With just over seven weeks until this year’s National Ethical Investment Week (October 13-19), we’ll be catching up with a different financial adviser that specialises in ethical investment in the run-up to the event.
So far in this series, we’ve featured Ethical Futures (Edinburgh), Green Financial Advice (London) and the Ethical Partnership (the south, Midlands and Yorkshire).
Next up is Gaeia. One of its financial advisers, Helen Tandy, answers our questions.
What are you hoping for at this year’s National Ethical Investment Week?
We hope to be able to reach out to the many investors who have an interest in or are concerned about the environment, Fairtrade, organic and sustainable products and employment welfare issues. People don’t necessarily link what they have in the bank, their pension or investments to having the power to influence the large fund houses to adopt more sustainable company policies and socially responsible practices
What did you get out of National Ethical Investment Week last year?
We always use the week to reach out to existing clients, potential new clients and other advisers through our work with the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) and the Ethical Investment Association (EIA), and raise awareness of ethical and environmental investment.
This year we are organising two seminars – one in London on Monday October 14 and one in Manchester on Wednesday October 16 – and are sponsoring an event at the Manchester Literature Festival on Tuesday October 15.
How has ethical/responsible/sustainable/green investment changed in the past 12 months? What trends have you noticed?
It’s been a shame that some of the fund providers have cost cut in the areas of ethical funds, although this has brought forward a few new players which is encouraging. Ethical funds have performed well in the last year and investments in the UK’s green and ethical funds are now in excess of £11 billion.
People are gradually becoming more aware of the impact their money can have – just look at the success of the Move Your Money campaign. Here at Gaeia, we’ve noticed an increased in the number of individuals wanting to know more about ethical and social impact investment.
Tell us something interesting about you or your firm that investors/clients might not already know.
This year, Gaeia is celebrating 20 years in business. On September 26, we’re having a celebration at Band on the Wall, where we’ll also be helping launch the Band on the Wall Foundation. It’s a great cause and means that many young people throughout Greater Manchester will have the opportunity to change their lives through music. For more information see www.bandonthewall.org.
Why should an investor seek ethical/sustainable/responsible financial advice from you?
Gaeia has been committed to giving global and ethical investment advice since the very beginning. Our advisers are all committed to a sustainable future in our personal lives and find the area of ethical financial advice to be a very rewarding one. We can support clients’ plans for the future, help them support their children and grandchildren through further education and ensure they have enough income when they retire, whilst at the same time supporting their ethical views and principles.
We are really looking forward to supporting the Blue & Green Tomorrow financial adviser bootcamp this year, and think it’s a great project. We’ve always encouraged other advisers to engage and learn more about the ethical sector.
I feel strongly that if someone wants to invest in ways that mirror their ethical views , they should be encouraged to do so and not put off by financial advisers who may not have the necessary specialist knowledge. It’s a shame that the wider financial advice industry has still not fully engaged with the concept of ethical and socially responsible investment.