Active Ownership - Video transcript

What challenges do you think we face today?

Yo Takatsuki: Well, we have a big challenge on our hands; on one hand we have a responsibility to try and keep growing prosperity in the world. Develop the world economy. But on the other hand, we need to find solutions to big environmental and societal challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, dealing with gender inequality. The actions that we take today will define who we are in the 21st century.

How did all of this start for you? How did you get into this?

Yo Takatsuki: Yeah, I was a journalist for ten years and in that time I visited  warzones and areas affected by natural disasters. And I saw first-hand how the role of businesses, governments, financial institutions in making things better, and sometimes making things worse, for those societies who were trying to recover from those situations. That really gave me the motivation to act and that’s why I decided to have a career change.

How can the financial industry play a role in the challenges we talked about?

Yo Takatsuki: There is a growing sense of expectation from society about the role of investors and also a growing sense of responsibility and duty within the investors themselves that we should be holding the companies in which we invested to account. And that means that we should have an ongoing dialogue with them, so they understand how they can reduce maybe the harmful side of their practices but on the same side, so that they can maximise the opportunities in the world that’s changing right now. And this is the win-win concept -on one hand we need good financial returns but at the same time that could come with the environmental and social outcomes that would benefit everybody. And that’s this real concept of active ownership that we work on here at AXA Investment Managers.

Yo Takatsuki: This is a company where I found people with very similar views to me. And there was a corporate commitment to responsible investing and active ownership. But it’s not all easy. There are a lot of challenges that we are faced with as part of is it in ensuring that the influence that we are using is being genuinely put to somewhere where we can have an outcome that we can measure and we can report on. We are increasingly trying to analyse and better understand what these issues are. And the information isn’t always out there. So there are big hurdles that we still need to overcome. We are working hard and it’s really for the betterment of society, it’s for a better tomorrow.

I am Yo Takatsuki; I am AXA IM.