Wall Street Investment Firms Promote Socially Responsible Investing

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Impact investing represents a growing segment where the investors back businesses that combine both financial and social returns. The number of investment funds that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors has gone up from just 55 in 1995 to 925 in 2014, registering a growth of 1,600 percent. The total value of assets invested in such funds has also increased from $12 billion in 1995 to $4.3 trillion in 2014.

Some of the leading Wall Street investment firms are promoting the benefits that sustainable impact investing has in their investment platforms. Morgan Stanley says that they will expand the investing with Impact Platform through new products and innovative thematic portfolios to meet increasing client demand for new opportunities. The firm has set a five-year target of $10 billion in total client assets through impact investments.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management stated in 2013 that the company recognizes that ESG factors can affect investment performance, expose potential investment risks, and provide an indication of management excellence and leadership. The United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) is at the core of the global sustainable and responsible investment movement. 

According to Merrill Lynch, managers representing 15 percent of the world’s investable assets committed to socially responsible investing in 2013 and managers/strategies representing over $45 trillion in assets committed to investing through the UNPRI in 2014. The UN invites companies to apply to become a signatory to the UNPRI if they can show demonstrable commitment to responsible investment. The current signatories to the UNPRI include 288 asset owners, 884 investment managers, and 187 professional service partners.

The growing interest in sustainable impact investing is not limited to the United States. Globally, assets under management incorporating sustainability strategies reached $21.1 trillion as of the beginning of 2014, representing a jump of 61 percent over 2012. This was revealed in the “Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014,” released recently by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. 

Source: Forbes

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