Sustainable investment on the increase

Published by Lee Hayward on 15 October 2020

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There is an increasing demand from investors looking to generate a return from investments that are managed in a more responsible way, with a focus on sustainability.

Lee Hayward explains how Kreston Reeves Financial Planning can help.

Socially responsible investing is not new, dating back many hundreds of years driven then by religious beliefs. Those with money to invest may have done so to affect positive change on local communities and society.

But in today’s more complex financial landscape it can be hard for individual investors with a social conscience to make the right choices. How do you, for example, determine what impact an energy company has on the planet, or whether a global manufacturer treats its staff and suppliers in developing countries in a way you would like?

The investment community, including Kreston Reeves Financial Planning, has responded by constructing portfolios that carefully balance an individual’s investment preferences with their attitude to risk and capacity for loss.

The starting point is to spend time with our clients to truly understand their personal situation, priorities and preferences.

We recognise that not all investors are the same. Some will hold passionate views on areas like the environment, treatment of people, and the manner in which a business is run. Others may be happier with a broader mandate and fewer restrictions. Our approach is built on understanding the priorities of our clients to ensure that we achieve the closest match possible from their investment portfolio.

Investment portfolios can consist of a range of funds and/or individual stocks, designed to meet the client’s requirements, whilst at the same time addressing the need for diversification in order to mitigate risk.

Many funds are given what is known as an ESG rating. ESG considers the Environmental, Social and Governance factors that measure the sustainability and societal impact of a company.

There are, however, many different ways of applying an ESG rating, and whilst the agencies that apply these ratings can be useful points of reference, the data has its limitations, and it is worth asking your financial adviser to explain the process they use when constructing their sustainable portfolios.

Kreston Reeves Financial Planning has an investment committee that uses external data, but in addition likes to quiz fund managers about their ESG offering directly. We still like to see the whites of their eyes!

Many investors will simply want to invest more sustainably than perhaps they have done to date. Others will be very particular about certain industries or even companies that they wish to avoid.  We can provide solutions for all points along this scale.

Kreston Reeves also takes a responsible approach to the way it runs its own business holds itself accountable against four of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – good health and wellbeing, quality education and training, reducing inequality, and climate action. This is on top of meeting a further seven UN Sustainable Development Goals including responsible production and consumption, gender equality and sustainable communities.

In 2018, the firm created its own Kreston Reeves Charitable Foundation, where money raised by staff is distributed to its chosen charities. In 2019/20, over £18,000 was awarded to local charities in Kent, Sussex and London.

Contact our Financial Planning team on +44 (0)1227 768231 or provide your details on our online enquiry form if you would like to discuss investing, or an existing investment portfolio.

The content of this article is for information only and does not constitute formal financial advice.

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