A group of twelve leading consulting firms in the UK have joined to launch the Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group, aiming to improve sustainable investment practices across the investment industry. Members of the newly formed working group include Aon, Barnett Waddingham, Cambridge Associates, Cardano, Hymans Robertson, ISIO, LCP, Mercer, MJ Hudson Allenbridge, Redington, SEI, and Willis Towers Watson.
According to the group, members can act as a critical link between asset managers and owners, promoting further progress on sustainable investing, and enabling constructive action to address urgent systemic challenges, particularly in relation to climate change. To this end, the group has outlined six commitments for its members:
- Engage across a broad range of stakeholders, including asset owners, asset managers and regulators
- Seek investment outcomes which are genuinely sustainable and not treat sustainability as a tick box exercise
- Align with, and support, existing industry bodies and initiatives
- Support their respective clients who are too small to meaningfully engage with industry initiatives
- Create a guiding set of principles that indicate good practice with practical advice
- Be a body where regulators and other stakeholders can seek input when they need a view from investment consultants.
Initially, the group will explore six workstreams, including Reporting, Asset owners, Asset managers, Stewardship, Regulation, and Innovation, new products & impact investing.
Luba Nikulina, Global Head of Research at Willis Towers Watson, said:
“It is critical that we use our collective voice now to not only influence how the investment industry approaches sustainability; but importantly to provide greater clarity on what is needed and more support on what actions can be taken to make a tangible difference.”
Deb Clarke, Global Head of Investment Research at Mercer, said:
“Our clients are focused on ensuring that they generate their investment returns in a way that is sustainable and gives consideration to all stakeholders. Using the collective voice of the consulting industry to ensure greater transparency, consistency and support is an important step forward.”