For all media enquiries please contact:
Phone: +61 430 448 422
4 April 2019
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has welcomed the Government’s 2019-20 budget announcement of $5 million for the establishment of a Social Impact Investment Taskforce.
“Government has a critical role to play in the development of the market for impact investment and we welcome this announcement of a Taskforce to develop a strategy for Government’s future engagement” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA.
“RIAA’s Benchmarking Impact report showed that the market for impact investing quadrupled between 2015 and 2017. With nearly $6 billion of capital now being put to work to deliver a better society and environment through impact investing, we are now getting an insight into the potential of capital markets as a force to be harnessed for achieving a more prosperous and sustainable Australia.
2 April 2019
The Australasian region is leading globally in the uptake of responsible investing, with 63% of total assets under management in Australia and New Zealand using a responsible investment approach.
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) has released its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2018, showing that global responsible investment assets reached US$30.7 trillion at the start of 2018, a 34% increase from 2016.
In its fourth edition, the biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review brings together the results from regional market studies by the responsible investment forums of Europe, the US, Japan, Canada, Australia & New Zealand. It also includes data on the African responsible investing market and highlights from several countries in North, Central and South America.
“It is pleasing to see the continuing growth of responsible investment, both in our region and globally” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.
27 March 2019
The leaders and senior executives of Australia’s major banks, superannuation funds, insurance companies, financial sector peak bodies, civil society and academia are coming together to set out a roadmap for realigning the finance sector to support greater social, environmental and economic outcomes for the country.
The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative has today been unveiled – an unprecedented collaboration to help shape an Australian economy that prioritises human wellbeing, social equity and environmental protection, while underpinning financial system stability, in what it says is a ‘critical decade’ ahead.
Modelled on international best practice already seen in groups including the European Union’s High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and the UK’s Green Finance Taskforce, the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative will be guided by a Steering Committee charged with developing a set of recommendations to enable the finance sector to contribute more systematically to the transition to a more resilient and sustainable economy.
IAG Group Executive Jacki Johnson, co-Chair of the Initiative, said: “The roadmap we create will include pathways, policy signals and frameworks that will better enable the financial services sector to contribute to delivering on international commitments, such as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, while underpinning economic stability and prosperity for Australia.”
4 February 2019
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has welcomed the final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, saying it is a clarion call for the finance sector in Australia to reflect upon its purpose and do more to service and benefit the Australian community.
“The Royal Commission has revealed widespread incidences of illegal behaviour, misconduct and unethical practices across the financial services sector. These have devastated the lives of many Australians, and highlighted diverse failings of our sector”, said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA.
“This is a watershed moment for the finance sector. The industry and entities involved must reflect and remedy these wrongs, and address the gaps spanning leadership, culture and systems. From this stronger base, we can transform our industry for the better and start to align capital markets with achieving a healthy and sustainable society, environment and economy for all Australians.
“From banks to super funds, financial advisers, and insurance companies, we must work collectively to restore the trust of Australians. By concertedly placing consumer interest at the centre of the financial services sector, we can start on this path back to regaining people’s confidence.
“Acting in the best interests of clients means knowing our clients first, their financial needs, their life stage, goals and, importantly, their personal values. Only through this can we deliver on community expectations and ensure finance is acting in the best interests of clients, as was a core tenet of the terms of reference for this Royal Commission.”
Consumer research conducted by RIAA shows that 9 in 10 Australians expect their money to be managed with consideration of their personal values and ethics, alongside their financial interests. This includes consideration of the social and environmental impact of their investments, whether it be avoiding investments that contribute to human rights violations and animal cruelty, or supporting investments that deliver improved healthcare, education and renewable energy.
“Australians are concerned about fees and performance, but are also increasingly wanting to know how their investments and savings are working to improve the world they will retire into.
“With Commissioner Hayne’s final report, the real work must now start, to rebuild community trust in the finance industry, to improve the culture within the sector, and to truly deliver services and outcomes that Australians expect from finance.
“As we emerge from the Royal Commission, the finance industry is recognising the connectivity between contributing to a better society and environment, and achieving strong financial performance for Australians.
“Now, more than ever, the finance sector must commit to and deliver upon a responsible and ethical approach to finance.”
31 October 2018
Executive pay and climate change are among the key issues being researched and valued within the finance industry to inform and drive more responsible investment in Australia.
At the 9th Annual ESG Research Australia Awards held at the RI Australia 2018 conference in Melbourne tonight, Citi and Bank of America Merrill Lynchtook out the awards for excellence in ESG research by a broker. A new award from RIAA was also jointly presented to MSCI and the Centre for Policy Development for new ESG research by a non-broker.
The ESG RA Awards, attended by Australia’s leading superannuation funds, fund managers and broking firms, recognise excellence in environmental, social and governance (ESG) research published by broking firms.
