It is very important to pass on the sad lessons we learned during the Global Financial Crisis, so as to prevent society from repeating the mistakes that were made
INTERVIEW - Meet the editorial board: Fieke van der Lecq
Jaap van Dam invites Fieke van der Lecq as the next participant in this ‘relay interview’. He chose Fieke, because she is a member of the Dutch Social Economic Council, she could draw attention to long-term investing in a different way.
What is your personal motivation to SHIFT TO?
Working in the pensions domain, I am familiar with taking a long-term perspective. This holds for the plan members, as well as the boards of trustees.
However, in the investment realm it seems difficult to share this perspective and shift things to a longer horizon. Let’s help the industry gain more appreciation for attempts to consider the long term future of the world we live in.
How does this fit into your professional ambitions?
Personally, I try to align my actions with the working hypothesis of reincarnation. This brings in an extremely long term perspective, as we may return many times, in many places, after our current lives. What kind of planet and humanity do we want to return to?
In your opinion, where should the financial industry be in seven years’ time?
There should be full consistency of promises and deliveries. Transparency in reporting is a means to this end. Some modesty in remuneration for people in financial organisations may be worth considering, too.
Who should we definitely hear from in this newsroom?
Educational institutes and professors of universities; they feed students and professionals with the latest knowledge and understanding. It is very important that they also pass on the sad lessons we learned during the Global Financial Crisis, so as to prevent society from repeating the mistakes that were made.
Which issue is most urgent in your view/field of work?
To prevent the financial sector from going back to business as usual, but instead adopting the ‘new real’, that includes all externalities of the financial sector to the real economy.
Extra question from Jaap van Dam:
As a member of the Dutch Social Economic Council, how can you draw attention to long-term investing, and accelerate this shift in the financial sector?
The independent (‘crown’) members of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER) sit on committees that advise on issues which are related to both the ESG affairs and the economy . Societal as well as governance issues are core business to the SER, and for many years now, environmental issues are on our agenda, too. Amongst other things, I am involved in designing pension reforms, as well as international responsible business conduct. The latter committee works on covenants of sectors, such as the banking sector and the insurance sector, who want to foster responsibility throughout their production chains.
Reason: Marieke is an expert in human rights law. Human rights are of utmost importance. Investors may not realise what they can do to improve the abidance to human rights across the globe.
And adds one question: “How can investors make a difference to people whose human rights are being violated?”
The members of the editorial board of SHIFT TO all have professional but also very personal reasons to join this initiative. In a ‘relay interview’ we learn more about their motivations as they ask each other: ‘Why do you want to SHIFT TO?’