In brief

Our education programme aims at ensuring a level of sustainability competence among our investment professionals.
Close to 40% of our portfolio managers have passed the CESGA exam.
An analysis shows that Danske Bank CESGAs represent no less than 36% of all CESGAs in the Nordics.

How do we as an asset manager respond to the increased regulation of the responsible investment area combined with expanding and more complex demands from our customers?

“Investing in the competence of our portfolio managers is key, and at Danske Bank we have worked systematically with the training and education of portfolio managers in recent years,” says Peter Lindström, Chief ESG Specialist at Danske Bank Asset Management and responsible for the ESG training programme for our investment professionals.

A recent analysis puts Danske Bank in pole position when it comes to the training of investment professionals within ESG – at least in the case of the Certified ESG Analyst (CESGA) programme from The European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS). According to the analysis from sustainAX, Danske Bank CESGAs represent no less than 36% of all CESGAs in the Nordics.

It has been said many times before but is worth repeating: The EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance will reshape the financial industry completely in the coming years. The unprecedented scale and scope of regulatory initiatives affects all of us in the asset management industry.

– Peter Lindström, Chief ESG Specialist, Danske Bank
Our two tracks
In 2018, Danske Bank established an education programme with the long-term aim of ensuring a level of sustainability competence among our investment professionals.

According to Peter Lindström, our programme essentially adopts a two-track approach:

 The one serves to ensure competence and knowledge related to specific aspects of responsible investments, most often related to Research & Insights and Data & Tools. This track is organised internally, featuring focused sessions with an internal or external trainer.

 The other track ensures a more comprehensive understanding of responsible investment in general.

“In 2020, we decided to opt for the CESGA, which we thought offered the most comprehensive and relevant programme on the market. We also initiated preparation classes for the CESGA exam, led by Professor Alexander Bassen from the University of Hamburg, who is one of the founders of the certification,” says Peter Lindström.

As per end of 2021, close to 40% of all portfolio managers at Danske Bank Asset Management have passed the CESGA exam.

The future
Peter Lindström explains that in the coming years, Danske Bank will continue to work with CESGA and have even more portfolio managers certified.

“We have also evaluated other external certifications as a potential complement to CESGA, and are now offering the SASB Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential to portfolio managers and are in the midst of assessing other options,” he says.

In terms of the more internally oriented training (i.e. the first track mentioned above), Danske Bank will make some parts mandatory for all investment professionals in order to support regulatory developments.

“This will not fundamentally change anything, however, as we have seen great participation rates in our training programmes in recent years. Nevertheless, it sends a clear signal to our customers that this is something we view as an integral part of our asset management business,” says Peter Lindström.

This publication has been prepared as marketing communication and does not constitute investment advice. Note that historical return and forecasts on future developments are not a reliable indicator of future return, which may be negative. Always consult with professional advisors on legal, tax, financial and other matters that may be relevant to assessing the suitability and appropriateness of an investment.