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Fair Pensions

Ethical investment: failing to keep up?

Our latest survey ranks ethical fund providers on how responsive and responsible they are. The ethical investment industry can and should be leading the way in improving corporate behaviour. Yet many providers seem to be stuck in the past: applying a traditional screening approach to an outdated set of ethical priorities.

We found a clear ‘top five’ who perform well across all the areas we surveyed. These providers take their ethical offering very seriously, are engaged with the complexities of today’s ethical concerns and have a clear commitment to using their shareholder rights to support the fund’s ethical objectives.  We urge the rest of the industry to learn from these leaders.

UPDATE 17.12.12. Following representations from SVM Asset Management, we have made some small adjustments to the scores of SVM and Family Investments. SVM's score has increased from 13 to 15 and its position in the ranking has changed from joint 19th to 18th; Family's score has increased from 15 to 17, and its position in the ranking is unchanged.

How did your provider score?

Scores out of 60

F&C Investments              56  
2=  Standard Life 53
2= WHEB Asset Management 53
4 The Co-operative Investments  49
5 Jupiter Asset Management 48
     
6 Rathbone Unit Trust Management 41
7 Ecclesiastical 36
8 Alliance Trust Investments 35
9 AXA 32
10 Henderson Global Investors 30
11=  Kames Capital 29
11=  Legal & General 29
11= Royal London 29
11= Scottish Widows 29
15

Aberdeen Asset Management

27
16 Seven Investment Management 20
17 * Family Investments 17 
18 SVM Asset Management   15 
19 * First State Investments  14 
20 * Premier Asset Management 13

Click on the provider's name to see their detailed scorecard.

* Family Investments, First State Investments and Premier Asset Management did not participate in the survey, and so their scores are based on publicly available information only.

Each provider was scored on:

  • transparency: do they disclose enough information to enable customers to make an informed choice and to understand what is being done with their money?
  • screening processes: the extent to which they ensure that their ethical criteria reflect their customers’ priorities and are rigorously applied
  • stewardship and engagement: their commitment to using engagement both to protect the financial value of the fund’s investments and to promote their customers’ ethical values
What is engagement?

Most of the providers surveyed offer equity funds. These operate by buying shares in companies. As owners, they then have the power to control how the company is run. ShareAction (and many others) believe they also have the responsibility to ensure that companies are well run, challenging management when necessary.

 

You can download the full questionnaire we sent to providers here.

 


Please note that nothing on this page, or anywhere on the ShareAction website, consitutes investment advice. If you're thinking of starting to invest, or changing your fund, always speak to an independent financial advisor.