British newspaper The Big Issue has joined forces with a coalition of financial industry groups and figures from the UK investment industry to roll out the first actively-managed ESG platform, with a starting range of 36 funds.
Campbell Fleming, former global head of distribution at Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI), and Jill Jackson, ex-head of UK retail and distribution support at ASI, have teamed up with the Big Issue Group and a number of financial firms to co-found the The Big Exchange, which was introduced on Wednesday.
The online marketplace will offer consumers and advisers access to 36 funds from 11 asset managers. Investors can choose funds themselves or select from a range of risk-rated portfolios with the asset allocation constructed by Square Mile.
The founding partners for the platform are ASI, Alliance Bernstein, Alquity, Civitas Social Housing, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Liontrust, Nordea Asset Management, Pictet Asset Management, Quilter, Stewart Investors, Tortoise, UBP and Wheb.
Further groups and funds will be added to the platform in due course.
The co-founders said the Big Exchange is the first investment service that shows consumers a summary of the positive impact an investment fund has on people’s lives and the environment through a gold, silver or bronze rating. Investors will also be able to view how the individual funds contribute to the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Users can top up savings, including Isas and Jisas, from as little as £25 a month, and there is no maximum amount. Charges are 25p per year for every £100 ($130, €110) invested on The Big Exchange with no time period lock in.
Jackson, who has been named managing director of The Big Exchange, said: “We’re launching The Big Exchange so people can do better with their savings. Encouraging everyone to do better for themselves, at the same time as doing better for society and the planet.
“For the first time, regular UK investors will have access to active investments, managed by leading fund managers, and see them independently awarded medals for the extent of positive impact they are creating on people and the planet.”
Fleming, who is a director of the service, added: “The asset management community involved in The Big Exchange have a collective ambition to make sure people in the UK can access positively impactful investments, while aiming to improve their financial future.
“I was proud to be integral in Aberdeen Standard Investments joining forces with our co-founders, partners, and supporters and be part of a movement creating meaningful social impact – starting with the UK’s first actively managed social, environmental and impact investing platform.”
For more insight on ESG issues relating to investment, please visit www.esgclarity.com