Client interest in environmental, social and governance criteria for investment strategies is strong and will continue to grow, a Pensions & Investments/Social Investment Forum survey of investment consultants shows.
Fifty-six percent of consultant respondents reported increasing client interest in environmental, social and governance investing during the past 12 months, and 88% predicted growing interest in the next three years, according to the survey that was released today.
“This isn't a flash in the pan,” said Meg Voorhes, SIF deputy director and research director. “There was near unanimity that clients' interest in ESG criteria would grow …”
Two-thirds said the recent economic crisis didn't affect their clients' attitudes about ESG issues, and nearly one-fourth said the crisis raised their clients' interest.
However, just 22% of the consultants discuss ESG investing with their clients as standard procedure; 71% discuss ESG only when clients ask.
The forum surveyed 40 consultant firms with assets under advisement ranging from $100 million to more than $1 trillion, using P&I's investment consultant database.
The Social Investment Forum is a 400-member organization including investment managers, pension funds, foundations and broker dealers.
The survey was conducted in September.