CHICAGO – June 12, 2018 – Regulatory changes, increased availability of quality data, and demographic shifts resulting in more Millennials and women looking to align their values and assets, have prompted a dramatic upsurge in the number of institutional investors who are interested in responsible investing initiatives. This is according to a new survey from Aon, a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions.
Aon’s survey of 223 institutional investors around the world—which include endowments, foundations, public and corporate pensions and defined benefit plans—found that 68 percent consider responsible investing to be important to their organization to some degree. Forty percent have already developed a Responsible Investment (“RI”) policy for use in making investment decisions, and another 14 percent are in the process of developing a policy.
Of those that have implemented an RI initiative within their organizations, the most popular reasons were:
“While responsible investing is still relatively nascent in many organizations and geographies, overall interest in these initiatives has skyrocketed over the past few years,” said Meredith Jones, partner & head of Emerging Manager Research at Aon. “We’ve gone from clients asking sporadically about responsible investing to full-scale development of policies, implementation of responsible investing initiatives and a veritable sea change in how investors and asset managers incorporate and evaluate responsible investing data into their investment strategies.”
Jones notes that while Aon expects to see interest in responsible investing continue to grow, more will need to be done before there will be widespread global adoption. This includes clarity about definitions, access accurate data and measurement, concerns about performance, and regulatory pressure.
When asked what would make responsible investing more accessible, the majority of survey respondents cited standardization and better ROI measures:
Attitudes towards responsible investment vary by region
Aon’s survey found there is a geographic split when it comes to attitudes towards RI, with noticeably more activity in the UK and Continental Europe than in the US:
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