David Boyle, Mint Asset Management head of sales, explains how socially responsible investing (SRI) is embedded in the manager’s process – and why the UNPRI rating is a hallmark of transparency…
COVID-19 has had a massive impact socially, financially and environmentally, affecting every corner of the globe in 2020.
As we navigate our way through the rest of this year, Mint is proud to have maintained both its above-market performance during these unprecedented times, and our overall United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) rating at the highest level of A+/A.
Why does this matter?
At Mint, we believe environmental, social, and governance aspects should be a primary consideration when making investment decisions and as such have integrated these factors into our investment philosophy and process. In other words, we believe those companies that score well in all three categories will, over time, perform better than those companies that do not incorporate these important factors into their business.
This process cannot be a set-and-forget approach either. Just as UNPRI have upped their reporting requirements, at Mint, we are continually reviewing and evolving our approach to this important component of investment management. A case in point has been the exclusion of fossil fuel extraction from our portfolios early this year.
It’s not just about exclusions
Investors also want more transparency from their investment managers, so they can see what the managers is saying, is actually being done. That’s why being a UNPRI signatory since 2015 and getting this latest rating is so important to us and peace-of-mind for investors.
The key measures UNPRI look at as part of their ratings process include:
- Strategy and governance
- Comparisons with peers
- Integration of ESG issues into the investment process
- Evidence of active ownership and shareholder voting
Further evidence to support the growing interest in SRI comes from the latest FMA KiwiSaver Statements General Public Research report released on the 6th of August 2020. When looking at the influences deciding which KiwiSaver scheme to join, 57% of those surveyed saw Ethical/Social Responsibility as being important or very important. Not surprisingly, performance returns of the fund is still number one.
The other important factor to remember is our ESG approach is incorporated across all our funds. This means whatever fund you choose to invest in these important factors will be applied.
These are indeed challenging times and we know the market volatility investors have experienced along with return dispersion between managers has not been easy. However, improving transparency, and getting good, qualified financial advice that supports investors’ long term goals can’t be underestimated.
For a copy of our SRI Policy and recent UNPRI Market Report please click below:
Disclaimer: David Boyle, is head of sales at Mint Asset Management Limited. The above article is intended to provide information and does not purport to give investment advice.
Mint Asset Management is the issuer of the Mint Asset Management Funds. Download a copy of the product disclosure statement here: www.mintasset.co.nz