Numerous Suitors for Ethical Funds
Peter began by telling us that there "had been a lot of interested parties" in the Aviva Investors SRI team and its £1.2bn of assets which had given him great comfort. And he is delighted to be working again with Katherine Garett Cox, Chief Executive of Alliance Trust PLC with whom he had worked when she was Chief Investment Officer at Morley.
"As a team this is a great outcome." Peter went onto explain, "we were pretty despondent in early February when we were told that our services were not required (at Aviva Investors)," but now the team, "could not be happier and we can now focus on making SRI a success."
Why Alliance Trust was right for SRI
Peter was keen to stress that his prime loyalty was to the investors in the Sustainable Future range and UK Ethical fund and outlined three reasons why they had chosen Alliance Trust as the new home for the seven ethical funds at Aviva:
We are keeping the same ethical funds, the same investment process and advisory committee. It is the same offering as it was 11 years ago.
2). Commitment to SRI
Alliance Trust are setting their stall out as a boutique Investment House concentrating on three areas - global equity, fixed income and SRI. The Group wish to be a 'leader in SRI'.
3). Career move
The team needed to find a home where they would be comfortable working for the rest of their careers, with a firm who had a long term vision and necessary structure.
The retention of the advisory committee, which includes Jonathan Porritt, Deborah Leipzigger, Sophia Tickell and Professor Tim Jackson (author of "Prosperity without Growth"). is clearly important to Peter at a time when Investment Houses are cutting back. So too is finding a home which will provide suffiicent marketing support to drive forward the team's business plan.
Good News for Ethical Funds
The move to Alliance Trust must also be good news for the ethical fund market, ensuring that there continues to be a broad range of choice for investors looking for ethical funds, or those concerned about sustainability.