Viewpoint: Socially Responsible Investing Is Getting Less Attention Than It Deserves
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
U.S. investment managers have about $6.6 trillion in assets in socially responsible investing products, according to estimates by Tiburon Strategic Advisors. That’s more than the combined assets of exchange traded funds, with about $2.2 trillion, and hedge funds, with about $2.7 trillion, according to BarclayHedge.
“I think this is an underappreciated trend in the U.S. right now,” said Chip Roame, managing partner at Tiburon Strategic Advisors, on a media call Thursday. “I don’t think the press coverage, the conference speaker circuit spends enough time on this trend given the net flows that it’s getting, given the assets that is has.”
Socially responsible investing (SRI) and impact investing are a bigger trend in Europe, Roame said, and the strategies are also more popular with women and millennials. SRI funds haven’t yet made their way into 401(k) plans, so they’re not widely distributed. And it’s still largely an institutional business, with a lot of endowments and foundations, especially religious endowments that often invest with social conscience, driving many of the assets in the space.