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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Millennial investors most concerned about ESG factors

UK investors aged 18-35 are more likely to place importance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors than those aged 35 and over according to the Schroders Global Investor Study 2016.

Interest in ESG issues 'set to grow' ©iStock
Interest in ESG issues 'set to grow' ©iStock

The biggest differences in opinion between the two age groups were found in relation to social issues such as poverty and welfare, with millenials rating these as 7.1/10 in importance, compared to older investor groups who rate them at 5.5/10 on average.

Corporate governance was found to be the biggest concern of ESG factors for investors, with millennials rating this at 7.2/10 compared to 6.6/10 by older UK investors.

Schroders global head of responsible investing, Jessica Ground, said: “The interest in ESG issues for investors only looks set to grow given its prevalence amongst millennials.

“While returns are still the most important issue, ESG’s importance to investors means that these factors are too big for any advisor to ignore.

“It is important to continue to educate investors on the value and added return ESG can provide.”

The study, which surveyed 1,000 UK investors, showed that 69% would stay invested in companies with positive ESG philosophies longer than they would in their usual investments.

However 89% of millenials said that they would do this in comparison to 63% of older investors, with 35% of all investors saying they would invest for at least two years longer in investments with strong EMG values than they normally would.

“While many policymakers are concerned about the rise of short-termism in markets, encouragingly, those surveyed said they would stay invested in ESG philosophies longer than they would in other investments,” Ground added.

“It is important that investors recognise the value of being invested for the long-term and this is especially relevant when considering ESG factors.”

The study concluded that millennial investors were most likely to pull their funds from companies associated with weapons manufacturing/dealing or use of animal testing.