Creating Value, Making a Difference - June 20 - 22, 2011, in Victoria
Register at www.sioconference.com to discover the latest trends and opportunities in socially responsible investing
To view the Social Media Release, click here: http://smr.newswire.ca/en/social-investment-organization/canadian-responsible-investment-conference
TORONTO, May 9 /CNW/ - Money managers, financial advisors, retail and
institutional investors with a social conscience are invited to attend
the second annual Canadian Responsible Investment Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, from June 20 to 22.
The three-day conference will examine the latest trends and developments
in Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) and will show investors and
advisors how they can profit from investing while contributing to
positive social change and environmental sustainability.
Measuring how companies stack up based on environmental, social and
governance policies is a growing trend in the investing world and one
that is capturing greater attention among investors and financial
"Canadians can foster positive social change that benefits our world
through their investing choices," said Eugene Ellmen, executive director of the Social Investment Organization (SIO), a non-profit group that promotes SRI in Canada and is the organizer of
According to the SIO's recently released survey, Canadian Socially Responsible Investment Review 2010, $530.9 billion in assets are managed according to SRI principles,
which is about one-fifth of total assets under management in Canada.
"There's growing interest about environmental and energy issues and the
increasing demand for resources and how this will affect the well-being
of the planet," said Ellmen. "Canadians are looking for alternative
investing options and SRI provides them with an opportunity to invest
in line with their values."
The SIO's study also revealed that more institutional and high-net-worth
investors are turning to asset managers to implement SRI mandates for
them. For example, asset managers who employ a range of SRI approaches
managed $46.3 billion in socially responsible investments, an increase
from $37.9 billion in 2008.
"Now more than ever investors are interested in seeing their money
invested in companies that operate at high standards when it comes to
environmental, social and governance standards," added Martin Grosskopf, director of sustainability research and portfolio manager at Acuity Investment Management, a leading money management firm that has a 20-year track record of
practicing SRI, which is now part of AGF Investments Inc.
Acuity is also a founding member of the SIO and AGF is a hosting sponsor
of the conference.
At the conference, Grosskopf will lead a session entitled, Cleaning up Canada's Resource Sector, which will feature clean tech companies that provide solutions to
resource waste, energy use and pollution.
"Clean tech offers long-term growth potential," said Grosskopf. "It
provides investors with an opportunity to own innovative companies in
emerging sectors that can offer clean technology solutions to growing
Ellmen believes that the growing popularity in SRI amongst investors
presents a new horizon for financial advisors. "It's a chance for
advisors to grow their client base and help investors that are
interested in building ethical investment portfolios," he said.
At the end of June 2010, SRI retail investment fund assets totaled $25.3
billion, a 14% increase from 2008.
Additional Conference Highlights
About 275 retail and institutional investors are expected to attend the
event located at The Fairmont Empress Hotel and adjacent Victoria Conference Centre in BC. The conference will feature a range of seminars that tackle
topical issues such as the demand for energy and the challenges facing
the oil and gas industry.
Advisors would be interested in several intensive sessions aimed at
increasing their SRI knowledge.
Investment Advisor Gail Taylor will present on shifting a traditional
advisory practice to SRI. Nancy McHarg from Hoggan & Associates will address the state of sustainability in the minds of investors. Her
presentation will be followed by a panel discussion on how public
perception of sustainability issues is impacting media coverage and the
marketing of SRI.
Venture capitalist Tom Rand, author of Kicking the Fossil fuel Habit: 10 clean Technologies to Save Our World, and David Collyer, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum
Producers, will discuss Canada's energy future.
Renowned futurist Hazel Henderson, founder of Ethical Markets Media LLC, will provide attendees with an
update on her groundbreaking work in developing a Green Transition
Scoreboard to track private sector investment in green economies
Other sessions will include:
The SRI Brand, what's working and what isn't
Canada's oil industry and investor engagement
Canada's energy future
Executive compensation and corporate governance
Trends and developments in renewable energy investment
Conflict minerals and new technologies
Facts about Socially Responsible Investing Studies show that SRI has become an important measure when making
investing decisions by both retail and institutional investors.
In Canada, pension funds represent the lion's share of SRI in Canada
with assets under SRI guidelines of $453.4 billion. (Source: Social Investment Organization's Canadian Socially Responsible
Investment Review 2010)
In the United States, SRI assets have grown by 34% since 2005 to
US$3-trillion. (Source: Social Investment Forum's 2010 Report on Socially Responsible Investing
Trends in the United States)
Nearly $1 out of every $8 in the U.S. is managed according to SRI
principles. (Source: Social Investment Forum's 2010 Report on Socially Responsible Investing
Trends in the United States)
The total SRI assets under management have increased from €2.7 trillion
to €5 trillion, as of December 31, 2009. This represents growth of
about 87% since December 31, 2007. (Source: Eurosif's European SRI Study 2010)
The Jantzi Social Index measures SRI investment returns. Since inception
on January 1, 2000 through April 30, 2011, the JSI has achieved an
annualized return of 6.59%, while the S&P/TSX Composite and the S&P/TSX
60 had annualized returns of 6.86% and 6.51% respectively, over the
same period. (Source: Jantzi-Sustainalytics, May 2011)
83% of Canadians believe that investments in new, renewable energies and
technologies represent a powerful engine for economic growth. (Source: Hoggan and Associates, April 2009)
"Financial advisors tell us that they are hearing more from their
clients about how they [advisors] should learn about socially
Eugene Ellmen, Executive Director, Social Investment Organization
"One of the key advantages of investing in SRI funds is the opportunity
to apply a whole range of analysis that is not done with conventional
portfolios. At Acuity, in addition to the rigorous financial analysis,
we also apply additional criteria to companies - environmental social
and governance criteria - in our social values funds which allow us to
select companies that outperform on financial metrics as well as
environmental, social and governance factors."
Martin Grosskopf, Director of Sustainability Research and Portfolio
Manager, Acuity Investment Management
"Clients who invest in an SRI fund can own a well diversified portfolio
of companies that are better able to respond to emerging trends and
manage risk while at the same time being better corporate citizens."
Rachel Davies, Associate Portfolio Manager, Acuity Investment Management
"Any investor who takes a long-term view is beginning to understand that
sustainability is no longer an idea but is essentially what underpins
economy 2.0. If the economy is to continue to grow, it can't do it
using fossil fuels. We now know high carbon growth is self defeating.
Anybody with a long-term view needs to get in engaged now to learn how
they can play a role in making a transition to a low carbon economy."
Tom Rand, Venture capitalist, entrepreneur and author of Kicking the Fossil fuel Habit: 10 clean Technologies to Save Our World.
About Social Investment Organization
The Social Investment Organization is the national association for
socially responsible investment in Canada. Its members include fund
companies, asset management firms, institutional investors, pension
funds, financial advisors and consultants.
About AGF Management Limited
AGF Management Limited is one of Canada's premier independent investment
solutions firms with offices across Canada and subsidiaries around the
world. AGF's products include a diversified family of award-winning
mutual funds, mutual fund wrap programs and pooled funds. AGF also
manages assets on behalf of institutional investors including pension
plans, foundations and endowments as well as for private clients. In
addition, AGF Trust is a complementary business that offers GICs, loans
and mortgages through the financial advisor and mortgage broker
channels. With over $52 billion in total assets under management, AGF
serves more than one million investors. AGF trades on the Toronto Stock
Exchange under the symbol AGF.B.
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as
SOURCE Social Investment Organization
For further information:
Associate Director, Communications, Membership and Advisor Services
Social Investment Organization
416-461-6042 ext. 113
Manager, Public Relations and Public Affairs
AGF Investments Inc.