10 Nov 2016
I am delighted to announce that we have gone live with a major change to the way Fund EcoMarket works.
We have created a new ‘Corporate SRI Activity’ filter area, in order to help users recognise the differences between sustainable, responsible and ethical investment related activity that happens behind the scenes – (often) across the board in some fund management companies – and the policies and features that relate to individual screened and themed funds.
To users of major data providers this may not sound like a huge change – but this is of course unique in the retail financial services world and has take quite some time to work out!
To explain why…
Both individual fund strategies and the way fund managers operate can be important to many investors.
To date Fund EcoMarket has focused on specific funds.
This additional functionality helps users to find out about what goes on behind the scenes at a corporate level – as to date this area has been hard for individual investors and their advisers to find information on – and almost impossible to compare.
I am also of the view that fund managers who are active in areas such as using their position as shareholders to encourage positive change (either through dialogue, voting or other forms of ‘investor stewardship’) should communicate what they do with the ‘retail community’ far more readily than they have done in the past. Fund EcoMarket now offers an independent platform for them to do so. (The information we publish is supplied by fund managers and we do not alter the text they supply us.)
Our ‘Corporate SRI Activity’ filter options aim to avoid industry jargon as much as possible – and focus on key actions that we believe can be used to help effect positive change (although we expect this to evolve over time!). The terminology we use will be explained further in our ‘Help’ area shortly.
About the choice of ‘Corporate SRI Activity’ options on Fund EcoMarket
The options within the new ‘Corporate SRI Activity’ field fall into two broad areas (as used on our ‘sriStyles’ filter system);
Although different – both types of activity of this kind relate to the way a fund management house operates – often across all funds – (ie Corporate level activity), rather than within specific ethical funds or portfolios (which are covered by our ‘Policies’ and ‘Features’ fields.)
About the current entries
Fund EcoMarket is still growing and so far only a selection of early responders have their activity recorded on the database. Those who have been asked to set out their strategies are however known for their expertise in this area, so these entries are far from random!
Notes on use: this filter field operates best when used independently from other filters as there is limited cross over between these area. Selecting options from this field as well as others is likely to result in a nil return.