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Welcome to the July edition of RIAA Window.

This month RIAA launched our flagship reports: the 2019 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report Australia and Benchmark Report New Zealand.

Both reports paint a clear picture of growth in responsible investment, with ESG integration becoming the bedrock of good investment practice, and movements towards responsible investing that extends beyond avoiding harm to delivering positive social and environmental outcomes. Research findings refute any misconception that investing responsibly comes at a cost in terms of performance, showing that responsible and ethical investing leads to stronger investment outcomes, alongside benefiting people and the planet.

There are growing inflows into retail funds which aligns with RIAA’s research showing the majority of Australians and New Zealand expect their retirement savings and other investments to be invested responsibly and ethically. On the subject of engaging consumers around responsible investing don’t miss this SBS Clean Money series featuring RIAA’s Simon O’Connor.

Read on for more good news.
Australia’s responsible investment market continued its upward trajectory in 2018, with $980 billion in assets under management (44% of total assets under management), a rise of 13% on 2017.

Launched last week, RIAA’s Responsible Investment Benchmark Report Australia 2019 shows that Responsible investment funds are continuing to outperform most mainstream Australian and international funds. Investors in responsible funds are reaping financial rewards with higher than average returns across one, five and 10 year horizons. The dominant responsible investment strategy is ESG integration, representing 45% of AUM. Read our report here and these great pieces in The Australian Financial Review and Sydney Morning Herald.
Launched this week in Auckland, the Responsible Investment Benchmark Report New Zealand 2019 shows that responsible investing is dominating financial markets in New Zealand. New Zealand’s responsible investment market continued its upward trajectory in 2018, with $188 billion in assets under management, a threefold increase over five years. Assets managed in accordance with responsible investment now represent 72 percent of New Zealand’s total NZ$261.4 billion in AUM.

In New Zealand, the dominant responsible investment strategy is negative screening, which represents 44% of AUM, closely followed by ESG integration. Read our report here, read Simon O’Connor’s opinion piece which appeared in the NZ Herald or listen to Simon on Radio New Zealand.
New Zealand’s premier responsible investment conference is on in Auckland on Tuesday 24 September. Held at the Hilton Hotel, this year’s event will be our 10th in New Zealand and RIAA’s biggest yet, covering diverse themes including:

  • Responsible investment and a sustainable financial system - how is the policy environment shaping up as a key driver for responsible investment?
  • ESG trends to watch - leading research on the emerging issues for responsible investors
  • Active Ownership – using the full responsible investment toolkit to influence corporate behaviour.
  • Impact investing – what demand is there in New Zealand for impact investments? (hot off the back of the launch of RIAA’s Impact Investor Insights New Zealand report).
  • Responsible investment in practice - a practical focus, including products and financial advice.
  • Building responsible investment into your Financial Advice practice - a practical look at benefits for your portfolio

RIAA will also be running a Member only Masterclass the day before the Conference providing a deep dive into leading practice in implementing a robust and impactful RI strategy, which will include insights from RIAA Certification Program

To find out more and register for these events visit our website.
RIAA is launching an Impact Management & Measurement Community of Practice (IMMCOP) to support investors wanting to build their understanding and capabilities in impact management and measurement. IMMCOP will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources, helping investors and finance professionals to better evaluate, manage and report on the social and environmental impacts of their capital allocations. Co-chaired by Caitlin Medley (QBE Insurance) and Erin Castellas (Impact Investment Group) the first meeting for the IMMCOP will be on Thursday 29 August from 1.30-3.30pm. Participation is for RIAA members only who will be provided more information in coming weeks. 

The Global Impact investing Initiative (GIIN) has launched its Annual Impact Investor Survey 2019, showing a growing global market for impact investments, largely fuelled by client demand.

The second half of 2019 is filled with diverse impact investment events and gatherings. RIAA is a supporting partner of the GIIN’s Investor Forum in Amsterdam from 2-3 October. This year’s Forum will tackle a wide range of topics including impact integration; product development; market development; diversity, equity and inclusion; as well as climate and the environment. We are pleased to offer a discount to our community, using the code ‘RIAA10’.

RIAA is once again pleased to be a partner of the Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific in Sydney from 13-14 November. With the theme being ‘Wisdom, Courage, Action’, this year’s Summit will focus on moving the needle on impact investing in the region, exploring the challenges around impact measurement, market building, and pipeline development. Grab your Early Bird discount tickets here.

