Australian Ethical see membership growth rocket

funds management ethical investment Australian Ethical

21 March 2016
| By Nicholas |
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Investors determined not to compromise on their beliefs are turning to responsible investment fund managers, Australian Ethical believes.

With data showing that investors do not need to sacrifice performance to invest their wealth in environmentally sound businesses, Australian Ethical chief executive, Phil Vernon, said the fund is experiencing significant membership growth.

Vernon said there were a number of factors driving the sector's growth, with climate change, a new breed of investors, and the poor performance of environmentally unfriendly sectors, identified as fuelling the demand for ethical investment options.

"The climate change debate over the last few years has driven a lot of it," he said. "We've got a broad ethical charter, but a lot of our investors cite environmental concerns as the top of their areas of concern.

"Secondly, the growing awareness that you don't have to compromise [on ethics or performance]… and I guess just the fact the coal and so-forth has been a bad place to put your money lately.

"Thirdly, the young guys just get it… [they] don't question it, it's just what we do… they don't even think that there might even be a compromise involved, or why there should be.

"It really is at the point where you look at this sector and you look at the way that you invest and you sort of go ‘why wouldn't you invest in a positive way for the environment, for the planet, and still deliver long-term investment returns?' That's what's driving the growth.

"It was only a few years ago we were seeing 80 new client a month - February was 860, so that's the sort of growth we've been on."

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