Doing the right thing ‘is critical for the private wealth sector’

INVESTORS of all ages understand the positive impact of sustainable investing, according to an expert.

Sustainable Finance Week. (29653467)
Sustainable Finance Week. (29653467)

Giles Neville, chief executive officer of Cazenove Capital Channel Islands, also said that doing the right thing and with ‘intention’ was critical for the private wealth sector.

‘The trend towards sustainable investing might have been catalysed by the younger generation, but investors across all ages are understanding its positive impact,’ said Mr Neville.

‘What we need to do as an industry is do the right thing and do it in a transparent way. Avoid greenwashing.’

He was speaking during the second day of Guernsey Finance’s Sustainable Finance Week, when private wealth experts discussed the difficulties and opportunities of balancing a just transition with net zero ambitions.

The day covered the impact of family offices on sustainable investing in particular.

Rennie Hoare of C. Hoare & Co., a family-owned private bank, said the trend now was towards impact investing and building in impact across the whole portfolio rather than putting a small portion of capital towards philanthropy.

Families could be intentional with their impact investing, he added.

‘Private families have the opportunity to be passionate about a topic and they can think about how to bring in more capital into a particular social or environmental challenge.’

Oliver Gregson of JP Morgan Private Bank identified five key drivers creating change in sustainable investing – a changing world, investor preferences, public policy, risk and return, and greater availability of sustainable projects in which to invest.

He said the risk and return agenda had moved on leaps and bounds, with profit no longer the primary driver for private clients. Investors now understood this was what good looks like going forward.

Companies with high ESG [environmental, social and governance] ratings saw better returns and experience lower risk, he added.

Barnaby Molloy, a director of event organiser Guernsey Finance, said: ‘When Guernsey Green Finance was formed back in 2018 it was our intention to use the island’s five decades of expertise as a specialist financial services centre to translate our skillset across to the sustainable space and create a positive legacy for Guernsey in the mobilisation of capital flows.

‘The positive response we have had to our Sustainable Finance Week event from across the globe demonstrates how successful that aspiration has been so far.’

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