The last few years has seen a surge in investor interest and capital flowing into responsible investment funds, stocks, and ETFs. The heightened focus on sustainable investing, impact investing, etc, has seen a rise in the number of products available in the market to cater for investors seeking to allocate their capital into vehicles that promise a better outcome on a number of fronts, be it sustainability, climate change, social impact, and others.
There are several factors driving this interest, among them a frustration from lack of action in effecting change, regulatory changes, and a shift in perception that returns and an improved outcome, whether social, environmental or other, are not mutually exclusive. An increasing focus among consumers, investors and voters that climate change is a major area of focus and concern is also driving interest in responsible investing.
Pitcher Partners Investment Services has not sat idly by, developing internal processes and initiatives to better serve client needs in this area. During the past 12 months alone, Pitcher Partners Investment Services has developed an internal Responsible Investment Charter, outlining internal processes and procedures in offering responsible investment products to clients.
This has seen several investment process enhancements, efforts to improve how we analyse and review the data on responsible investment, and how we best avoid ‘greenwashing’ cases, where financial products look to take advantage of the hype around responsible investment areas, such as climate change, but without adhering to the best practices. The rise in responsible investing has seen numerous cases of greenwashing, and it is imperative for us to ensure that any claims made regarding responsible behaviour is adhered to in the products.
We have also completed several internal reviews of products that we have approved for client portfolios, and significantly added to the range of available products, by selecting numerous market-leading and unique investment products for inclusion on our approved product list.
As part of the roll out of our Charter, and the wider initiatives, Pitcher Partners Investment Services has also commenced a training programme, using a market leading training course to ensure that advisors and research staff are informed about the trends and facts within the responsible investing area. This is also to encourage ongoing debate and monitoring of developments within the responsible investing sphere
As part of the commitment to ensuring a high standard when it comes to responsible investing, Pitcher Partners Investment Services has joined the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA) as a member.
RIAA is a leading organisation promoting responsible investment and training for financial services firms. This has also begun the pathway to seeing several Pitcher Partners Investment Services advisors pursuing certification with RIAA.
Pitcher Partners Investment Services is committed to ensuring the highest of standards within responsible investing and is pursuing further developments over the coming months and years. Please do reach out to your Pitcher Partners Investment Services adviser if you wish to discuss any element of responsible investment in further detail.