At a time when we are all yearning for a return to normality, it’s easy to want to simply get back to exactly how things were before the pandemic. But we must remember that even before Covid-19 swept through the world, some significant changes were needed in our lives if we were going to help reverse the negative impact we are having on the planet.
Individuals have more power than they might think to influence this change through their investments and so we believe it’s important that everyone has the information and tools they need to do so. Positive change to society and the environment through investments will help shake up the status quo while also helping people to build a secure financial future.
It’s therefore really exciting to be a part of The Big Exchange which launched in 2020. The Big Exchange, a collaborative initiative founded by The Big Issue Group, is an innovative new investment platform which aims to change the narrative of what we see as normal when it comes to investing and help to satiate the huge demand for positive and impactful investing.
The Big Exchange, of which Quilter is one of the founding members, aims to build a fairer financial system that works for everyone and is accessible to all. It does this through an easy to use app and low minimum investment amounts, helping customers to identify and access impact investment funds.
We wanted to be a part of The Big Exchange because many of its core values marry up with our Shared Prosperity Plan. For example, we have committed to embedding responsible investment principles across our business, exercising active stewardship of our customers’ assets and reducing the environmental intensity of our activities, which fit with the aims and principles of this project.
All the funds available via the Big Exchange platform are rigorously assessed and ranked by the positive environmental and social impact they deliver. We have made two of our investment funds available to investors on the new platform: Quilter’s flagship responsible investment proposition the Climate Assets Fund as well as the Quilter Ethical Equity Fund, which are both managed by Claudia Quiroz, investment manager at Quilter Cheviot.
There is a very real need from consumers for a project like this. A recent survey of over of 10,000 global consumers found that 75% were interested in sustainable investments. While millennials were the most interested (64%), around half (54%) of Generation X and 42% of baby boomers were also keen to look into ESG.
But possibly even more exciting it has the potential to attract first time investors who may never have engaged with investing but may be stimulated to do so with the draw of environmental and social impacts.
Ultimately, The Big Exchange will not only stimulate the responsible and sustainable investment market but will also help encourage more people to save and invest for their financial future in a positive and impactful way, something of paramount importance to us at Quilter.