Pensions provider Scottish Widows has created an environmental sustainable and governance (ESG) team which will work with its investment managers.
The team will work with the managers to assess the ESG trends that may affect investments, and also with the boards of companies in which they are already invested to promote ESG principles.
The team, which was created with the help of consultancy the Wisdom Council, is led by Maria Nazarova-Doyle, who is head of pension investments at Scottish Widows.
The company said it is taking this action to ensure its products invest in line with the priorities of its clients.
Ms Nazarova-Doyle said: “We are committed to being a responsible investor through the investments we make directly, the mandates we have in place with our fund managers, and through our position as an asset owner.
“That’s why we are developing our fund offering in line with what our customers want, addressing the material financial risks and opportunities linked to ESG issues and offering an appealing fund selection range in line with the transition to a low carbon economy.
“Investors are increasingly looking for funds that not only meet their values and beliefs, but also offer a good return opportunity. We know they are interested in reducing carbon footprint and we want to understand more about what’s important to them.”
Tom Sparke, investment director at GDIM, a discretionary fund management firm, said he has noticed an increase in demand from advisers to know more about portfolios that are ESG compliant.
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