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Finalists announced for the first Mindful Money Awards

The finalists for the inaugural Mindful Money Awards have been announced and cover a wide range of leading Kiwi companies and individuals keen to make an ethical mark on the world of finance and investment.

Friday, May 28th 2021, 6:00AM 2 Comments

by Matthew Martin

Mindful Money's Barry Coates.

Mindful Money founder and chief executive Barry Coates says he was thrilled by the almost 50 entries received from the industry when entries closed on May 10.

Coates says a total of 48 entries were received over the seven categories.

"We were initially getting a bit worried about the slow response...but by the end of it, we were very pleased with the quality of all of those responses.

He says there has been a huge leap in standards among leaders in ethical and impact investment.


"Now the best investment providers are avoiding companies that do harm, influencing corporate practices and shifting funds into companies that are creating positive social and environmental impact.

"That is a massive step forward over the past two years. The public can have confidence that the leading ethical funds are doing good and doing well.”

A panel of 25 independent expert judges have assessed the entries and have produced a shortlist of finalists for the awards (see below).

The awards will be held alongside the first Ethical Investment conference and will be hosted by popular comedian Te Radar at Generator@GridAKL on June 29.

Coates says ticket sales for the awards and conference are tracking well with about half sold already.

"We would encourage people who are interested in coming not to wait too long to get their tickets and we're hoping to sell out and have a full house."

The conference will feature keynote addresses by Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank, drawing on his leadership in responsible investment and climate change at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund and the Reserve Bank.

A second keynote address will be made by Minister for Climate Change James Shaw who will put the urgency of action on climate finance in the context of the government’s climate strategy.

The conference panel discussion features Dr Rod Carr, chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, Bridget Coates, co-chairperson of the Centre for Sustainable Finance, Erica Finney, executive director of 350 Aotearoa and leading researcher and journalist Rod Oram.

Mindful Money has secured generous support for the conference, including Generate KiwiSaver and Mint Asset Management as the leading sponsors of the event.

Best Ethical KiwiSaver provider
The judges were excited to see a significant deepening of ethical practices among the leading fund providers saying this is a significant change from even two years ago.

The finalists are:

- Booster
- Generate
- Mercer
- Pathfinder
- Simplicity

Best Ethical Retail Investment Provider
The judges looked for best practice through funds avoiding sectors of companies that do harm or cause high ESG risk - engaging to improve company standards, channelling funds into companies with higher standards, demonstrating a commitment to ethical investing, and earning good returns.

In each of these areas, there was an emphasis on tangible outcomes and verified evidence of best practice.

The finalists are: 

- AMP Capital
- Booster
- Harbour
- Mercer
- Pathfinder

Best New Ethical Fund
The judges welcomed the ways the new funds have deepened the practice of ethical/responsible investing. Each of the finalists has combined several strategies, such as exclusions, engagement and tilting the portfolio towards better companies.

The finalists are:

- Booster
- Harbour
- Mint
- Pathfinder

Best Impact Investment Fund
Investment that makes a positive difference to people and the environment, while earning a financial return, sounds too good to be true. The entries are of high quality and show the huge potential of this rapidly growing sector.

The finalists are:

- Community Finance; providing finance for social housing at scale
- Impact Enterprise Fund; combining impact investments with a high target rate of return
- Purpose Capital; combining the power of commercial investment with the expertise of the philanthropy
- Soul Capital; impact first investing driven by community needs, resources and aspirations

Most Effective Fund for Climate Impact
The judges were impressed by the way both funds have stepped up to the challenge to mobilise finance for climate solutions, identifying exciting opportunities for climate impact coupled with financial returns.

Both funds undertake extensive research and due diligence on potential investments and have well-developed systems to assess climate impact.

The finalists are:

- New Zealand Green Investment Fund
- Climate Venture Capital Fund

Best Ethical Financial Adviser
The judges were impressed by the quality of the entries and the client-centred approach evident in the approach undertaken by all the entrants.

Each of the entrants proactively asked about their clients’ aspirations and values and reflected those in the advice provided. The standard of websites and communications was high across the board.

The finalists are:

- Ethical Investing NZ
- Money Matters
- Rutherford Rede

Best media reporting on ethical investment
There was a strong range of entries in the category of media coverage of ethical and impact investing, particularly from print media.

The finalists were able to demonstrate story-telling skills, engage with audiences, provide insights and education and generate positive impacts from their journalism.

The finalists are:

- Daniel Smith/Good Returns
- 'Deleted'/Stuff Circuit
- John Berry, in collaboration with Stuff
- Rob Stock/Stuff

For tickets to the conference and awards click here

Mindful Money is also grateful for the support of Devon Funds, Iain Rennie Consulting, Mercer Financial Services, Moneyworks and Trustees Executors, and Good Returns, media partner for the awards.

Tags: AMP awards Barry Coates Booster ethical investments Generate Harbour Asset Management Mercer Mindful Money Mint Asset Management Pathfinder Simplicity

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Comments from our readers

On 28 May 2021 at 9:54 am Pragmatic said:
An extraordinarily biased waste of time
On 2 June 2021 at 10:44 am Barry Coates said:
Thanks for your comment, Pragmatic, but it's a shame to see the rather tired bashing comments. The world has changed. There is a huge audience out there (advisers and institutional investors, as well as retail investors) searching for good practice in responsible investing, and concerned about a lack of clear standards. This awards process is a way to celebrate those demonstrating best practice supported by evidence and verification. Congrats to the funds, financial advisers and media who have entered the awards and especially to the finalists. It's time to be positive about this massive change in finance.

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