RI demands highlight consumers’ super engagement

Growing consumer advocacy calling on superannuation funds to invest responsibly and ethically is highlighting how engaged Australian investors are, Responsible Investment Association Australasia chief executive, Simon O'Connor believes.

Launching the 2015 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report today, which highlighted the strong performance of ethical investments against benchmark funds, O'Connor said Australian investors were driving the growth in uptake of funds with environmental, social and governance (ESG) focuses.

"Consumers in ever greater numbers are awakening to the fact that you can invest prudently and profit without compromising your values, which is resulting in the growing retail interest," he said.

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"The notion that Australians are disengaged from their superannuation has started its terminal decline and we anticipate that this will only result in greater interest in these issues.

"Those investors who are taking account of environmental, social and ethical issues in addition to financial issues are well positioned to capture this wave of growing demand."

O'Connor said the Australian responsible investment sector accounted for more than $630 billion in assets, with advisers, superannuation funds and fund managers increasing their allocations to responsible investment options over the last 12 months.

The RIAA report found that interest in retail responsible and ethic investments had grown 24 per cent on 2014, to more than $32 billion, while Australia's largest institutional asset managers have continued to integrate responsible investment strategies, with almost $600 billion in assets managed being held under ESG integration strategies.

The top five funds with "significant" core responsible investments

Super fund

$m in AUM

Local Government Super

$4806

UniSuper

$1835

VicSuper

$793

Australian Ethical

$681

Christian Super

$642




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