We need much more passionate people with a purpose, focused on creating long term absolute value for all stakeholders
INTERVIEW - Meet the editorial board: Lars Dijkstra
Dominic Barton invites Lars Dijkstra as the next participant in this ‘relay interview’. His reason: “Lars Dijkstra and Kempen Capital Management are leaders in the push for longer-term thinking in the investment space.”
What is your personal motivation to SHIFT TO?
'I am personally committed to improving the imbalance in short term/long term thinking between asset owners, asset managers and corporates. And, in the extention thereof, improvement in the allocation of capital by acting as engaged long term shareholders in public companies. I’m convinced this is the best way we can create value for all stakeholders.'
How does this fit into your professional ambitions?
'As CIO of Kempen Capital Management I have put a lot of effort in minimising the agency issues between asset owners and asset managers, as well as maximising the impact of long-termism through engaged ownership between asset managers and public companies. These last five years I have done this on a national level with colleagues in the Netherlands, and internationally via The 300 Club and FCLT Global.'
In your opinion, where should the financial industry be in seven years’ time?
'There are a lot of passionate people within the asset management industry. However, most of them are very busy within the zero-sum game of outperforming benchmarks. In the future we need much more passionate people with a purpose. And this purpose should be focused on creating long term absolute value for all stakeholders.'
Who should we definitely hear from in this newsroom?
'Mark Walker, CIO of the Unilever Pension Trust in the UK.'
Which issue is most urgent in your view/field of work?
'How we get from all the good long-term talking to actual long-term walking. We need to get rid of the practical barriers. This takes time because most of our brains are still wired for the short term risk/return orientation of efficient markets.'
Extra question from Dominic Barton: “What is one specific thing that your organisation is or could be doing, to advance the cause of SHIFT TO?”
'Together with asset owners and corporates, we will provide a platform to real life best practices and examples to follow, in order to accelerate the ‘walk’ to long-termism.'
Lars Dijkstra invites: Rients Abma as the next participant to this ‘relay interview’.
Reason: Rients Abma has done a lot of good work over the years as Director of Eumedion to improve corporate governance in the Netherlands.
And adds one question: "How can Eumedion contribute even more in lowering the barriers for long-termism? I.e. minimising the agency issues between asset owners and asset managers, and maximising the impact of long-termism through engaged ownership between asset managers and public companies?"
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?’