should not just include what a government or business can gain by exploiting nature. They should also include what they will lose.” Correspondingly, as responsible and sustainable investors, we have taken steps this year to integrate the biodiversity challenges into our decision-making.  

With our latest Group-wide Biodiversity Policy, published in 2021, we elevate ‘natural capital’ and recognise that we must reduce the possible negative impacts of our investments on Nature . We are also working with partners, including joining the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF) and signing the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, committing to set concrete targets by 2024. 

In a rapidly changing world, our ambition is already translating into good investment practices with the potential to boost the resilience of our portfolios whilst better protecting our fragile ecosystems.  

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