Impact Investing: Part Two

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March 2, 2020

In our last blog on impact investing we discussed in detail exactly what impact investing is, the benefits and how you can get involved. This week we want to shed light on some of the biggest players making movement in the right direction for impact investment and investors. We have detailed the big pension funds enforcing impact investing to external financial advisors.

Read up on our last blog post, Impact Investment: A Step in the Right Direction Part One>

We have already arranged various different portfolios for our clients that want to use their money to strengthen society and help battle climate change. We have seen the same growth in these investments as we see from other clients.

Below are three of the biggest fund management companies in the world. We will be explaining how they are approaching Impact investment and what each company is doing to enforce with individual countries what money can be invested in which project, avoiding all negative impact strategies and maximising the positive impact sources.

Before we continue there are terms we would like to further explain for those who are unsure of any acronyms we may use throughout this post!

  • ESG - Environmental, Social and Governance Fund 
    This includes three main factors in measuring the social impact and sustainability of an investment. These factors support the future of financial performance, return and risk.
  • ETF - Exchange-traded fund
    They hold a portfolio of bands with particular strategies. We work alongside some of the biggest Pension funds all over the world. We follow the guidance and rules each provider suggests. Read more on our pension and retirement investment services>

BlackRock Investment

BlackRock was established in 1988 in NewYork and is one of the biggest investment funds in the world with over 4.7 trillion under management.
Let’s look at what they are doing to enforce impact investing in their internal and external advisors and how they are approaching it company-wide.

In 2019 BlackRock and the team responsible for Impact investing have put forward two huge transactions. April 2019 The firm BIP FTSE and New York-based Environmental action group the NRDC (Natural Resource Defence Council) introduced the FTSE Developed Ex Fossil Fuel Index Series. This blocks companies and organisations that invest in Fossil Fuel reserves.

The UN has announced that they have seeded their $53 billion joint staff pension fund in two low-carbon exchange-traded funds. One of which is managed by BlackRock. BlackRock has also devoted time and resources to developing a proprietary process for assessing and monitoring impact investments and they have the figures to prove it.

If you need to speak to one of our impact advisors today you can do so by contacting us here>

Scottish Widows

Based in Edinburgh Scotland and a subsidiary of Lloyd banking group that sell life insurance and pensions. SW have been providing guidance and advice since 1815. Along with BlackRock, Scottish Widows are working towards responsible investment governance and working closely with advisors to align the customer with everything they need to know regarding impact investment. They expect that all external advisors are doing the following: 

  • The use of appropriate influence to encourage companies to manage the risks of  ESG effectively.
  • Avoid investing in companies that are engaged in activities prohibited by international conventions that have been ratified by the UK
  • To report on their responsible investment activities on a regular basis
  • To have an effective approach to responsible investment in place and for this to be part of the relevant policies.

Read more about how Scottish Widows are enforcing impact investing >


Based in Pennsylvania USA Vanguard are the second largest provider of ETF’s with over 5 trillion under management and the largest provider of mutual funds. 

Like BlackRock, Vanguard has in place their own ESG Products they have been managed for over 20 years. They started with the FTSE Social Index Fund in 2000 This is now the largest ESG- screened index in the USA. Like Scottish Widows, they are always improving corporate governance in the market. They are a signatory to the UNSP (Untied-nations- supported principles of responsible investment. Like the above, they are ensuring that all external advisors are keeping investments within the impact framework.

Find out more about Vanguards >

We are keen advocates for Social, environmental and ethical investments. The results and numbers have been proven time and time again. Given the recent movements in these areas, it’s no wonder to us that the majority of our customers have decided to move their pension from certain providers to a more sustainable choice like mentioned above.

Do you know how your pension is performing? Or what it’s being invested in? We can offer you the chance to move your UK Pension and place it in a better strategy for good.