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Sustainable investment: Join The Fry Group at a free seminar on 4 April

14:36 01/03/2019
Ahead of the seminar, Ed Read Cutting, Director of The Fry Group (Belgium), looks at why a younger generation of investors is insisting on ethical funds

As Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI) becomes mainstream, it continues to be a hot topic. Youngsters (often referred to as millennials) understand and care about the economic and environmental challenges of today’s ethical choices for future generations.

The values and attitudes of this tech-savvy demographic are different from those of previous generations. Notably, millennial savers are twice as likely to want their pension to be invested responsibly.

In October 2017, a YouGov (global public opinion and data company) poll reported that 57% of those with a pension believe investment managers have a responsibility to ensure holdings are managed in a way that is positive for society and the environment. 

It said 76% didn’t know how much of their pension was invested ethically and 30% believed they had “no say” in how their assets were invested. This means that the investment community in general and financial advisers in particular have a responsibility to address the concerns of these socially and environmentally conscious investors.

But do we live in a world where it is only students who are leading the way in trying to tackle climate change? If you scratch the surface a little you will see that there is also a regulatory push. The question of course is whether this is too little too late.

Adrie Heinsbroek from NN Investment Partners in the Netherlands is a keynote speaker at the Fry seminar on 4 April. The head of responsible investment believes that recent events are making businesses sit up and listen, as outlined in his recent report Who bears the cost of climate risk and when.

With fingers pointing at the uninsulated power conductors of The Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) as being behind the 2017 to 2018 Californian wildfires, PC&E faces “an estimated $30 billion in potential liabilities resulting from the fires”, which also resulted in a collapse in the company’s shares, says Heinsbroek. 

He points out that it is company shareholders, bond holders, customers and the Californian State who theoretically bear most of the ‘costs’ of climate risks. This is a financial risk that is being borne and doesn’t answer the ‘too little too late’ question unless there is a change in behaviour patterns of all the aforementioned stakeholders.

Like NN Investment Partners, The Fry Group offers both SRI investment and pension solutions.  In Belgium, the latter includes leading campaign organisations such as WWF, Greenpeace and ClientEarth.

Find out more about The Fry Group’s SRI and pension portfolio at the free event it is holding in the EU quarter. Registration is open.

Doing Well by Doing Good - The Investment Logic for Sustainability
Responsible Investing Seminar
April 4, 18.30-20.30
The Atrium
Rue de la Science 14B
1040 Brussels

Top photo: Gettyimages/Boonyachoat. Middle photo: Belga