The winners of this year’s ESG Research Australia Awards are:
Bigger, Badder and more Opaque: The Task ahead for Investors Undertaking 2 Degree Scenario Analysis, by Zoe Whitton and Edward McKinnon, Citi
CEO Incentives and Analyst Expectations for ASX100 Companies, by Sameer Chopra et al, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The 2018 joint-winners for RIAA’s new ESG Research Award – recognising excellence in investor relevant ESG research by a non-broking firm are:
Climate Horizons Report: Scenarios and Strategies for Managing Climate Riskby Sam Hurley and Kate Mackenzie, Centre for Policy Development (with input from ClimateWorks Australia)
Alignment to climate regulatory scenarios: A case study of Australian companiesby Brendan Baker and Morgan Ellis, MSCI ESG Research
18 September 2018
A large majority of New Zealanders expect their Kiwisaver and investment funds to be invested ethically and are ready to shift their funds if company prac>ces are inconsistent with their values.
A new Responsible Investment Associa>on and Mindful Money consumer survey undertaken by Colmar Brunton has been released today revealing New Zealanders care deeply about how their savings are invested. The research was conducted online with 1,000 research panel members. The data has been weighted to ensure it is representative of the New Zealand population in terms of age, gender and regional spread. The maximum margin of error associated with this survey is ±3.1%.
It shows that people expect managers of their Kiwisavers and other investments to consider issues important to them, as well as delivering strong financial outcomes. The survey shows concern over a much deeper range of issues beyond just tobacco and controversial weapons when it comes to where their funds are invested.
16 August 2018
Responsible investment in New Zealand has hit a major milestone, with a new report finding the vast majority of professionally managed investments are now invested as responsible investments, with total assets under management having more than doubled in just two years.
Environmental, social, corporate governance and ethics considerations now sit alongside financial as critical components informing the investment decisions of the majority of New Zealand’s professional investors.
The 4thannual New ZealandResponsible Investment Benchmark Report 2018 (KPMG), the most comprehensive review of the sector,reveals the industry hitting new heights with $183.4 billion now managed as responsible investments, up from $131.3 billion in 2016 and $79 billion in 2015.
“The single most significant driver of growth in responsible investment is coming from the demand and desire from clients to align investments to their values – which we can track to the 2016 revelations of many KiwiSaver funds being invested in weapons and tobacco,” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). “In that short amount of time, we have seen nearly the entire investment industry move to put in place a responsible investment approach, from 2.5% of the industry two years ago.
9 August 2018
Responsible investment in Australia has hit a major milestone, with a new report finding over half of all professionally managed investments in Australia are now invested as responsible investments. Environmental, social, corporate governance and ethics considerations now sit alongside financial as critical components informing the investment decisions of the majority of Australia’s professional investors.
The 17th annual Australian Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2018 (KPMG), the most comprehensive review of the responsible investment sector in Australia, reveals the industry hitting new heights with $866 billion now managed as responsible investments, representing 55 per cent of all professionally managed assets in Australia, up from $622 billion in 2016 (growth of 39% year on year).
“This is a major milestone to reach with a majority of funds invested in Australia now being invested under commitments to responsible investment,” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA. “We are now at a stage whereby issues such as climate change, human rights, corporate culture, diversity and a whole range of other important sustainability issues are right at the forefront of consideration by Australia’s finance community.”
19 July 2018
Investments that deliver positive social and environmental impact alongside a financial return are on the rise, with the market for impact investing quadrupling between 2015 and 2017, reveals a new report launched today by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) in partnership with the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at Swinburne University.
Benchmarking Impact: Australian Impact Investment Activity and Performance Report 2018 presents the findings from analysis of impact investment activity and performance for a data-set of 51 Australian impact investment products active at 31 December 2017, with a total product value of $5.8 billion (up from $1.2 billion at 30 June 2015).
“The report reveals a diverse market delivering positive financial returns for investors while also benefiting the environment and impacting the lives of tens of thousands of people through employment pathways, education, and health services among other activities” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA.
“With nearly $6 billion of capital now being put to work to deliver a better society and environment through impact investing, we are now getting an insight into the potential of capital markets as a force to be harnessed for achieving a more prosperous and sustainable Australia.”
30 May 2018
Australia’s largest superannuation funds are ramping up their engagement in responsible investing to drive superior financial performance, reduce risk, and better meet their members’ and beneficiaries’ expectations, a new report from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has found.
From backing shareholder resolutions demanding company disclosure on climate risk to divesting from companies with poor governance or engaged in unethical activity, Australian super funds are increasingly flexing their muscle to influence better company behaviour.
RIAA’s Super Fund Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2018 finds that 81% of Australia’s largest super funds are committed to responsible investment (up from 70% in 2016), and 62% report annually on activity, highlighting how deeply responsible investing has become part of Australian investment markets.
The Super Fund Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2018 presents the results of a survey of Australia’s 53 largest superannuation funds1 – accounting for $1.4 trillion in assets under management.
29 May 2018
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has welcomed the Productivity Commission’s draft report Superannuation: Assessing Efficiency and Competitiveness highlighting the importance and benefits of Australia’s superannuation capital being invested responsibly to create the Australia its members want to live in and leave behind.
