INTERVIEW with Albert Reiter, Chief Executive Officer at investRFP.com and investESG.eu
| Twenty years after launching your first platform e-fundresearch.com, which today is one of the leading independent information sources for asset owners and fund selectors in German speaking countries, you are introducing investESG.eu to the investment industry. What prompted this development?
During almost 30 years of industry experience, I had the opportunity to get to know a range of challenges working in investment banking and on the institutional investor side in Austria, South Africa and Germany. From the beginning on, my main driving power has been the strive for efficiency and purpose. With that motivation I decided to dedicate my work to developing independent digital solutions to address preventable challenges on both sides, asset owners’ and asset managers’.
| What was the catalyst to focus on ESG issues?
As an investment professional I followed early trends in sustainable finance around 2000. When I conducted research on the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg 2002 I realized the magnitude of the challenges the investment industry would be facing.
Back in 2007 as we learned more about ESG-related risks and opportunities, our team at e-fundresearch.com published an overview analysis of climate change funds. Today e-fundresearch.com is a separate legal entity managed by an experienced team and performing well.
The focus of my work is on asset owner support. In 2015 we introduced investRFP.com as a best practice implementation tool in asset manager, fund selection and due diligence. With investESG.eu we are fostering the exchange of ESG perspectives and supporting asset owners in tackling a range of challenges going forward.
Purpose and efficiency go first, which is why asset owners use both platforms, including a set of dedicated ESG tools, free of charge. We believe, there should be no restrictions placed on access to best practice implementation opportunities.
| Is the new investESG.eu platform an ESG media add-on?
I’d call it value-added. Asset owners and other industry experts increasingly benefit from various valuable ESG investing information sources. However, many asset owners connected on investRFP expressed interest in learning more about other expert views on certain ESG issues to support their RFP/RFI evaluation process and combine outside-the-box perspectives involving different relevant parties and interdisciplinary experts.
A topic- and question-level bonding mechanism is an integral part of investESG.eu which allows connecting a number of expert answers to a particular question, aiming to build a solid discourse overview over time.
We continue to foster best practice implementation giving ESG-focused initiatives the opportunity to introduce their engagement options with asset owners free of charge. We do not interfere at any stage, which is one of our guiding principles to assure remaining solely an independent process optimizer and best practice implementation booster.
| Will your future plans include further ESG best practice implementation projects?
We very much appreciate asset owners’ and managers’ feedback and updates on their growing requirements and challenges, which we have always based our development plans on. We have learned a lot from the 350+ asset owners and 1700+ asset management companies connected on investRFP and will keep on following the purpose and efficiency line we’ve set decades ago. In this sense, both, existing and future projects we have in mind will continuously be tailored according to the needs expressed by asset owners and other industry experts.
| brief bio
Albert Reiter, CFA, Chief Executive Officer at investRFP.com and investESG.eu, started his career in investment banking and asset management in Austria, South Africa and Germany. He earned an MBA at UCT/GSB in Cape Town, South Africa in 1995. As an entrepreneur and digital pioneer he built e-fundresearch.com in 2000 and launched investRFP.com in 2015. Albert Reiter has been a CFA Charterholder since 2001. LinkedIn, Interview, Albert.Reiter(at)investESG.eu