There were two notable success stories in the 2019 investment market: larger assets managers who saw their assets under management grow even further, and impact investing as a winning niche strategy built on increasing demand from investors aiming to invest with positive impact. Triodos Investment Management clearly benefited from this encouraging trend and realised an overall growth of assets under management of 18% (2018: 21%) to EUR 5.0 billion. This significant growth includes a decrease of the assets under management by EUR 102 million, as a result of ending the activities of Triodos Vastgoedfonds. The net inflow of funds was 11%. The investment funds overall gained 8% of their value following stock exchange movements in 2019. 2019 was also a very profitable year for Triodos Investment Management. The sale of a participation in Centenary Bank in Uganda, generated additional fee income and had a significant one-off positive effect of EUR 5.4 million on the net profit.
In 2019, Triodos Investment Management’s main focus was on strategy execution, more specifically on implementing the strategic goal to be the asset manager of choice for investors seeking solutions for building impact investment portfolios. By doing so, Triodos Investment Management remains competitive in an increasingly demanding external environment, whilst staying true to its aim to realise positive impact. In order to realise this ambition, Triodos Investment Management developed a more focused business development process, appointing a head of Product Development and strengthening its focus on solving investor’s challenges.
In addition, Triodos Investment Management expanded its activities in existing and new markets by, for example, increasing its exposure and sales capacity in Belgium, Germany and Italy. It also launched two new Impact Mixed Funds, completing the range of profile funds that invest in listed equities and bonds.
2019 was also a year of change, both from a management and operational perspective.
Firstly, Jacco Minnaar took over the position as Chair of the Management Board as per the first of January, following in the footsteps of Marilou van Golstein Brouwers, who left Triodos Investment Management as per 1 April 2019.
Also, an important development in 2019 was the process to end the activities of Triodos Vastgoedfonds. During an Extraordinary General Meeting of Shareholders on 17 December 2018, the shareholders in the fund voted in favour of the Board’s proposal to end the fund’s activities. In the third quarter of 2019, Triodos Investment Management successfully sold the portfolio of Triodos Vastgoedfonds and made a significant interim payment to the fund’s shareholders. Concluding the fund’s activities, including a final payment to shareholders, was executed early in 2020.
Finally, an important change also took place for Triodos Renewables Europe Fund and Triodos Organic Growth Fund. Both funds were initially domiciled in Luxembourg and were relocated to The Netherlands during the year. Although the funds remain unchanged, the relocation required approval by the fund’s shareholders. A large majority of the shareholders opted for relocation to The Netherlands and to remain invested in the funds.