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SRI pays says local adviser

An Auckland-based adviser says clients are increasingly asking about Socially Responsible Investing (SRI).

Friday, December 15th 2006, 7:15AM
“Increasingly we have clients who are very aware of the issues relating to our planet and who ask about SRI or ethical funds at the first opportunity,” Grant Thornton Wealth Management director Roger Sutherland says.

He says the awareness and benefits from these types of investment are definitely increasing.

One of the criticisms of SRI investing is a perception that returns are less than what you can get from other investments.

“Returns of socially responsible investments are increasingly competitive and socially aware investors can do very well employing a double bottom line approach to investing,” Sutherland says.

On of the SRI funds Grant Thornton uses for clients has a long-run compound annual return over 10 years of more than 18.00%.

“These are very experienced managers and produce good consistent results.”

Sutherland says SRI is growing strongly in other countries. “Nearly one out of every 10 dollars under management in the United States today is part of a responsibly invested portfolio. In Australia, in the six years from 2000 through to 2006, SRI Managed Portfolios have now grown from $325 million to $11.98 billion.

This is an increase of 3,587%, he says.

Sutherland expects SRI investing will grow in popularity. “It is now clear that this is a long term trend in investment attitudes and performance and we fully expect to work with an increasing number of clients who see investment and sustainability as being inextricably, and profitably, linked.”

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