Young fundpicker: The ESG dilemma

Conflicts between S and G

clock • 4 min read
James Yardley, senior research analyst, Chelsea Financial Services
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James Yardley, senior research analyst, Chelsea Financial Services

When I first began looking at funds almost a decade ago, most ethical and sustainable offerings were a bit of a joke. I remember looking at the top ten holdings of one particular fund, and it contained two oil majors. 

At the time, Shell - which was busily drilling away in the Arctic - was the largest weight in this fund's ethical benchmark - it is fair to say I was disappointed. Surely these were not the sort of holdings in which an investor in this type of fund would want to invest? I moved on and largely ignored these funds for the next few years. Fast forward to today and ethical and sustainable investing has become much more serious. Every fund group has been falling over themselves to launch new products, and many have sold well. The industry has come a long way, particularly in terms of engageme...

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