MONTREAL, Sept. 26, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Fabien Durif, professor at UQAM's School of Management and director of the latter's Responsible Consumption Observatory (RCO), and Brenda Plant, senior consultant at Ellio, proudly announce the launch of Ethiquette, a new, independent, interactive, educational Web platform dedicated to responsible investment (RI). The new tool follows in the wake of the findings of a study entitled "Québecers and Socially Responsible Investment: Portrait for 2014" , published in February of this year. According to this study, individual investors were found to be little aware of responsible investment (RI), and information available to them insufficient to elucidate the complexity of RI financial products.
In 2012, RI assets in Canada accounted for about 20% of aggregate assets under management in the financial services industry. However, individual investor savings invested in RI products stood at just 2% of total RI assets under management, despite an 8% rise in two years. The co‑founders of Ethiquette attribute these wanting results to a number of factors: relative individual investor confidence in RI, dearth of RI product information, complexity of RI products, perception by some investors that RI is less profitable, and absence of a reference organization for individual investors. Existing information is indeed intended above all for institutional investors. The platform has been developed to offset observed shortcomings, the twofold thrust being to enable individuals to garner information about responsible investment and to empower them to take action.
"Responsible investment is one of society's most important levers of advancement but is a complex tool, one that is not easily understood. As an academic and interpreter of matters relating to responsible consumption, I deemed it critical that we apply our expertise in behavioural change by means of an educational platform designed to spur responsible investment at the consumer level nationwide. Ethiquette does just that," insists Professor Durif of UQAM's School of Management.
Ethiquette: A broad-based platform
Ethiquette is the first independent, bilingual Web platform intended for individual investors. The platform's unparalleled interactive content will enable individual investors to familiarize themselves with RI concepts and challenges through a mix of videos, testimonials and surveys, as well as a blog published simultaneously in partnership with Équiterre on the first Friday of every month. The tools have been developed to empower individuals to change their investment planning behaviour.
No currently existing platform provides individual investors with such a wealth of content, including RI strategies, the strengths and weaknesses of each, local and international microfinance, listing of RI products available on the Canadian market, etc. "In addition to these tools, Ethiquette includes reference guides for browsers to point them in the direction of RI specialists, help them prepare for a meeting with a financial adviser, ensure that they ask the right questions and then choose the products best suited to their individual portfolios," Brenda Plant of Ellio went on to add.
Ethiquette was made possible through the generous support of Desjardins - Wealth Management, Fondaction CSN, Desjardins – Caisse d'économie solidaire, Fonds FTQ, Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change Control (Québec), and Employment and Social Development Canada.
About ESG UQAM's Responsible Consumption Observatory (RCO)
An official arm of UQAM's School of Management (ESG), the mission of the Responsible Consumption Observatory is to promote knowledge transfer. Grouping together some fifteen researchers and directed by Professor Fabien Durif, RCO regularly conducts studies on responsible consumption in Québec, Canada and abroad. RCO's mission is to contribute to the development of scientific and practical analyses of the phenomenon of responsible consumption by providing university and institutional researchers, practitioners, citizens, NPOs and the media with access to existing pools of knowledge and relevant data.
For further information: Fabien Durif and Brenda Plant are available for interviews. Source: Joanie Doucet, Media Relations Advisor, Press Relations and Special Events Communications Service, 514 987-3000, ext. 6832, [email protected], @JDoucet11, salledepresse.uqam.ca