Research

We do our own research

We have our own in-house ethical research team, which is central to our commitment to providing investments that are ethical and sustainable. We do not want your values to be compromised by investments that do not meet these standards.

Our research team closely monitors the business activities as well as the social and environmental performance of companies, so we know who is leading the way and who to avoid. We meet with companies to make sure they do what they say and we ask the difficult questions.

Our research keeps us at the forefront of evolving ethical, social and environmental issues. Timely, balanced analysis from our research team helps our investment managers understand how new developments may affect clients’ portfolios and future investment choices.

Working with our in-house ethical research team, your investment manager will identify appropriate investments for your portfolio, integrating your financial and ethical aims.

Our ethical research team draws on an extensive range of resources such as corporate social responsibility reports, campaign group research, newsflow, academic studies and face-to-face meetings to monitor closely companies’ business activities and social and environmental performance.

Using this information, we will apply a range of techniques when selecting investments for your portfolio

  • Avoidance screening will enable you to avoid companies involved in activities that might specifically concern you, such as arms or tobacco, or companies implicated in human-rights abuse or environmental damage.
  • Positive selection will identify investments you want to support, for example companies involved in renewable energy technologies, recycling, education or social housing.

To broaden the range of eligible investments, clients also have the option to adopt a ‘best of sector’ approach. This identifies the leaders in major investment areas (such as oil and gas, or pharmaceuticals) while still avoiding companies with poor environmental, social and ethical standards. Best-of-sector investing increases diversification, thereby lowering risk, and may therefore be particularly appropriate for more cautious clients or trustees. This is also the approach we take for the management of ethically screened managed fund portfolios.

Social, ethical and environmental issues are constantly evolving and our researchers aim to identify how these changes may influence our portfolio management. Additionally, their thematic research has identified businesses operating in areas such as renewable energy and energy efficiency, recycling and waste management, and education – helping our clients invest in companies addressing some of society’s key challenges.