Soliane Varlet is a portfolio manager at Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers that is dedicated to sustainable investing. She’s been with the group since 2005 and passionately shares its belief that finance should address environmental and social challenges through innovative investments that pursue positive impact and financial performance.

In 2019, Soliane launched the Mirova Women Leaders fund – a social impact fund to promote women’s access to top management positions in companies. The fund targets global companies that aim to contribute to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on SDG 5: gender diversity and women empowerment.

Soliane still manages the Women Leaders fund and remains highly engaged in all aspects of diversity and inclusion. But she has also added to her remit, becoming co-PM of the Mirova Global Sustainable Equity fund as well as co-managing portfolios for Mirova’s International Sustainable Equity fund and US Sustainable Equity fund.
Soliane Varlet

Soliane Varlet

Portfiolio Manager
We try to practice what we preach in terms of gender diversity, and diversity of thinking too. Our different experiences all feed-in to what the investment is supposed to achieve.

When did you begin your career in sustainable investing?
I started off as a financial analyst on the sell side. Then I joined Ostrum Asset Management in 2005 as a buy side equity analyst. I was working with all the PMs and sitting not too far from the SRI fund manager. From there, I kind of naturally evolved into the portfolio manager role, working directly with sustainable equity portfolios from 2008 onwards.

How does sustainability continue to motivate you?
It’s an investment area that is very aligned with my personal values. This is probably what really gets me going in the morning. I mean, I'm really into financial analysis. I like getting stuck into the details, the numbers. And when I can combine the financial part with my personal values, both from an environmental and a social point of view, it really is a perfect combination.

For instance, I believe passionately that increased gender diversity, especially in senior management, can have positive financial impacts and create social good. It’s why I was so happy about launching the Women’s Leaders fund in 2019. Gender equality is one of the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations. It’s a massive challenge in society in general, but it is also still a genuine challenge in the world of work.

What makes Mirova different from other sustainable investors?
Something that is essential to the success of our investment teams, and I think also a good proof point of what we do at Mirova, is how our team is designed. We are all highly complementary in terms of backgrounds, focus, diversity and perspectives.

For instance, Jens Peers, who is CIO and co-portfolio manager on the Mirova Global Sustainable Equity fund, has a background more on the environmental side. In the past he developed and managed several thematic strategies, including water, agribusiness, and clean tech. Meanwhile, Hua Cheng, who is also co-PM, is originally from China, tri lingual and has experience working in Asia as well as Europe.

My experience is more on the social side, particularly through my role launching and managing the portfolio on the Women Leader’s fund. We are seeing that investors increasingly want to have an impact to help transform society.

But we are all working together as portfolio managers, as financial analysts, and extra financial analysts, and as product specialists. So, the performance of the funds is really the result of teamwork. It's never the product of just one or two people. All our people are very passionate and experienced.

And we really try to practice what we preach in terms of gender diversity, and diversity of thinking too. Our different experiences all feed in to what the investment is actually supposed to achieve. And I think it’s a very important ingredient for continued success, to be able to work with so many different people, and to be able to challenge each other every day.
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