Millennials Set to Influence Sustainability in Business and Investing

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – According to Accenture, over the next few decades, millennials are going to be the recipients of as much as $30 trillion in assets in the US alone, which are expected to pass to them from the baby boomer generation. With so much wealth heading their way, this digital-savvy Generation Y is the focus of new efforts to encourage them to save and invest responsibly.

Millennials are less interested in traditional forms of investment, and are more likely to want to invest in companies and products that have a smaller environmental footprint or have robust ethical policies on employee diversity and fair wages. Matt Christensen, global head of responsible investment at Axa Investment Managers, says that millennials are more likely to question the carbon holding of their investment portfolio and how much damage it may be causing to the environment.

Encouraged by this developing trend, investment companies are now focusing on educating and informing young people about new ways to invest. Pictet Asset Management has launched a web page called Mega that produces a range of videos and information on topics such as robotics and energy efficiency. Pictet uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram to promote products and ideas as millennials are more likely to use social media than the now middle-aged Generation X.

Axa has been shaping its products to adjust to this changing outlook and demand for more environmentally and socially friendly products. It has a Green Bond fund, which is geared to environmental concerns, and a human capital fund, which assesses companies on the fairness of their recruiting and health and safety policies.

According to Catherine Doyle, head of defined contribution at Newton Investment Management, over the next 10 years, millennials may become more interested in investing because they will be moving nearer to retirement. In other words, millennials are likely to have a greater influence on the investment industry in the way it shapes and develops its products over the next 10 years and beyond.

Emma Douglas, head of defined contribution pensions at Legal & General Investment Management, says that gradually, as millennials become more influential in terms of numbers and the amount of money they are investing, it may lead to big changes in the investment industry to reflect their preferences and tastes, whether for digital products or more environmentally focused portfolios.

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