ESG focus doesn’t mean slack returns

This article is part of
Sustainable Investing - October 2016

Matt Christensen, global head of responsible investing at Axa Investment Managers, says: “The millennial generation is bringing a different and more holistic approach to investment. These investors are becoming increasingly interested in the sustainability of their investments and whether they can use investment to do good – contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy or, for example, ensure their investments have measurable social benefits. They want to be able to utilise the power of their capital towards a demonstrably better world.”

Eric Cockshutt, responsible investment coordinator at Unigestion, believes there is another important demographic driving uptake of such funds. He describes this group as the “newly retired, more affluent and well-educated pensioners who have the time and interest in looking at how their plans are investing with regards to ESG factors”. 

“They are thinking about the legacy they leave behind, both in terms of assets and the state of the planet,” he adds. 

The next challenge for asset managers is convincing millennials and older generations to invest a significant amount in sustainable funds. If the industry can capture the interest of generation y and beyond, then sustainable investing may finally become common practice.

Ellie Duncan is deputy features editor at Investment Adviser