Author: Maha Khan Phillips
Marie Lassegnore, CFA, is a portfolio manager at La Française
Lassegnore had studied both mathematics and, later, finance and management, and in 2013, became a summer intern at what was then Aberdeen Asset Management. Afterwards, she was invited to join the graduate program, working as a graduate analyst in global fixed income. In October 2015, she became a portfolio analyst, with a particular focus on ESG and low carbon strategies.
“The ESG concept is not that old in credit, and I’d seen how the market had grown, particularly in the green space. I started to think about how we could build a low carbon strategy, to finance companies while minimising the impact to climate change. How do you structure such a strategy in a global credit portfolio, which has a more traditional approach? That’s what I did, and as a result, I built my area of expertise within Aberdeen,” she explains.
In addition to her work in fixed income, Lassegnore became a spokesperson for green financing at the company, representing Aberdeen at COP23, and talking about managing environmental risks. “It wasn’t my core job, but it gave me a lot of side experience,” she explains.
In 2018, she was poached by La Française in Paris. “They needed to build their expertise in green finance, as well as manage some of their European investment grade portfolio, and it was a new challenge for me, to be able to implement ESG somewhere where it hasn’t been traditionally employed,” she says.
Lassegnore, who was a finalist in the Young Investment Woman of the Year category at the Woman in Investment Awards 2018, believes that all companies need a sustainable strategy and should measure and understand their environmental and social impacts. “I would also ask companies to demonstrate how they have integrated sustainable approaches which start from their governance structures, for example, the ESG incentives of their boards and management. In some industries, it is pretty commonplace to put targets in place around extra financial factors. But in others it isn’t.”
In her free time, aviation is an avid hobby for Lassegnore. “When I was sixteen I started flying planes, and I quite enjoy acrobatic flying. I hadn’t been able to train that much while I was in the UK but I’m hoping that now I’m back in France I can spend a bit more timing doing this,” she says.