Whether you call it Socially Responsible Investment, Responsible Property Investment, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) or any variation on this theme, we are increasingly seeing financial services organisations taking their responsibilities seriously.
It is clear that the value of ESG risk assessment and the rigour this imposes on organisations, not to mention the moral and ethical responsibility of investors to ensure they are seen to be responsible, is no longer purely the preserve of committed environmentalists.
Of course there are still organisations who play lip service at best to to social and corporate responsibility, which is seen as an annoying distraction from the important business of making money. Nonetheless there is a growing trend to incorporate ESG more fully into business operations. Whether this is a result of trying to improve reputations in the wake of the “Banker Bashing” in recent years or a genuine acceptance that a company which takes ESG seriously is also likely to be well run and a good risk, the end result is certainly a positive one.
The type of people working in the sector are no longer restricted to desk based Analysts or Finance specialists either. There is a growing realisation that Investors need to bring on board practical, specialist individuals in order to contribute to their due-diligence of new investments and to support the businesses in which they already have an interest. As a result there have been a number of consultants and in-house specialists moving into the Financial Services sector recently.
These development have resulted in an increasing number of ESG and related mandates from a range Finance Sector businesses in recent times, a trend we can only see continuing.
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