Investment priorities are changing. More people are not only concerned with the returns they can make on their savings, but also what companies do with the money they invest in the funds. Socially responsible investing, also known as ethical investing, is any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social good to bring about a social change. In 2016 1,380 investors with almost $78 trillion in assets adopted responsible investment practices.*
The Friends First Stewardship Ethical Fund offers investors the opportunity to make a positive contribution to society as well as investing for profit. Managed by BMO Global Asset Management, it is one of the longest established ethical funds in the Irish market.
The fund manager
Ethical concerns are also evolving and in particular the approach taken to climate change. BMO Global Asset Management has recently announced it will exclude all companies with fossil fuel reserves (non-renewable energy sources such as crude oil, coal and gas) from its Responsible Funds range, as part of an updated climate change policy. Having said this, it is not just about what is excluded. On climate change, as with other issues, these funds aim to positively direct capital towards companies operating in a sustainable way, or delivering solutions to global challenges, including climate change.
BMO Global Asset Management’s Responsible Funds range has a set of ethical and sustainability criteria governing which companies the strategies can invest in. These criteria are set by the Governance and Sustainable Investment team. Regular engagement with the companies within the funds is a cornerstone of their responsible approach.
Key portfolio characteristics
- Provide capital growth by investing in an ethically screened and diversified portfolio of global equities.
- Invest in companies making a positive contribution to society and the environment.
- Avoid investment in companies with damaging or unsustainable business practices.
How to access the Friends First Stewardship Ethical Fund
The Stewardship Ethical Fund is available across the Friends First suite of Pensions, Approved Retirement Funds (ARFs), Approved Minimum Retirement Funds (AMRFs), Savings and Investment products.