Sir Elton John has called on the financial services industry to focus more keenly on the 'social' aspect of ESG.
Lending his voice to a new report from LGBT Great, entitled ‘A New Frontier: LGBT+ Lens Investing for the 2020s’, the A-lister urged advisers with clients who want to invest in sustainable funds to consider LBGT+ inclusive companies.
The report, sponsored by St James’s Place and Northern Trust, suggests there is a big opportunity for the financial planning and investment industry in recognising the needs of the LGBT+ community.
With more people than ever before identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and non-binary, and over 90 per cent of the community saying that investing with an LGBT+ focus is important to them, the publication highlighted the creation of a huge LGBT+ market.
The report made the case that LGBT+ equality is a key part of sustainability and that businesses who are diverse and inclusive have been proven to experience financial outperformance.
It suggested that considerations such as LGBT+ inclusion increases business innovation and growth, highlighting that diversity and effective inclusion brings greater levels of innovation, fosters creativity and improves financial performance.
The publication also shone a light on the ability of adviser firms to set the LGBT+ agenda and expectations with fund managers and, through them, to magnify impact and create change.
John said: "We are delighted to see the investment industry stepping up its leadership for LGBT+ equality around the world. Our community still faces many challenges and we must work together to increase support, acceptance and progress.
"This report highlights how the industry can influence the LGBT+ diversity and equality agenda within both corporations and broader society.”
Iain Rayner, chief operating officer of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, supported John's sentiments.
Rayner added: “Our industry has a responsibility to help advance the equality agenda for the LGBT+ community. This research creates an opportunity to engage with senior company decision-makers and to encourage the development of LGBT+ inclusive equality strategies."
Anita Boniface is a freelance financial journalist
The FTAdviser Diversity In Finance Awards 2021 are now open for submissions, from individuals and companies who can demonstrate they have gone the extra mile in 2020 to improve diversity and inclusion and make their businesses better for clients, staff and the wider community.
For more information on the categories visit: FTAdviser Diversity In Finance Awards 2021.