What’s the big idea?

What are the big ideas and the big challenges for institutional investors in the decade ahead? Quintessence 2020, hot off the press, takes a look.

A new decade is upon us, but it will be some time before we know what the 2020s will be remembered for. The 2020 edition of Quintessence, BNP Paribas Securities Services’ annual magazine, looks ahead at some of the ideas, topics and challenges on the minds of institutional investors.

These include the hurdles to overcome in defining and integrating the “social” part of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing; a look at the remarkable first three years of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) from its Chief Financial Officer, Thierry de Longuemar; and cybersecurity in the quantum era.

Under the spotlight: COOs, private equity and negative yields

What does the future financial services COO look like? According to a survey commissioned by BNP Paribas, four essential attributes include: a focus on change management, a more commercial mindset, a more long-term growth mindset, and being a better communicator. Simon Olenka, Head of BNP Paribas Securities Services, UK & Middle East, explains why he believes “the future COO will have an even greater juggling act” than today.

” Quintessence 2020 looks at some of the ideas, topics and challenges on the minds of institutional investors in the year ahead. ”

In an in-depth look at how private equity funds are embedding ESG factors in their portfolios, Elizabeth Seeger, Director of Sustainable Investing at KKR, talks about the challenges her firm has had to tackle – with Alexandra Basirov, Global Head of Sustainable Finance for Financial Institutions Coverage at BNP Paribas.

Finally, with one-third of all government bonds worldwide in negative yield territory, including more than half of European government bonds, Pierre Mathieu and Robert McAdie, Cross Asset Strategists at BNP Paribas, consider the impact this is having on market risk and investment behaviours – and what influence factors such as demography and regulation will have on future rates.