ACAT is delighted to be welcoming Andrew Robinson MBE, CCLA’s Executive Director of Market Development, as one of the keynote speakers at our 2021 virtual conference. Andrew’s webinar entitled What is good investment? will take place at 7pm on Thursday, October 14. Here, Andrew explains how church treasurers will specifically benefit from the webinar…
‘REALITY IS ONE, THOUGH WISE PEOPLE SPEAK OF IT VARIOUSLY’
This is the conclusion of an ancient story that describes a group of blind men encountering an elephant for the first time. Each gets a chance to touch one part of it and then tries to describe their experience to the others. One touches the trunk and concludes it’s like a thick snake. Another touches the ear and claims it’s a fan. A third feels the leg and maintains it’s a tree. A fourth feels the side of the elephant and believes it’s like a wall. Another grabs the tail and says it’s a rope. While the man who touches the tusk describes it as a polished spear. A huge argument ensues as they attempt to come to a consensus.
The elephant now standing in the midst of investment management industry, and very much of the moment, is ESG — those non-financial factors relating to environmental, social and governance considerations increasingly taken account of when constructing portfolios. While ESG investing is still a relatively new phenomenon, in actual fact the Christian church for decades has been at the forefront of what was once a movement and is now becoming mainstream. Though some might call it ‘mission-driven’ investment and CCLA has laid a claim to ‘good investment’, the reality is ESG investing has achieved an unstoppable momentum. Its popularity will continue to grow post pandemic. The stark challenges for people and planet presented by climate change, combined with a marked shift in society’s attitudes regarding the consequences of the economic choices we make today on the social and environmental conditions of tomorrow, will make sure of it … but only in part: the real driver is that the investment industry itself can already smell the money, however ESG is only spoken of variously.
CCLA is the largest manager of charity funds in the UK (Charity Finance, July 2021), managing money for more Christian churches and faith-based organisations across all denominations than any of our competitors. We define our purpose as helping our clients maximise their impact on society by harnessing the power of investment markets. This emphasis is important for a number of reasons, which I very much hope will become clear to those attending my session at the ACAT conference.
I’m not sure church accountants and treasurers are as aware of their power to do good in terms of mission as they might be — with their substance, not just the surpluses generated. Insofar as conferences tend to focus more on the ‘ways and means’ rather than the end objective, I am hoping that by giving attendees the opportunity to define for themselves what good investment might look like, it will help in defining the sort of action plan that might follow to effect lasting real world impact, which must require going beyond the technical aspects of portfolio construction. For the Christian investor, maybe even re-imagining what shareholder value really means.
To book your place on Andrew’s webinar entitled ‘What is good investment?” on Thursday, October 14, at 7pm, please click HERE.
CCLA Investment Management Ltd and CCLA Fund Managers Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.