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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

CIS allows its customers to influence the direction of its ethical investment policy

CIS has announced that its social investment policy is to be defined by its customers. This innovative move will enhance CIS’s share of the ethical investment market and will be a useful differentiation tool for customers increasingly concerned with the consequences of their investments.

The Co-operative Insurance Society has invited its 5.4m customers to choose how their money is used once invested. Many companies have an ethical investment fund in place, however CIS is the first to offer its customers the chance to reveal the issues that most concern them and use these to define its social investment policy.

The announcement comes at the beginning of Fairtrade Fortnight, a movement that has increased public awareness of the effect their actions have on the environmental and social conditions of people across the world. CIS has recognised the growing importance of corporate responsibility in social and environmental issues, and established a system whereby investors guide the ethical framework of the investment fund.

Prior to CIS’s move, the most innovative ethical investment strategy on the market was Standard Life’s Ethical Funds. These are chosen by a committee, which is made up of ethical investors as well as senior management. Involving the investors themselves in these decisions has proved successful for Standard Life in terms of new business as well as fund performance.