Amidst the plethora of ETFs, index trackers, value, growth and absolute return financial products offered to individual and institutional investors it is easy to forget that at the end of the day they are all ultimately invested in shares of individual companies.
Many investors will be as surprised as the Church of England was by their links to Wonga in the nature of these underlying companies. That is if they can actually uncover what they own. For very few investment companies do disclose the underlying holdings in their portfolios, even to large institutions. ‘Here’s our top ten – just trust us with the rest’ is deemed to be sufficient. It’s analogous to the food industry refusing to disclose all the ingredients they use.
We believe that this is not good enough and have long provided our underlying holdings on request to our clients. We now list all our equity holdings routinely on our website for all to see. This is especially important for investors in our Sustainable Future funds – given they want to be invested in more sustainable companies, while avoiding those which don’t meet our ethical criteria – but it really should be standard practice throughout the fund management industry. Transparency after all generates trust.
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