Every year we email the UK universe of financial advisers to get their views on the advice market and sustainable investment. 348 financial advisers completed the sixth annual Voice of the Adviser survey over a seven-week period. Three quarters of advisers get sustainable investment advice requests.
73% of advisers get sustainable investment requests from 14% of their clients meaning a market size of just over 10%. Those clients then put 59% of their portfolio in sustainable funds. The primary motivating factor for investing sustainably is to avoid profiting from activities the investor finds unacceptable. More advisers disagree than agree that maximising financial return is the sole aim of investment and to investment sustainably compromises performance.
Clients keen are most to divest from: Arms, Tobacco, Poor Enviro Practices, Adult content, Animals used for cosmetic testing, and Human Rights Abuses. Clients are most keen to invest in: Renewable Energy, Fair Trade, Recycling and Clean Technology.
Ecclesiastical/EdenTree is the most popular sustainable fund recommendation followed by F&C and Kames.
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John Fleetwood, 3D Investing, said: “Whilst it’s encouraging to see that almost three quarters of advisers get requests for advice on sustainable investments, the number of requests remains a fairly small percentage of the overall advice market.
“Not only this, but most advisers declined or were unable to name even one sustainable investment provider, indicating that the level of knowledge of the sector is generally low.
“This underlines the need for an easy sustainable investment solution for advisers since it forms a relatively minor part of their overall business, and affirms our strategy of helping advisers to deliver a sustainable investment portfolio for their clients in a cost and time efficient manner.“