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[The Wrap] Friendly fire in responsible investment space

Simplicity CEO Sam Stubbs may exclude munitions from the funds' investments, but he sure knows how to lob a grenade.

Friday, September 21st 2018, 1:49PM

by Philip Macalister

Sam Stubbs, Simplicity CEO

Simplicity CEO Sam Stubbs may exclude munitions from the funds' investments, but he sure knows how to lob a grenade.

His comments that fund managers running both screened and unscreened fund are hypocrites, really ruffled a few feathers; and fair enough too.

It was one of these cases where some of the comments made on Good Returns didn't make it through our moderation process.

RI was certainly a theme of the week, mainly because the annual RIAA conference was held in Auckland Tuesday.

In addition Harbour Asset Management portfolio manager Shane Solly made an interesting presentation yesterday on how important corporate behaviour factors are when selecting investments and how companies perform. We will have more on this later.

His argument is that Harbour doesn't label its funds "Responsible" however it has developed a Corporate Behaviour scorecard based on a wide range of ESG factors. There is clear evidence that companies with high CB scores also perform well.

Solly's presentation is a well thought out and intelligent response to Stubbs's grenade.

Sticking with this RI/ESG there was also some research this week saying animal cruelty was the number one issue. My guess is this isn't the big ESG issues that are being screened. 

Don't get me wrong, animal cruelty is a serious issue in society, but I doubt it has much traction when it comes to fund management and ESG screening. 

If there is a take out on RI this week it would be that the amount of information and new tools rolled out this week suggests that RI is truly becoming a mainstream investment topic which people are engaging in.

Next week we have the next OCR announcement from the Reserve Bank. We have surveyed the economists; Here's what they think will happen.

Over recent weeks you've heard a bit of talk about what's happening in the dealer group space. Here's a story about a new player in the market. [READ ON]

We're always looking to add new services for our readers. The latest is the Daily Brief newsletter. It's a summary of all the latest news from across Good Returns delivered to your inbox each morning. You can sign up HERE.

 

 

You can read Philip's blog here: http://www.goodreturns.co.nz/blog/

Tags: ESG Harbour Asset Management responsible investing

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