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Investment Association Responsible Investment Framework announced

November 18th, 2019

The Investment Association’s long awaited Responsible Investment framework launched today (18 November 2019).

Although I am yet to digest the detail, this looks entirely constructive to me.

The IA team have differentiated between different fund options sensibly {thereby avoiding the ‘binary thinking trap’) and recognised the relevance of both individual funds and fund management companies.

In particular I like their use of the term ‘Responsible Investment’, which I feel is non controversial – and very much welcome the fact they will be pulling together more data on fund flows in this area.

Links to their ‘just published information’ are below:

 

The quote I issued to the media last week (whilst the report was embargoed) is below in case you wish to see my ‘further comments’:

‘This looks like a really useful document.  It is hard work to come up with a system that is concise, not misleading and has wide agreement – but the IA appears to have achieved this – so well done to them. The way they have set this out avoids treading on the toes of existing more granular projects like the EU taxonomy, whilst setting the parameters within which both investment houses and individual funds can sensibly claim to contribute to the sustainability agenda.   

Debate will no doubt continue in some areas, for example it does not push the point that to be ‘responsible’ impact, stewardship and ESG integration activity should be as positively oriented as possible – or indeed that some fund houses are entirely sustainability themed. But it does set solid foundations from which such issues can be explored and articulated and indeed its simplicity will most likely be the key to its success.  

I would however question their claim of being the first such initiative as our Fund EcoMarket SRI Styles,  which are broadly similar, were launched in 2011 and the (also similar) GSIA classifications have been around for some years too.  But that is not to detract from the usefulness of this work – the strength of which lies in it having been agreed by asset managers with over £7 trillion under management – which is no mean feat!’

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