Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and Bloomberg L.P. surveyed 402 asset management professionals to find out how well they have adapted to the onslaught of demand for impact investing. Co-authors were David Wood and Katie Grace at the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Sustainable investing has entered the mainstream, with two-thirds of asset managers surveyed now aiming to achieve competitive market-rate financial returns alongside positive social and/or environmental impact and with nearly nine in 10 familiar with the practice. This surge in activity has been spurred by rising investor demand and media coverage, resulting in a proliferation of new products from specialist and mainstream asset management firms.
- Industry engagement in sustainable investment is surging with a continued positive outlook.
- Asset managers are divided on how they differentiate themselves to clients, an indicator that firms are wrestling with demonstrating credibility in sustainable investing.
- Asset managers cite a wide variety of motivations behind their engagement in sustainable investing.