‘Impact Investing’ explored at the latest Rathbones Speaker Breakfast 

The latest in the successful series of Rathbones Speaker Breakfast events was held at the Royal Yacht Hotel on Wednesday 7 March, exploring the topical theme of ‘Impact Investing’. 

The two expert speakers were Áine Kelly, an Independent Impact Consultant, and Victoria Hoskins Investment Director of Rathbone Greenbank Investments; both spoke about how supporting a measurable and beneficial social or environmental impact, as well as achieving compelling financial returns, is at the heart of sustainable investing. The seminar attendees, predominantly professional trustees, investors and family office representatives, learned about the increasing focus towards clients’ desires to invest in companies and organisations that have a positive, measurable social or environmental impact. 

Áine Kelly discussed the widely shared fundamentals that will make it easier for businesses to work together to improve the positive impact on both people and the planet, and how to try to prevent negative impact. These fundamentals facilitate both improved investment engagement and dialogue with industries, where investors seek positive change. 

Examples outlined were engagement with the Oil and Gas industry to accelerate their move towards sustainable non-fossil fuel energy; and Mars, the confectionary company, investing in the human factors within their cocoa supply chain in Costa Rica, ensuring the villages are supported through education and improved living standards, and thus more likely over future generations to continue to both support the cocoa industry and Mars. 

Commenting on the event, Jonathan Giles, Managing Director of Rathbones in Jersey said, “Impact investment, and how clients of all sizes are aligning their portfolios to their values and passions, is really gaining momentum. As Rathbones has significant expertise in this field, through our Greenbank division, we firmly believe in supporting our clients and their investors in this growing specialism; and offering insights from Áine and Victoria allows everyone to further engage with their own clients. 

"Áine and Victoria’s comments sparked some very interesting audience questions and illustrated the demand to understand more on the subject and further develop this focus with their clients. Indeed, the work Áine is currently involved in builds a compelling narrative around this topic, and helps everyone grasp the opportunity. We’re all now seeing that environmental, sustainable and governance investing offers potential longer term investment out-performance alongside the direct positive impact the investment can make."