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Interest grows in ethical options

New Zealand fund managers and advisers are switching on to responsible investing, it has been claimed.

Wednesday, March 9th 2016, 4:43PM

David Beattie

Grosvenor’s two SRI KiwiSaver funds became the first to gain certification under the Responsible Investing Association Australasia (RIAA)’s recently revamped certification standards last week. Adviser Peter Lee also signed up with the organization.
New Zealand representative Matthew Mimms the focus this year would be on expanding the RIAA’s appeal within New Zealand.

He said there was growing understanding that responsible investing did not mean sacrificing returns. Being a member of the RIAA would give advisers access to information and the benefits of the group’s public advocacy.  “The overarching purpose is to increase the amount of investment in responsible investment areas, based on the assumption that’s a good outcome. If you are a professional investor, an adviser or a fund manager and you agree with that goal, it’s a natural alignment to do that.”

Grosvenor chief executive David Beattie said they have had a very positive response to their SRI funds and he would expect that to increase with the RIAA certification.

“A particular subset of investors is dedicated in wanting to follow their ethical beliefs through into their investment practices. We think this certification will encourage such investors.”

Investor interest in SRIs has grown significantly since fossil fuel companies have been filtered out, he said.

After applying fossil fuel filters to their funds, 30 companies were dropped off the Grosvenor SRI funds register.

“There has been a good response to that. Such SRI strategies are only getting more popular and more attractive to investors.”

Beattie many investors were still getting their heads around ethical investing.

“But both our analysis and RIAA analysis show it a growing trend globally. So we are optimistic that growing numbers of New Zealand investors are going to be attracted to SRI funds.”

Grosvenor is the only KiwiSaver provider with SRI funds certified by the RIAA. It already has three RIAA certified “Investment Series” SRI funds.

The RIAA, which is an Australasian body, is building its RIAA certified product list into a fund-finding web tool that is scheduled for launch in mid-2016.

Tags: Grosvenor Financial Services investment KiwiSaver

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