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Australian insurer turns $91 million in premiums into impact investments

QBE has pooled $91 million from its Premiums4Good initiative, which allows customers to invest 25% of their insurance premiums in social infrastructure, impact bonds and environmental initiatives.

It’s a small share of the insurer’s £20 billion in investments, but the company expects it to become a growing part of its portfolio.

QBE launched the initiative at a time when company profits were falling, due to low performing investments. “It was not a case of, can we afford to do this? It was: can we afford not to do it, because this is exactly where business as a whole is going and we want to be a part of it,” says QBE’s Grant Clemence.

QBE isn’t the first to dabble in the impact realm after lower-than-expected performance of its traditional investments.

Last month, Luxembourg’s Fonds de Compensation pension fund launched two sustainability bonds, while parts of its global equity and bond portfolios were underperforming.

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