Brooks Macdonald, the wealth manager with £13.7 billion in funds under management, has strengthened its Responsible Investment Service (RIS) by making its RIS offering available to International clients for the first time, and promoting Ben Palmer to head up its RIS.
This announcement coincides with the company’s new Suitability Discussion Guide for advisers in response to the increased demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing.
The duide is designed to enable advisers to easily identify strategies that match their clients’ responsible investment preferences, providing them with an opportunity to seek the healthy returns that ESG and other responsible focused funds have been generating.
In his new role, Ben will lead and develop Brooks Macdonald’s commitment to responsible investment, with a focus on the firm’s sustainable and long-term contribution to the sector, including the influence of wider business and societal trends in ESG. He will work with advisers to better understand the demand from their clients and the sector on ESG and responsible investing, integrating these into Brooks Macdonald’s RIS strategy and decision-making processes. Ben, who joined Brooks Macdonald’s graduate programme in 2011, will retain his current responsibilities for the Responsible Investment research team.
Commenting on his new appointment, Ben Palmer, Head of Responsible Investment said: “I’m delighted to be heading responsible investment at Brooks Macdonald and look forward to taking the business to the next stage. We’ve already recognised that the pandemic has not diverted investors from responsible investing – if anything, it’s accelerated our ‘social’ awareness and we know we have a key role to play in helping advisers identify and provide suitable solutions for a growing number of clients. The evidence points to growth as we see businesses and organisations increasing their emphasis on sustainability and resilience, and responsible investment is very much tied to this economic trend, along with continuing government-led environmental policies.”
The impressive performance of ESG and sustainability focussed funds in recent years has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite broader market volatility. Brooks Macdonald’s RIS managed portfolios significantly outperformed relevant Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) and The Investment Association (IA) benchmarks during 2020, and since launch.
This is also reflected throughout the industry where new fund launches and investment flows into sustainable funds have increased significantly over the course of the year.
Andrew Shepherd, CEO of Brooks Macdonald International, comments: “The Channel Islands are positioning themselves as expert hubs in the ESG space and we are certainly seeing a rise in demand amongst international clients, trustees and advisers for responsible investing solutions. To that end, I’m delighted to add the Brooks Macdonald Responsible Investment Service to our International proposition as we continue to deliver cutting-edge solutions to investors from Guernsey and Jersey.”