Thursday 24th April 2014                 Change text size:

FTSE answers ESG demand with launch of service unit



Photo: Paul Wilkinson via Flickr

The FTSE Group has launched an environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) service unit – a move that it says is a “direct response” to growing calls from the investment industry to incorporate ESG issues.

Former HSBC head of electronic trading, Kevin Bourne, is to be installed as managing director of the service unit. Head of FTSE’s responsible investment team David Harris will also have a role, as will Gordon Morrison, who like Bourne, has experience at HSBC.

Mark Makepeace, chief executive of the FTSE Group, said, “We are delighted to have both Kevin and Gordon on board. They bring extensive expertise on ESG analytics and economic impact modelling.

I am very proud with what David and the responsible investment team have achieved and these appointments will allow us to more effectively support clients looking to integrate ESG into their investment decisions, and to manage the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

A growing number of private and institutional investors want to see ESG taken into account when making investments. Investing in ethical funds is just one of the ways that they can do this.

There are now around 750,000 people across the UK who put money into ethical investments, and the number of high net-worth individuals – people with at least around $1m in investable assets – has increased by 35% since 2008.

Speaking to BusinessGreen, Harris, who is also vice-chairman of UKSIF, said, “We’ll be putting ESG into the investment context to model how it affects investment risk and return.

When we started in this area 10 years ago, we were serving a relatively niche investor community but now we’re working with both pension funds and fund managers that are looking to integrate ESG risks in their investments.”

Blue & Green Tomorrow’s recent Guide to Sustainable Investment will help you explore the notion of investing with a conscience yourself.

Further reading:

Investors worth $3 trillion call out corporate sustainability failures

UNPRI recruit Lansons to push ESG efforts

Study highlights scale of Europe’s responsible investment


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