Friday 21st October 2016                 Change text size:

Morgan Stanley sets up sustainable investment body

Insider Monkey via flickr

Financial services giant Morgan Stanley has launched a new institute that it hopes will help mobilise private capital towards sustainable investment, and direct $1 billion to the sustainable growth of communities.

The US firm’s new Institute for Sustainable Investing will focus on providing products to clients who wish to invest in sustainability-related fields that balance the needs of the planet and society with financial returns for investors.

It will also start a dialogue with NGOs, private and public sectors to develop best practices for sustainable investing and launch a sustainable investing fellowship at Columbia Business School in New York to train graduates.

Audrey Choi, new CEO of the institute, said, “As the world’s population grows toward 9 billion and beyond, meeting the exponentially growing needs for quality education, healthcare, housing and security will far outstrip current models of business, government or philanthropy.”

The institute has committed to create $10 billion (£6.2 billion) in total client assets over the next five years and invest $1 billion (£620m) in sustainable community initiatives to provide affordable housing and education.

After being involved in a series of controversial incidents in the past, Morgan Stanley has recently begun to integrate ethics and sustainability into its clients’ portfolios.

The firm’s CEO James Gorman said, “Morgan Stanley is in a unique position to harness the capital markets to help address the most pressing challenges facing society today, connecting governments, investors and businesses with the capital to execute at scale. 

“Our philosophy is clear – the most effective solutions to sustainability challenges are those that can be brought to scale.  Our clients are increasingly turning their attention to what it takes to secure the lasting and safe supplies of food, energy, water and shelter necessary for sustainable prosperity.”

Further reading:

What gets measured gets managed: sustainability in 21st century business

Bank of America pledges $50 billion worth of sustainable investments

90% of investors say CSR and sustainability reports are ‘essential’

Out for redemption: Morgan Stanley looks to values-driven investments

Sustainable investment sparked by protests

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