Canaccord Genuity Wealth has launched a trio of environmental, social and governance portfolios, exclusively available on the Embark platform.
The firms announced today (January 12) that financial advisers using the Embark site will now have access to the risk-rated range, which focuses on positive impact programmes actively benefitting society and the environment.
David Esfandi, chief executive of Canaccord, said: “Our offering on the Embark Platform marks a significant advance on the more traditional ethical investment funds, focusing less on the traditional exclusion of ‘bad practices’ and more on positivity and sustainability.
“This partnership combines our experience and knowledge in the field of ESG investing with Embark’s dedication to delivering the best client outcomes.
“With the ever-growing focus on ESG issues that has only increased during this pandemic, we can build something we can all be proud of, engaging advisers on these issues aligned with their ambitious investment outcomes.”
The range, which costs between 0.86 and 0.92 per cent, is designed to focus thematically on different components of ESG as a means of creating a diverse and robust portfolio, hoped to drive long-term performance and avoiding restrictions to a single sector or region.
It is aligned to risk profiling from Dynamic Planner — with DT risk ratings of four, five and six — and has been given a Defaqto five star stamp.
Peter Docherty, chief executive of the Embark Platform, said the firm was “extremely pleased” to be hosting Canaccord’s latest ethical offering, stressing it was “essential” the business continued to reflect the changing priorities of both young and old investors.
Alan Lakey, director at Highclere Financial, said the move would resonate with many advisers who were looking for a convenient alternative to fund selection in the ESG space.
He added: “One of the problems that advisers have to deal with relates to what is socially responsible. Could a subsidiary of a tobacco manufacturer be deemed socially responsible or is it eternally tarnished by the antics of its ultimate owner?
“Advisers will therefore be placing their trust in Canaccord to deliver appropriately.”
Martin Bamford, head of client education at Informed Choice, agreed advisers would be attracted to the offering, saying advisers needed to take “real care” when it comes to the sustainability credentials of the funds or portfolios they recommend.
ESG investing has boomed in popularity in recent years as fears over climate change have led investors to consider the impact of their money and as a growing number of millennials have begun investing.
2020 was a record year for ESG inflows, and fund houses have been quick to capitalise on the growing interest with numerous portfolio launches.
Sean Taylor, head of intermediary services at Canaccord Genuity, said: “Covid-19 has led to a significant reappraisal of what matters to people.
“ESG is now at the forefront of their investment thinking – and as such we look forward to helping advisers navigate their way in the new ecosystem.”