Italian socially responsible fund manager Etica SGR has seen its client base grow 25% since the beginning of 2013, as well as a net profit boost of 338%, as ethical investment begins to flourish in the country.
The firm, which has among its partner the Italian ethical bank Banca Etica, now boasts a record number of clients – 30,884, which is a 25% increase since January 2013.
It had a net inflow of €80m (£68m) in the first six months of the year, deriving from its four valori responsabili (‘responsible value’) funds. It brought its net profits up to €240,000 (£205,000), a 338% increase compared to the same period in 2012.
Meanwhile, assets under management (AUM) went up to €597m, a €93 million growth over the previous year.
Ugo Biggeri, Etica SGR president, said, “Etica SGR keeps sending strong signals for the growth of ethical finance in Italy. The society is entering a three-year strategic development plan to strengthen its leadership in the Italian ethical funds market, by offering high-quality products and services.”
The firm’s excellent results meant its funds helped contribute to Italy’s economic recovery, by backing small business and entrepreneurs through a system of microcredit.
The positive ethical investment trend in Italy is mirrored in other European countries. In May, a survey revealed that assets under management in responsible investment funds across the whole continent had grown to €237.9 billion (£203 billion), a 19% increase since 2010.
This trend was backed up by the news that Austria, Switzerland and Germany had €120 billion invested in sustainable funds.
Italian fund management firm Natixis Asset Management’s Mirova division recently announced the launch of three new socially responsible investment funds, in an effort to boost the sustainable investment sector in the country.