Stockholm (NordSIP) – “Both millennial and female advisors anticipate an increase in responsible investing engagement with their clients.” So says Anthony Eames, Vice President and Director of Responsible Investing strategy with Calvert Research and Management.
Calvert Investments, which was acquired by Eaton Vance in 2016, has enjoyed a boost in its socially responsible product development and exposure among investors due to a fortunate convergence of an explosion of momentum and convergence of interest in ESG and impact investing, together with the Eaton acquisition.
There appears to be a gender and age differential in terms of the interest in Responsible Investment of both advisors and investors, with females and millennials demonstrating higher levels of awareness and engagement. According to research published in Eaton Vance’s Q2 Advisor Top-of-Mind Index, writes Financial Advisor’s Juliette Farley, 27% of advisors are currently discussing RI with clients. 44% of female advisors and 41% of millennial-aged advisors expect to increase RI investing recommendations, by comparison to just 35% of male advisors. “Millennial investors want to invest in good companies today, and don’t feel like there should be a sacrifice in terms of performance of building a portfolio to do that,” according to Eames. “Financial advisors need to be ready for their requests.”
The findings match research conducted by Moxie Future, the platform and company dedicated to the empowerment of women investors and sustainable investment, that with women now controlling 30% of the world’s wealth, they are also becoming increasingly concerned about the social and environmental impact of their investments. Moxie’s research finds that 69% of women consider it important that their investment and savings decisions reflect personal values and philosophies, which includes urgent action for sustainable initiatives.
In addition, “millennials’ beliefs and values will be the drivers behind the world’s political, social, environmental and economic changes,” a report from Deloitte Global finds, stating that the 75 million Millennials are poised to become simultaneously the wealthiest generation in the U.S. ever and the first attuned to socially responsible investment to such an elevated degree. A survey by Standard Life Investments showed 65% of U.S. Millennials care more about social and environmental issues than about investment returns, with Americans in the 25-35 age range expected to invest a trillion dollars over the next five years alone, (according to JP Morgan research), and $30 trillion in assets to be inherited by Millennials and the ensuing generation (according to an Accenture-CNBC study).
One reason may be that the traditional “male” approach might hold that creating a diversified portfolio of ESG investments is too arduous or expensive, but portfolio products are emerging to change the investment landscape. Calvert is in the process of developing additional options on the fixed-income and equity side, which will provide greater flexibility for investors interested in customised SRI investments. “We have active, passive, international, thematic, equity and fixed-income responsible investing options that we can deliver in different formats, depending on client needs,” Eames said.
“People want customised socially responsible portfolios based on their priorities like gender equality or environmentally friendly,” according to Mr Eames. “Calvert has a range of solutions that allow investors access to the global capital markets.”
Calvert’s thematic mutual funds, for example, include a focus on global clean water and global energy solutions. “We invest in labelled green bonds, including ones issued by the World Bank,” says Eames. “We also invest in asset-backed securities and structured securities that support environmentally friendly projects, such as Toyota’s asset backed security, which is financed by loans to hybrid electric cars.” Calvert has also introduced a line of low-cost, socially responsible indexes, and is in the process of developing socially responsible ETFs to meet investor and advisor demand.
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