ESG is a subject that is very close to our heart at IFA Magazine – and appears to be here to stay in Financial Services, as more and more businesses fly the sustainability flag. However, as ESG investing rises in popularity, it is arguably becoming increasingly difficult to filter out companies that are, in fact, not quite living up to their green claims.
In this episode of the Financial Insight podcast, we speak to Bev Shah, CEO and Co-founder of City Hive, the think tank and advocacy group Frustrated by the lack of diversity within financial services, Bev started City Hive in 2016 with the aim of challenging the industry and being a force of positive change. She is passionate about engaging with, educating, challenging and holding the sector accountable to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
City Hive has recently launched ACT. ACT is a standard of corporate culture for investment companies, which will create cultural change and enable professional fund buyers to drive a movement towards more diverse, equitable and inclusive firms. It is a tool to diminish greenwashing, going beyond product level to assess an entire company.
There are 15 founding signatories to ACT. These are Schroders, Lombard Odier Investment Management, M&G, Aviva Investors, Mirabaud Investments, AssetCo, Federated Hermes, WHEB, BlueBay Asset Management, Radiant ESG, TT International Asset Management, Invesco & Snowball IM. The founding signatories have a combined AUM of approx. $6.5 trillion.
In this interesting and engaging podcast discussion with Sue Whitbread and Rebecca Tomes, Bev discusses the launch of the ACT standard of corporate culture, which aims to fight against greenwashing and build a more inclusive investment management industry. ACT, standing for ‘Action, Challenge, and Transparency’, is a framework which allows companies to show alignment between beliefs and behaviours. It is designed to become a core element of a due diligence process, measuring culture and diversity as standalone pillars of the ESG universe.