Nuveen - Opportunities for European Institutional Investors

  • |
  • 06 mins 00 secs
Rune Sanbeck, Senior Managing Director, Head of EMEA, International Advisory Services, discusses Nuveen's proposition to institutional investors, investment philosophy and attitude to risk, how integrated ESG is in their investments, what support is offered to clients and why investors should consider Nuveen for private assets.


PRESENTER: It has assets under management of almost a trillion dollars. It produces 78 million bottles of wine a year and it’s got a corporate history that involves running money for Albert Einstein amongst others. So, to find out more about Nuveen and its proposition for European institutional investors, I’m joined now by the group’s head of EMEA, Rune Sanbeck. Rune, there’s quite a lot of large US fund groups coming over to Europe, but in a nutshell what’s your proposition to institutional investors?

RUNE SANBECK: So we invest on asset classes, but we really distinguish ourselves when it comes to real assets and private assets. In these asset classes, we managed underlying assets in a very strong, with a very strong ESG footprint. So we’ve been doing this for 40 years, managing according to ESG. We’ve been managing for yield for the last 100 years. So that’s where we really distinguish ourselves. We do this as a private health firm and that also is a benefit to our investors. We tend to invest alongside with them in most of our products too.

PRESENTER: But why this particular focus on real and private assets at the moment?

RUNE SANBECK: The reason for that is that for the pension funds and institutional investors in general, they’re looking for a high yield or for a yield in their underlying asset classes. They’re looking for getting that in an uncorrelated way to traditional assets. And that is where we can find them. We find them in real estate. We find them in farmland, we find it in agriculture. We find it in infrastructure, private debt, private equity and so on.

PRESENTER: Well talk us through the investment philosophy and attitude to risk?

RUNE SANBECK: Yes. So Nuveen is owned by TIAA. TIAA is managing teachers pensions assets and been doing that for 100 years. And so that’s what influences the way we invest. We think a lot about long-term sustainable yield and that’s our force.

PRESENTER: So what are the resources you’ve got to manage money in this space?

RUNE SANBECK: So the resources are coming from the 14 affiliates that we run as investment companies. These 14 affiliates, they generally are located where their investments are. And since they’re so diverse, there’s also very different places they’re located in. Take our farmland for example, the farmland business called Westchester, we invest in our two million acres. So that’s more than a million football fields in farmland and we’re number one in the world doing that. They will have offices in Eastern Europe, in Brazil, in Australia and so on. If you take another one of their products being producing wine, where we produce more than 78 million of bottles of wine, we of course locate it so we can take care of those investments; the same with our real estate where we are located across the world and so forth. Our investment affiliates have people investment professionals where we invest our money.

PRESENTER: So each of these affiliates is responsible for different assets and they might run the money in slightly different ways.

RUNE SANBECK: Yes so they’re independent. We try to have the same values but different cultures. And we try to learn from each other, but fundamentally the underlying affiliate run their money and do their investments with the knowledge they have independently of the others.

PRESENTER: You focus really on the private and real assets, but tell me a bit more about the wider group?

RUNE SANBECK: Yes so as a pension provider we invest across all asset classes. So we’ve been investing in fixed income for over 100 years. We’ve been managing equity portfolios for over 65 years. So across the group we have a lot of competences that we bring to the marketplace.

PRESENTER: You’ve mentioned ESG a couple of times, how integrated is it into what you do?

RUNE SANBECK: So it’s fully integrated in the way we invest. It shows its way we invest in the various underlying asset classes. But on a high level two thirds of our investments follow the principles of the UN PRI. And we have been managing ESG products since 1990 but have had it as a part of the way we invest for more than 40 years. So it will show its way in different ways. So for example in Greenwood where we do wood investments, forest investments, we look a lot at being able to produce wood without taking down forests. So how do you do that: you make new forests and then harvest from that. Within the farmland we think a lot about how we can produce what we need to produce. In California for example on the wine fronts, where we will produce 78 million bottles of wine, we look at how to reduce the water and reduce the water by a third. So those are examples of how we implement ESG. So because of the real assets and private asset’s nature, it becomes much more tangible.

PRESENTER: We talked about the investment engine but what support have you got for clients on the ground?

RUNE SANBECK: So we have full support. Today we service our clients out of our London office, Frankfurt office and Copenhagen office. Further down the line, we will have a Luxembourg office in a couple of months’ time, but that’s where we serve these clients out from and have full coverage from client service and sales people there to help them.

PRESENTER: So, in summary, why should investors consider Nuveen for real and private assets?

RUNE SANBECK: Because our investment model is unique, because we have world class affiliates underlying taking care of these investments, focusing on delivering a yield in the longer run and in a sustainable way, often investing alongside our own assets.

PRESENTER: We have to leave it there. Rune Sanbeck thank you.

RUNE SANBECK: Thank you.