My name is Gilbert Van Hassel I am 64 and married to Viviane. I have three adult children who all live in New York and I have a 1 year old grandson called Theodore. Since September 2016 I am Chairman and CEO of Robeco. Before I was a Member of the Board of ING Insurance and Asset Management and the CEO of ING’s Investment Management business. The first 25 years of my career I spent with JP Morgan in various leadership roles. I spent 1/3 of my professional life in Europe, 1/3 in Asia and 1/3 in the USA. I studied applied economics at UFSIA (University of Antwerp), obtained a MBA from the Catholic University of Louvain and became a MS of Finance at Purdue University (USA).
Nature, diversity, integrity have always been very important to me but I truly became an ESG convert when I joined Robeco. At Robeco we believe that understanding and integrating ESG factors in our investment process in the long run will lead to better risk adjusted returns. We strongly feel that our fiduciary responsibility is not only to create wealth but equally to make sure that we also contribute to well-being.
The covid-19 crisis and the almost inevitably following economic crisis has shone an even bigger light on ESG. To rise above this crisis we will need to move to a sustainable recovery/economy. A world where we take care of our planet, climate and biodiversity. A world where people get equal opportunities and where human rights are respected. And all this with good local, national and corporate governance.
A sustainable economy needs a sustainable reward framework. Not one where we stimulate leaders to optimize the next quarter’s results nor to maximize only shareholder value. A sustainable reward system stimulates long term value creation for all stakeholders: clients, employees, suppliers, shareholders and the communities in which we live and operate. A sustainable reward system not only creates wealth but also needs to stimulate the creation of well-being for the society at large. That is why ESG kpis are important to evaluate the success of leaders. This I truly believe.