Fund EcoMarket expanded to include ESG Integration and Responsible Ownership
Posted on: June 10th, 2016
Fund EcoMarket hub expanded to include ‘ESG Integration’ and ‘Responsible Ownership’ fund manager information
Fund EcoMarket, the online, whole of market ‘sustainable, responsible and ethical investment’ (SRI) fund hub, has introduced two new areas to highlight how corporate level fund manager activity can help meet investors’ aims.
Fund EcoMarket’s purpose is to help financial advisers and individual investors understand the ethical and SRI options that are available today. Fund entries are split into eight SRI Styles to help users understand their core features.
Two newly researched SRI Styles – ‘ESG Integration’ and ‘Responsible Investment Ownership’ – have recently been added in response to increasing interest in ‘environmental, social and governance’ (ESG) issues and increasing ‘behind the scenes’ fund manager activity – often across both ethical/SRI and conventional fund options.
Most of the entries on this (free to use) directory relate to sustainable, responsible and ethical fund specific information. These two areas are exceptions as they relate to behind the scenes ‘corporate level activity’.
Fund EcoMarket now includes additional information for the following fund managers:
Alliance Trust Investments
BMO Global Asset Management (formerly F&C)
EdenTree Investment Management
Henderson Global Investors
Sarasin & Partners
Standard Life Investments
WHEB Asset Management
Corporate entries are displayed as text, filter options and links – as supplied by fund managers. This gives fund managers the opportunity to explain additional activity that compliments their screened and themed SRI and ethical fund options – and can help advisers match individual investors to suitable fund managers.
Research relating to these areas is segmented as follows:
‘ESG integration’ which sets out the different ways in which fund managers’ research ‘environmental, social and governance’ risks – typically prior to making investment decisions. Such activity is often intended to improve risk management and may apply across all or most of a fund manager’s investment assets (typically ‘funds’).
‘Responsible Ownership’ whichsets out how fund managers use their position as investment ‘owners’ once they hold a particular asset (eg shares). This includes investor ‘stewardship’ strategies such as dialogue with investee company management and shareholder voting. Such strategies are typically intended to enhance business success for the benefit of longer term investors. This often applies to a substantial proportion of a fund manager’s investment assets (eg ‘conventional’ as well as ‘ethical’ funds) and is most commonly applied to equities.
Commenting on why this information has been added to fund EcoMarket and how this helps advisers and their clients, founder Julia Dreblow said:
“Fund managers’ strategic level decision making and vision matters a great deal to many investors – particularly those saving for the longer term, who understand and care about sustainability related issues.
Activity such as ESG research and responsible share ownership can also be important points of differentiation. Not only can strategies of this kind help attract interested investors, but they can also improve risk management and help future proof investments by encouraging better longer term business practices.
Adding ‘ESG Integration’ and ‘Responsible Ownership’ fund manager information is an important development for Fund EcoMarket as it widens investor choice whilst also deepening our users knowledge of how active ‘active managers’ really are in this regard.
People’s aims and opinions are highly diverse. We are not wishing to imply that any single strategy suits everyone, but there are areas like shareholder voting and understanding where fund managers stand on sustainability issues (such as exposure to carbon intensive industries) that people are very interested in now. This free resource helps financial advisers and others to learn more about what fund managers do so that they can make better informed, tailor made investment recommendations and decisions.”
Commenting on the eight SRI Styles Fund EcoMarket uses she added: “we have segmented the entire SRI market in to eight SRI Styles in order to make this area easier to understand. Although approaches vary greatly within each segment there are common threads and once you understand them this field makes a lot more sense. Our online fact find questionnaire helps users work out which styles best match their personal aims. Although we do not list specific funds in these styles – as such activity typically relates to asset types not funds – publishing ‘ESG Integration’ and ‘Responsible Ownership’ strategy information helps advisers understand those managers that are active in these areas – which can help portfolio planning.”
About the new Fund EcoMarket ‘ESG Integration’ and ‘Responsible Ownership’ research
The companies shown above are not the only investment companies involved in these areas. We aim to gather additional company information over time. We are grateful to the companies listed above for their prompt responses.
Although there are additional large fund managers who are involved in this area we also suggest users check out ‘Boutique/Specialist Fund Managers’ (as listed within the ‘Features’ filter on www.Fund EcoMarket.co.uk) as ESG/RO may be integral to their business strategy.
We recognise that different investors have different aims. Our aim is therefore to encourage openness and transparency so that advisers and others can identify appropriate options for individual investors – and better understand what fund managers set out to achieve in these areas.
We believe that investors have a significant role to play in encouraging the shift towards more sustainable business practices and lifestyles – and that this can benefit business, investors and wider society. Fund EcoMarket aims to help highlight market leading practices.
To find ESG and Responsible Ownership entries on Fund EcoMarket go to the ‘Product’ filter field, select ‘Corporate Activity’ option and then ‘Refine fund list’. (Select relevant options and save or print if required.)
Fund EcoMarket is a unique free to use adviser friendly, whole of market directory of all onshore, regulated, retail ethically screened/SRI themed fund options – plus a number of additional entries, including those described above.
The tool was set up to raise awareness of such options – primarily amongst financial advisers.
Fund EcoMarket segments all ethical/SRI options into SRI Styles – which help users understand the key features of relevant options.
Fund EcoMarket is the brainchild of Julia Dreblow of SRI Services, who also offer additional adviser support and SRI consultancy.
Fund EcoMarket has been developed thanks to support from Alliance Trust Investment, Rathbones, Pictet, Sarasin & Partners, Quilter Cheviot and Triodos.
Fund EcoMarket offers an online ‘SRI StyleFinder’ fact find questionnaire to help users identify their preferred SRI Styles. The tool also offers reporting functions for adviser audit trail purposes.
Fund EcoMarket has six filter fields which can be used individually or together: Fund/fund manager Name, Investment Type (eg asset), Product (eg OEIC/Life, Pension, IT – plus new area – ‘Corporate level Activity’ ). SRI Style, SRI Policy, Other (SRI) Features.
Julia Dreblow is the founder of adviser support site sriServices and the Fund EcoMarket fund hub. Julia has specialised in this area since the mid 1990’s. Prior to running her own business Julia was SRI Marketing Manager at Friends Life and a director of industry association UKSIF. Known for her passion for this area her aim is to raise awareness of this area through online tools, consultancy and partnerships. Link to Biography here.
sriServices and Fund EcoMarket were shortlisted for the Corporation of London Sustainable City Awards in 2015 and 2016 – and Highly Commended in 2015.
The new ‘open to all’ version of Fund EcoMarket was launched in November 2015.