Platforms and responsible investing
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This paper brings together the perspectives gathered by HBU24 of financial advisers, investment managers and research houses who have provided their thoughts on the state of the market, how they are approaching responsible investing and the opportunities that lie ahead.

Responsible investing interest has grown from boutique to mainstream and the range of investments increase from not many to an ever-increasing amount to consider.  Of course, appealing to many clients, in the opportunity to align their values with investment choices.  Recent events, including the bushfires in Australia over summer and COVID-19, have brought into sharp focus what matters to them and how they interact with the world.

Yet despite the growth in responsible investments, the performance and the renewed vigor in which clients, financial advisers and investment managers are approaching this space, there remains an opportunity for all the facilitate more informed and insightful conversations around issue which can be complex and multi-layered.

Technology is playing a role in providing financial advisers and investment managers with new tools to demonstrate and communicate value to their clients.  They key is also the ability to better tailor portfolios to the need and values of their individual clients.

Platforms and now managed portfolios are playing an increasingly important role in this space, offering investors greater control and transparency over how they invest, through stock substitution capabilities.

The performance of responsible investments is removing barriers to investment.  Long-term track records are showing that investing in line with your values does not come at the cost of meeting investment outcomes.  Indeed, responsible investments have demonstrated some resilience in the current volatile market conditions, with the defensive sectors in which these funds generally invest - including health and medical services, technology and infrastructure - providing some diversification in these market conditions.

It is clear from the findings presented in this paper that responsible investing is an enduring trend with clients and one that is set to become the new normal as more clients seek education and in time, investment in this space.

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