Lombard Odier has become the first global wealth and asset manager to receive the B Corp certification, as recognition of its corporate sustainability.

The B Corp award is a globally recognised accreditation for ESG performance, and involves a stringent assessment of such things as people management and environment footprint.

B Corp is the initiative of non-profit organisation B Lab, and has been awarded to 2800 companies in 150 industries across 60 different countries.

B Lab co-founder, Andrew Kassoy, says: “Lombard Odier has been a pioneer in bringing impact to wealth and asset management.

“We hope that that their leadership will inspire many other financial services businesses to join the B Corp community and act together to use the capital markets for good.”

Sustainability standards

A statement from Lombard Odier has said that it will continue to work on its sustainability efforts in the years ahead, with plans to move to a new headquarters at Bellevue on Lake Geneva, with environmental standards and the quality of working conditions a priority. This is expected to be complete in 2022.

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“B-Corp recognition further demonstrates that sustainability is at the very heart of our investment philosophy and our corporate values,” says senior managing partner, Patrick Odier.

“For seven generations we have been constantly rethinking and innovating to secure the best future for the company, our clients and the next generation.”

ESG has been increasingly prominent on the financial services agenda in recent years. Caroline Simmons of UBS’ UK investment office recently stated that over 80% of the value of the companies in the S&P 500 is linked to their intangible assets, such as brand and reputation.

“That is the sort of thing that is more closely linked to your ESG performance, and I think that with the rise of social media, it is harder for companies to get away with bad practice.

“Companies are under greater scrutiny, and therefore I think that is a trend that’s here to stay,” Simmons added.