F&C Investments is celebrating 30 years of responsible investing by announcing the relaunch of its responsible investment capability. The company notes that over the last three decades investors are becoming increasingly interested in active ownership and engagement, rather than simply screening out unethical firms.
The firm, which agreed to a £708m takeover bid at the beginning of the year, launched Europe’s first responsible investment fund in 1984 and now manages around £83 billion in assets. A survey conducted by F&C found that 27% of investors rate investing responsibly as one of the most important factors when considering an investment, with an additional 11% citing ethical or green areas, demonstrating how much the sector has grown.
The relaunch of F&C’s responsible investment capability aims to address the increasing investor demand for responsible investment solutions. Subject to regulatory approval, the firm will announce new names for its ethical and sustainable funds as well as appointing a new high-level responsible investment advisory council.
Vicki Bakhshi, director at F&C Investments, commented, “Demand for responsible investment solutions if growing all the time, but our research shows that in today’s market, robust ethical and sustainable screening is just one element that clients are looking for.
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“Our new ‘responsible’ fund positioning recognises how expectation in this area have grown over the years – today it’s not just about what you own, it’s also about how you own it.”
The firm added that in 2013 it engaged with over 700 companies across 47 countries in order to use its investor influence to encourage best practice in a range of sustainability issues.
F&C state that environmental, social and governance issues are now “material to long-term company performance” in its 2013 Responsible Investment Report. The report also notes that responsible investment “continues to gather momentum globally”, driven by investor values, risk management and the introduction of stronger codes and standards.
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