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24th
Nov
2020

‘Managers will lose our money if they don’t play ball’

Duncan Glassey

Let’s begin with the assumption that we all want a better world, to be part of the solution not part of the problem; to make capitalism better… for people, planet and profits.

While some funds’ Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) credentials are better than others, WealthFlow is handing asset managers a deadline to adopt an international responsible investment standard.

For some advice firms, ESG investing has long been a no-brainer. Others have had it brought to their door by concerned clients and have been forced to act. A few still think it is a buzzword they hope will eventually disappear.

Earlier this month, WealthFlow announced it had signed the United Nations’ (UN) Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Signatories voluntarily agree to adhere to a set of investment principles for incorporating ESG into their investment practices.

Find out more – www.unpri.org

To meet the UN’s PRI, financial services firms should incorporate ESG factors into their investment analysis and decision-making processes. They should also seek appropriate disclosure from firms they invest in, as well as report on their activities in implementing the PRI themselves.

WealthFlow will now only use funds whose custodians are signatories of the PRI.

Duncan Glassey, Managing director at WealthFlow Group Limited, says ‘The goal is to make capitalism better. We are concerned that many investment firms conduct what people now refer to as greenwashing. This is why our approach has been more considered and careful,’ he says. ‘We think the PRI is a great initiative. It’s a framework that will allow us to hold our fund management groups and ourselves to account.’

Glassey agrees that ESG investing is still ‘very subjective’. Advice firms use different scoring metrics for ESG funds, meaning that taking one agency’s rating over another can be dangerous. The devil is still in the detail.

‘We’re not setting out to badge our portfolios as sustainable,’ says Glassey. ‘We simply think that every investment manager needs to take ESG issues seriously.

‘We think monitoring and engaging with them is the best way forward, as well as encouraging good behaviour among fund managers and asking them to use their votes in the right way.’

Glassey says that while ESG is important, it means different things to different people, and there is no consensus about how best to approach it. WealthFlow will use the UN’s PRI to form its view on how best to invest clients’ money.

There is no doubt that, even if it is early days, WealthFlow has made an earnest start.

Andrew Vipond
Partner – Vipond Philip

From an interview with Duncan R Glassey, Managing Director – WealthFlow.

 

This article is distributed for educational purposes and should not be considered investment advice or an offer of any product for sale. This article contains the opinions of the author but not necessarily the Firm and does not represent a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed. Past performance is not indicative of future results and no representation is made that the stated results will be replicated. Errors and omissions excepted.

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© 2020 WealthFlow Group Limited
All Rights Reserved | Privacy | Cookies Policy

Registered in Scotland No SC635011. Registered Office: 15 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 8HA.

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
For your protection, unresolved complaints can be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service