A recent client survey conducted by RBC Wealth Management shows that responsible investing, namely Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), is gaining traction. Women are leading the charge for ESG investing and are more likely to have a positive outlook toward this growing investment trend.
Respondents who identified as women are more than twice as likely as men to say it is extremely important that the companies they invest in integrate ESG factors into their policies and decisions. The survey also found that 74% of women were interested in increasing their share of ESG investments in their current portfolios and were significantly more likely than men to have an interest in learning more about ESG investing.
While the survey revealed that women are leading the charge in ESG investing, more than half of male respondents (53%) also expressed interest in increasing the share of ESG in their current portfolio, and 61% of clients overall shared this position.
Overall, about a third (31%) of RBC clients acknowledged the importance of integrating ESG factors into their investment decisions, with female clients rating all elements within the “E” for Environmental and “S” for Social categories in ESG significantly higher than male clients. The “G” for Governance was the one factor that showed no difference by gender and ranked the most important to clients across all ESG elements. Corporate ethics, regulatory compliance followed by transparency were the most important of governance elements for clients.
The results of RBC’s survey support the growing industrywide enthusiasm for ESG investing. A new report from non-profit foundation US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment found that at the start of 2020, $17.1 trillion was invested in responsibly invested assets in the US, up a staggering 42% from $12 trillion just two years prior. ESG investing was among most popular responsible investing strategies, accounting for a third of all managed assets in the US.