SYDNEY – Monday, 21 November Colonial First State is today releasing new sustainable growth fund 'Thrive+' to help its customers and Australians invest in a more sustainable way that better aligns with their values and objectives.
Research by CFS has revealed a strong and growing interest in sustainable investing, with almost eight million Australians indicating they are considering a switch to a more sustainable investment option over the next two years.
The Thrive+ sustainable growth fund has been designed to make it easy for those seeking to generate long term performance to choose investments which align with their personal environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives.
The fund was developed in response to key research of 4,567 Australians1 seeking their investment intentions. Of the respondents who were not yet CFS customers, 46% with superannuation or managed funds said they are likely to switch their investments to a sustainable option in the next two years. This was even higher among CFS customers at 49%.
“The fund has been designed to give Australians greater choice in where their superannuation is invested. By choosing to invest in this product, investors in the fund can look to use their personal investment for the benefit of the planet and the wider community“, said Kelly Power, Chief Executive Officer of Colonial First State Superannuation.
“Australians also want to be confident that switching to a sustainable superannuation option can deliver competitive long term returns at the same time as having positive social and environmental benefits.
“This is exactly what Thrive+ seeks to achieve”, added Ms Power.
Removing the barriers to investing sustainably
The majority (87%) of Australians surveyed found the idea of a sustainable investment option appealing, however a lack of knowledge about sustainability (50%) and concerns about fund performance (41%) and fees (34%) were the top three prohibiting factors in switching to a sustainable fund.
“Australians clearly have an interest in sustainable investment options but are not sure where to start. Thrive+ solves this problem by bringing together some of the world’s leading sustainable investment experts into the one fund to help navigate the complexities of financial markets and also identify companies which drive positive change,” added Ms Power.
Importantly, when it comes to fees, Thrive+ provides access to a number of leading sustainable investment experts at a lower cost than would otherwise be the case for most individual investors.
The objective of the fund is to outperform the option’s composite benchmark over rolling three year periods. The benchmark is comprised of leading indices for international shares, fixed income and Australian equities.
Thrive+ is an actively managed fund operated in partnership with Al Gore and David Blood’s Generation Investment Management, Melior Investment Management, Impax Asset Management, Pendal Group and Affirmative Asset Management.
“The active management of the fund allows investors to not only avoid investing in a range of activities that they do not support but just as importantly to benefit from targeted sustainable investments across a combination of global and domestic shares, fixed income and cash. Robust frameworks are in place to ensure investments align with the sustainability objectives of the fund while seeking to deliver competitive long term returns,” added Ms Power.
Thrive+ will resonate with investors seeking to avoid the industries identified as being of most concern to Australians, including weapons and firearms, certain fossil fuels, gambling, pornography, alcohol, tobacco and predatory lending. At the same time, the fund will seek out investments in areas including climate change solutions, resource efficiency, sustainable communities, healthcare and diversity and inclusion.
1Research conducted 25 July 2022 – 5 August 2022 by SEC Newgate on behalf of Colonial First State. Total sample size of 4,567 (3,563 CFS customers + 1,004 Australians)
Note to editors
Key Research Findings
Research conducted 25 July 2022 – 5 August 2022 by SEC Newgate on behalf of Colonial First State.
Total sample size of 4,567 (3,563 CFS customers + 1,004 Australians). Raw data of the customer survey we weighted to CFS customer statistics to reflect the broader customer base. Non-customer data was weighted to ABS Census population statistics so that results are reflective of the broader Australian population.
Almost half (46%) of Australians that have super or a managed fund, say they are likely to switch some of their investments to a sustainable option in the next two years.
The top two most important factor when choosing a superannuation account or managed fund is a high rate of return (72%), followed by low fees (65%) and appropriate risk level (30%).
Four in ten (41%) of Australians think a sustainable investment option is extremely or very appealing.
74% of Australians say they would choose a sustainable / ESG investment option if they were to invest in a new superannuation or a managed fund.
Australians ranked providing solutions to climate change (36%), providing affordable housing (36%), protecting natural environments and biodiversity (33%), and providing solutions for health care challenges (33%) as the top four areas they want to see have a positive impact through their investments.
Australians ranked weapons and firearms (39%), animal cruelty (38%), pornography (33%), and tobacco (31%) as the top four areas they want to avoid through investments.
Half of Australians (50%) say that a lack of knowledge of sustainability and ESG is a key barrier to switching to a sustainable investment option.
73% of employed Australians believe their employer does have an important role to play in ESG issues and should use its influence to drive positive change.
Steven Reilly, Director External Communications
Colonial First State
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0431 711 470
About Colonial First State
Colonial First State (CFS) is Superannuation and Investments HoldCo Pty Limited ABN 64 644 660 882 and its subsidiaries which include Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) and Avanteos Investments Limited ABN 20 096 259 979, AFSL 245531 (AIL). CFS is majority owned by an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR), with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL 234945 (CBA) holding a significant minority interest.