Water could be the front running theme?

This morning I was at an UKSIF event at Henderson Global Investors as a forerunner to Ethical Investment Week which starts on Sunday. Penny Shepherd, chief executive of UKSIF, made the point that upwards of 50% of consumers make ethical consumer choices every day at the shops, but that to date this is not followed up with their investments. The financial crisis has not helped the development of this market, but the panel felt that it was a question of time. It was when, rather than if.

The panel, which consisted of Neville White, social responsible analyst at Ecclesiastical, Simon Gottelier, fund manager at Impax and George Latham, fund manager at Henderson Global Investors, were asked which themes they felt were ones to be invested in today. 

Two of the panellists felt that the water theme would provide superior returns, with de-salination identified as a growth area, while the third felt that 'efficiency' would demarcate returns, by which the panellist meant that huge cost savings could still be made by business, irrespective of governement legislation and support.

There was also a sense amongst the panellists that the thematic, environmental and ethical market as outlined by Worldwise Investor are well positioned to grow in the future and move from the niche it is today, into a more main stream part of the investment market. At the moment this group of funds only constitutes between 3% to 4% of the investment fund market at £21.8bn and so there is plenty of room for this market to grow.

Related funds:

Ecclesiastical Amity European
Ecclesiastical Amity International
Ecclesiastical Amity Sterling Bond
Ecclesiastical Amity UK
Henderson Global Care Growth
Henderson Inst Global Care Managed
Henderson Global Care UK Income
Henderson Industries of the Future
Impax Environmental Markets
Old Mutual Ethical

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Mark Hoskin is a Partner at Holden & Partners. Holden & Partners are Chartered Financial Planners who provide financial advice to high net worth clients, the majority of whom have a significant interest in ethical or environmental issues.

Mark Hoskin graduated with a History degree from Keble College, Oxford and went on to become a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse. He cofounded Holden & Partners in 2003 and is a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Planner. Holden & Partners set up Worldwise Investor to help both advisers and investors understand quickly and easily how they can benefit from ethical and environmental investment in the UK market.

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