Dennis Hall, director and CEO of Yellowtail Financial Planning, Julia Dreblow, founder of SRI Financial Services and Frank Potaczek, head of UK proposition at Architas met in London to discuss different types of investor attitudes towards sustainable and responsible investing.

In the second video of the series, they talk to Julian Marr, Editor of Professional Adviser about how different types of investor (from client through to institutional) view environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).

Hall: “I don’t think investor attitudes have changed for me. There has always been a core of clients wanting to invest ethically. When I met my clients in their 40s and they are now in their 60s that hasn’t changed. What I wasn’t able to do was satisfy their desires and give them the pricing and performance they were looking for. Today I can, and I can now satisfy their needs. But I am not seeing more clients, actively moving into sustainable and responsible investing than say, 20 years’ ago.”

Dreblow: “I think it is a supply and demand issue. I think a lot of it is driven by legislative and regulatory change. Things like the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, and the fact that now the government is growing the area of sustainable finance in order to fund green energy. There is also the Corley Report on social impact investing, things are changing, and the government is encouraging these things. Regulatory change will happen in the next couple of years.

Dreblow adds: “There is a lot of growing awareness. Women we find are slightly more interested in men in these issues, I wouldn’t say men are disinterested, and younger people with their educational differences compared to the older generation are also.”

Potaczek: “I am not seeing a difference between retail and institutional investors. I think it is good to analyse things from an institutional perspective. A lot of fund managers are looking to incorporate ESG integration filter into their processes. If you look at the UK and compare it to other European countries, the French are adopting it as part of their legislation – the Paris Climate Agreement. However, retail-focused consumers are now getting enthused by it. If you look at some research for instance, the BBC’s reports about plastics in oceans, then there has been the emissions scandals with diesel cars. These occurrences are influencing people to ask are there alternative investments?”

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Further reading on this topic:

Who invests in ESG, is it worth it?