Boomers show healthy ESG appetite

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is well and truly on the radar for savvy millennials, but new research has revealed it could also be the secret ingredient to tempting Baby Boomers into engaging with their super.

The research, coming out of global asset management firm Franklin Templeton, found that 44% of Baby Boomers (aged 55-74) and 36% of Gen X (aged 39-54) believe that their superannuation fund should offer a responsible investment option.

That's compared to 34% of Gen Y (aged 21-38) respondents.

The survey also found that there was considerable interest in impact investing across the demographics, with 41% of Baby Boomers, 44% of Gen X and 56% of Gen Y respondents keen to explore impact-related ESG investing options.

Franklin Templeton's survey supports research by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, which found that impact investing has grown 72% from 2017-18 to hit $13.8 billion in assets.

Franklin Templeton Australia managing director Matthew Harrison said the survey reflects changing consumer predilections for responsible investments in Australia.

"The investor preferences uncovered in this survey... appear to reflect a shift in the current landscape of responsible investments in Australia," he said.

"We're seeing a growing appetite for responsible investments that aim to deliver a positive social or environmental impact alongside financial returns."

The research also found that the majority of respondents (59%) agreed they would pay closer attention to their superannuation accounts if their provider reported on the environmental and social impacts of their investments.

Harrison argues that ESG discussions should be taken from the board room to consumers so that they can better understand the responsible role their superannuation can play.

"We believe asset managers, super fund providers and financial advisers all have a crucial role to play in this," Harrison said.

Read more: ESGBaby BoomersFranklin Templeton AustraliaMatthew HarrisonInvestment Association Australasia
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