Private Wealth Firm Abbot Downing Turns Focus to Social Impact

Friday, March 16, 2018

By Abby Schultz

Wealth managers increasingly are responding to a younger generation committed to making social and environmental change through investing as well as philanthropy, guiding them on how to get more directly involved in philanthropic work as well as steering them to viable impact investing opportunities.

They have to do this, and more, given the strong desire of many ultra-high net worth millennials and Generation X-ers, to focus on investments that meet environmental, social and governance, or ESG, standards, according to a 2017 study from OppenheimerFunds and Campden Research. The study found, for instance, that 33% of wealthy millennials, ages 22-37, intend to incorporate ESG standards into their family’s investment portfolio once in charge.

Abbot Downing, the Minneapolis-based private wealth arm of Wells Fargo & Co. for individuals and families with at least US$50 million in investable assets, is responding with a “social impact analysis” center within its revamped family governance practice, the Institute of Family Culture, according to Arne Boudewyn, head of the practice.

Generation X (ages 38-53) and millenials are expected to inherit nearly $60 trillion over the next 40 years, yet will give away nearly half of it to charity, the firm says, citing Generation Impact: How Next Gen Donors Are Revolutionizing Giving, a book by Sharna Goldseker and Michael Moody.

Photo courtesy of GotCredit.

Source: Barron's (link opens in a new window)

ESG, impact investing, philanthropy