Client demand for ESG investing advice on the rise

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A survey has found an overwhelming majority of clients think advisers should assist them to ensure they are investing responsibly.

According to Legg Mason’s Global Investment Survey, advised investors are more than twice as likely to choose companies or funds according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors (50 per cent versus 18 per cent DIY investors).

The survey found that more than three-quarters of advised investors said they would like to move money into funds that take ESG considerations into account when selecting securities.

Further, 54 per cent of investors said they avoid businesses with controversial track records, and 89 per cent of investors believe that fund managers should actively “police” companies they invest in to ensure they are acting responsibly.

“Investors working with advisers are also more confident in their approach, more sure of their investment knowledge and more excited,” said Legg Mason Australia and New Zealand managing director Andy Sowerby.

“They see many opportunities and feel they have more choice through investment options given to them by the adviser.”

The survey was conducted between July and August across 17 markets worldwide and involved 16,810 investors, including 1,000 Australians.

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