UK’s founding B Corporations: EQ Investors

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EQ investors (EQ) provides financial advice and investment management services to individuals, small businesses and charitable endowments. The company was acquired by John Spiers, the founder of Bestinvest in October 2014. Based in the City of London, EQ’s three-dimensional investment approach checks attitudes towards impact as well as appetite for risk and return. Making a positive contribution to the wider community and helping people less fortunate than ourselves is a core part of their business philosophy.

Describe, in layman’s terms, what your company does in 75 words or less

EQ Investors (EQ) is a boutique wealth manager acting for private clients, small companies and charities all around the UK. We provide financial advice and investment management services to clients ranging from those savings £500 per month to those with over £10 million invested. We seek excellence in all that we do, placing the interests of clients ahead of all other considerations. Visit our website: www.eqinvestors.co.uk for further information.

In 140-characters or less what does being a B Corporation mean for your organisation?

We are honoured to be one of the UK’s founding B Corps and would encourage CEO’s of all businesses to consider taking the certification.

What were the biggest internal barriers to achieving B Corp accreditation?

Thankfully we didn’t encounter any major issues, a fully supportive CEO certainly helped! As all B Corps do, we went through our policies on employment, dealing with suppliers and impact on the environment to make sure these met the accreditation requirements.  We have been providing our positive impact portfolios since 2012 for clients who care about how and where their money is invested and this helped hugely in terms of scoring well in the assessment.

Will it change how you do business and/or who you do business with?

Making a positive contribution to the wider community and helping people less fortunate than ourselves is a core part of our business philosophy. We are certainly looking to work with the B Corp community. We have already hosted in partnership with ClearlySo (a fellow founding B Corp) an impact investing roundtable for B Corp members and promoted a group discount offer to B Corps for our newly launched investment advice service – Simply EQ.

There are 3,571,105 companies in the UK and 61 B Corps – how do we reach the point where every company in the UK is B Corp-ready?

The legal framework that allows people to form community interest companies has existed since 2005. It’s a matter of demonstrating that running a business in a sustainable manner and making profits are not mutually exclusive.

We need to get to the stage that there are enough B Corps listed on stock exchanges that their performance can be compared with competitors that are not prepared to sign up to trying to do things ‘the right way’.

Is corporate action commensurate with the environmental and social challenges we face, and responsibilities we have, as a one the world’s leading economies?

Absolutely and the burgeoning number of B Corps – is testimony to a growing feeling that change is needed and is on the way. The rise of impact investing in recent years is a sign that companies are keen to address some of the most pressing global issues. .

Any other comments?

Improving impact and meeting the highest standards of corporate purpose, accountability and transparency, helps B Corps build the most important asset: trust. If companies are interested in becoming a B Corp, a good first step is assessing their performance against dozens of best practices by using the free online impact assessment tool.