Interview with Marco Caldana, founder of the FARAD Group
Who is Marco Caldana, and what is the FARAD Group?
I was born in Italy, in Liguria, and then moved to Luxembourg, where in 2001 I founded the first company in the FARAD Group. Ever since, all the choices I have made and the directions I have taken to broaden our services – insurance broking, asset management, investment funds – and extend our business to several key European markets have been successful.
How to innovate a 20-year business in the financial sector? What are you working on?
As an exemplary innovation model, we own a unique B2B financial and insurance platform deeply tied to a sustainable impact finance.
For our 2017-2022 business development plan, we decided to focus on impact finance. We strongly believe – and we always have – that sustainable investments are key to ensure consistent returns in the medium and long run. This is why we developed a global strategy focused on sustainability, aimed to reach an ambitious goal: having 100% of our portfolios invested in ESG strategies, with our impact measured under the SDG standards (starting from the end of 2020’s second quarter).
As part of the most innovative initiatives promoted by GreenEthica by FIA Asset Management – the group’s management company, strongly centered on ESG strategies – we built a dedicated B2B global platform with databases, ESG scoring and sample portfolios, adjustable according to SDGs.
How has the sector of sustainable investments been doing?
Since January 2019, with Greta Thunberg’s speech at the Davos Forum, we have registered remarkable interest in sustainable investment solutions from our institutional clients, who need to meet their final customers’ ever growing demand. In Europe, the law is rapidly changing (the EU Green Deal, for example, or the taxonomy) in an attempt to define a common reference framework. We had already decided to take action back in 2017, by developing our own proprietary system where to include ESG and SDG standards.
In this respect, it is undoubtedly crucial to be able to distinguish businesses that are seriously making sustainable efforts from those that are simply trying to ride to wave.
Definitely. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to understand which companies, like ours, have actually and long been trying to work towards a sustainable finance with a solid, varied offer, and which are simply involved in greenwashing. This is especially true if one only considers the company’s size, which is clearly proportional to its spending capacity for a “green” appearance.
How to identify reliable businesses?
International certifications and recognitions, for example, are fundamental. In addition to being one of the first B-Corporations certified in Luxembourg (2017), we are a UN PRI signatory, and two of our funds have obtained an ESG certification by LuxFLAG (2017), an independent agency in Luxembourg. We have also been among the first to be listed on the Luxembourg Green Stock Exchange (2017).