Investment consulting firms in the UK have formed a joint working group to improve sustainable practices across the investment industry.
The Investment Consultants Sustainability Working Group comprises 12 firms.
These firms include Aon, Barnett Waddingham, Cambridge Associates, Cardano, Hymans Robertson, ISIO, LCP, Mercer, MJ Hudson Allenbridge, Redington, SEI and Willis Towers Watson (WTW).
The group believes that action is needed to tackle systemic challenges, including climate change.
A key link between asset managers and asset owners, the group members could promote focus on sustainability and help drive change in the industry.
The group expects its members to work with a variety of stakeholders, including asset owners, asset managers and regulators.
In addition, the members will seek sustainable investment outcomes, as well as support current industry bodies and initiatives.
The members are also expected to support their respective clients who are too small to engage with industry initiatives. They will create a guiding set of principles for good practice.
Regulators and other stakeholders can approach the group for input from investment consultants.
Initially, the members will explore reporting, asset owners, asset managers, stewardship, regulation, and Innovation, new products and impact investing.
Willis Towers Watson global head of Research Luba Nikulina said: “Our clients are focused on ensuring that they generate their investment returns in a way that is sustainable and gives consideration to all stakeholders.
“Using the collective voice of the consulting industry to ensure greater transparency, consistency and support is an important step forward.”
All member firms of the group offer investment consultancy services to asset owners in the UK. Some firms’ activities involve services, clients or jurisdictions that are outside of the group’s scope.
The members intend to take measures required to avoid any conflicts of interest between the group’s work and these other activities.
In April this year, American asset manager BlackRock ramped up its sustainability initiatives with its first global unconstrained ESG total return bond fund.