The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment has launched the GSG Impact Honors 2019 with nominations for awards including Impact Asset Owner, Impact Manager and Market Builder of the Year open until 31 July. Winners will be announced at the GSG Impact Summit in Santiago, Chile from 18-20 November.
RIAA’s Human Rights Working Group 2019 work plan is in full swing. Much of the group’s priority has been about readying investors for the advent of reporting under the Commonwealth’s Modern Slavery Act. In particular:  
  • An NGO collaboration to help identify what NGOs need and expect from company and investor reports; and
  • Guidance for investors themselves reporting mandatorily or voluntarily under the new disclosure requirements. 
HRWG members are also working to deliver:
  • A collaboration between Australian Human Rights Commission, the Investor Group on Climate Change, University of Sydney and RIAA on the impacts of climate change on human rights;
  • An engagement toolkit for investors engaging with companies operating in regions that have a poor human rights record; and
  • RIAA is again a local partner of the Workforce Disclosure Initiative, a survey of the top 750 major international companies to disclose more standardised data on topics including health and safety, workers’ rights, diversity and wage levels. Again this year, RIAA will support the roll out of this survey to the ASX50 companies. Read about the launch of the survey here. RIAA encourages our members to sign up to support this initiative to get better 'S' data from Australia's leading corporates. Sign up here.
RIAA’s membership continues to grow and we now have over 240 members who combined, manage over $9 trillion in assets globally. We welcome our newest members:

  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia)
  • Kilter Rural
  • Larry Stead (Financial Adviser)
  • Jose Morales
  • Simon Briggs (Financial Adviser)

Interested in Joining RIAA? See our membership guide here, or contact RIAA.
Ausbil Investment Management Limited is an Australian investment manager, managing Australian equities for large superannuation funds, institutional investors, trusts and retail clients. RIAA spoke with Måns Carlsson-Sweeny, Head of ESG Research, about Ausbil’s approach to responsible investment and his work to improve the role investors play in promoting and upholding human rights. Read more.
As of 1 July, RIAA’s Certification Program has new criteria that means all new and in due course, existing certified products must now meet a number of minimum performance standards as well as honest labelling and enhanced transparency measures. To read about these, visit here.

We welcome Vanguard with seven certified products and options under the Program:
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious Global Aggregate Bond Index Fund (Hedged) - AUD Hedged
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious Global Aggregate Bond Index Fund (Hedged) - NZD Hedged
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious Global Aggregate Bond Index (Hedged) ETF
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious International Shares Index ETF
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious International Shares Index Fund
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious International Shares Index Fund - AUD Hedged
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious International Shares Index Fund - NZD Hedged

To find the full list of certified products and more detailed information about each certified product and fund at Responsible Returns, RIAA’s dedicated consumer portal for finding certified responsible investment opportunities.
Pre NZ Conference - RIAA Member Masterclass
Monday 23 September, 2.30 – 4.30pm NZST, KMPG
Please follow this link to register.
This 2 hour event will be a work shop to share with RIAA Members latest insights into leading practices in implementing RI strategies, across approaches, including insights from RIAA's Certification Program. Light refreshments provided at the end of the event.

RI New Zealand 2019 Conference
Tuesday 24 September, Hilton Auckland
This full-day event brings together New Zealand’s responsible investment community and is not to be missed. Early bird tickets are now on sale, starting from NZ$162.
Please follow this link to register.

RI Australia 2020 Conference - the 20 year anniversary conference
Tuesday 17 and Wednesday 18 March, ICC Sydney
The seminal gathering for the community of responsible, ethical and impact investors in Australia; this is RIAA’s flagship event. (Please note there will no conference in 2019 as we have moved the event to March 2020, registration will open soon)

Please visit the RIAA events page for full details
Australia & NZ Green Infrastructure Report 2019 - in conjunction with the Climate Bonds Initiative
27 August - Sydney Please register here
29 August - Melbourne Please register here

PRI in Person 2019
10-12 September - Paris, France
For more information and to register please follow this link.

GIIN Investor Forum
2-3 October - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
For more information please follow this link. To receive a discount enter the code ‘RIAA10’.

IGCC Summit
14-15 October – Sydney
For more information and to register please follow this link.

SOCAP 2019
22-25 October – San Francisco, United States
For more information please follow this link.

Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific
13-14 November – Sydney
For more information and to register please follow this link.

GSG Impact Summit 2019
18-19 November – Santiago, Chile
For more information and to register please follow this link.
Responsible Investment Association Australasia
Suite 401, Level 4, 478 George Street, NSW 2000
+61 2 8228 8100

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