In January 2017, Affinity made a strategic decision to develop an investment solution which could cater for those clients wanting to align their values with their wealth. This was partially prompted by a request from the beneficiaries of a trust they administer, who wanted a distribution to be managed in a ‘sustainable’ way.
To meet this challenge, it became clear two important questions needed to be addressed. The first related to how Affinity could up-skill in this specialist space. The second centred on being satisfied there was a broad enough universe of dedicated funds, to enable them to construct a suitably diversified, multi-asset portfolio.
As a consequence, one of Affinity’s investment committee members studied for and was awarded the Sustainable Investment Professional Certificate, from Concordia University, Canada. This qualification supplemented existing skills within the team around environmental and social issues.
Fund availability took longer to address, however, during the 12 months it took to build a solution, it was clear policymakers and societal expectations were starting to pivot international capital flows to support a more sustainable, global economy.
January 2018 saw the launch of Affinity’s Sustainable Strategy, a discretionary managed portfolio designed to generate growth, with impact. Asset allocation and investment selection is undertaken entirely by Affinity’s Jersey-based team and includes underlying funds investing globally and run by managers located in London, Edinburgh, Switzerland, Singapore and Sydney, to name a few.
In Affinity’s view, this international footprint delivers the diversification they believe necessary to meet stated impact objectives; these being inspired by the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
It is rewarding to see those beneficiaries who first posed this challenge investing in this strategy, alongside an increasing number of private clients and trustees making allocations. Another benefit of these inflows is the regular donation Affinity make to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, which receives a percentage of their management fees.