SRI continues to grow but remains a niche service

UK – Over 50% of UK based fund managers have perceived a growing interest from their pension fund clients in socially responsible investments (SRI), although trustees appear more concerned with protecting their reputations and avoiding criticism, according to the latest Deloitte & Touche SRI survey.

Furthermore, the survey also suggests that the interest of fund managers in SRI is not driven by ideology but by government pressure, client demand and the Myners report.

The report finds that interest in SRI will continue to grow in the coming year, though most fund managers agree it will remain a niche or specialist product.

Elsewhere, only two respondents felt developing an SRI capability would conflict with their company’s market reputation and image. Moreover, most fund managers surveyed said that a perception that SRI increases portfolio risk had done nothing to hinder its uptake.

According to the survey, just over one fifth of fund managers have no SRI arrangement in place. Only 10% of management firms use external consultants when researching SRI opportunities, whilst 41% have specialist SRI teams in place.

This year’s survey included 65 UK investment management companies which manage a total £1,400bn (€2,332bn).

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