“We agree wholeheartedly with the Productivity Commission’s report that our superannuation system needs to work for all Australians, meeting the needs of members and retirees, and delivering high performance,” said RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor.
“Responsible investment provides a critical vehicle for Australia’s superannuation industry to optimise financial returns for its members. Environmental, social, corporate governance and ethical factors have become critical considerations in investment practice, increasingly impacting upon valuations and investment returns.
“Responsible investment funds are outperforming their average mainstream counterparts year on year, as the market for responsible investment continues to grow in Australia.
RIAA’s 2017 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report shows ‘core’ responsibly invested Australian share funds and balanced multi-sector funds have outperformed their equivalent mainstream funds over 3, 5 and 10-year horizons. Beyond RIAA’s own research, these findings have now been supported by academic and industry research from across the world’s most esteemed universities and institutions.
“The bulk of evidence now clearly concludes that to ignore environmental, social, corporate governance and ethical issues blinds investors to some of the key investment risks that are increasingly determining performance of investment outcomes,” said O’Connor.
15 November 2017
9 in 10 Australians expect their superannuation or other investments to be invested responsibly and ethically, new research commissioned by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has revealed.
In an important signal to Australia’s superannuation, banking and wealth management sectors, 4 in 5 Australians would consider switching their super or other investments to another provider if their current fund engaged in activities inconsistent with their values, and just over half will consider making ethical or responsible investments in the next 1 to 5 years.
The Australia-wide polling, conducted by Lonergan Research and launched today at RIAA’s Responsible Investment Australia 2017 conference in Sydney, shows consumer demand for responsible and ethical investment is on the rise, as the responsible investment industry continues to grow in size and influence.
2 August 2017
Investment funds in New Zealand have shifted towards responsible investing in droves over the past year, with negatively screened funds growing by over 2500% and reaching a total of $42.7 billion in 2016.
Following the large controversy around KiwiSaver funds in August 2016, there has been a massive increase in the use of negative screens to avoid investments in tobacco and controversial weapons, the latest Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2017 has found.
Launched today by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), the Report shows ‘Core’ responsible investments – made up primarily of screened funds – jumped from $1.6 billion in 2015 to $42.7 billion at the end of 2016. This jump is primarily due to the introduction of negative screening of multiple issues by the majority of New Zealand’s KiwiSaver providers.
25 July 2017
Responsible investment funds are outperforming their average mainstream counterparts year on year, as the market for responsible investment continues to grow in Australia, the latest Responsible Investment Benchmark Report 2017 has found.
Launched today by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), the report shows ‘core’ responsibly invested Australian share funds and balanced multi-sector funds have outperformed their equivalent mainstream funds over three, five and 10-year horizons.
“It is a long out-dated myth that financial returns must be sacrificed to invest responsibly or ethically. The performance figures and trends we are now seeing each year are telling us the opposite story,” said Simon O’Connor, CEO of RIAA…
2 June 2017
London June 1 2017: The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, the collaboration of leading national sustainable investment bodies from Europe, the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Australasia, has expressed strong disappointment in the US Government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The GSIA – representing $12 trillion of assets managed, banked or advised globally – has condemned the decision which comes at a critical moment when global capital is moving to play their part in financing the transition towards a low carbon economy.
The GSIA urges the Administration to reconsider the decision and join with the other 195 nations who are committed to tackling climate change through the Paris Agreement.
18 May 2017
A new initiative, the Impact Investment Forum, has been launched today to support development of the growing impact investment market in Australia and New Zealand.
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) has established the forum as demand and interest grows in impact investing across all sectors, including with government, philanthropy and the superannuation industry.
Impact investing seeks to achieve measurable social or environmental impact alongside financial returns. RIAA’s Impact Investment Forum will act as a dedicated hub to connect and deepen the participation of organisations and individuals in this growing field.
The forum will build on the foundational work of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing and Impact Investing Australia to catalyse the market for impact investing. It will receive assets Impact Investing Australia has incubated, including the Impact Investor Survey and Benchmarking Report on impact investment activity and performance.
As the market enters its next phase of development, RIAA’s Impact Investment Forum will take forward these critical pieces to develop market based data and practice. Together with other market based initiatives, this will complement the ongoing work of the Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing and the initiatives Impact Investing Australia continues to drive, including Impact Capital Australia and the Impact Investment Ready Growth Grants.
“RIAA’s mission is to see more capital being invested more responsibly. Through the Impact Investment Forum, we want to develop and amplify the significant work done by Impact Investing Australia, and help take impact investing to scale,” said RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor.
9 May 2017
Retail supply chain management, workplace safety, gender diversity on boards, farming and antibiotic use, and climate change are among the key issues being researched by broking firms in Australia to inform responsible investment strategies.
At the 8th Annual ESG Research Australia Awards held in Sydney today, Citi and Credit Suisse took out the awards for excellence in ESG research.
The Awards, attended by Australia’s leading superannuation funds, fund managers and broking firms, recognise excellence in environmental, social and governance (ESG) research with three awards, including best new ESG research, best ongoing research and best ESG broking firm.
30 pieces of ESG research conducted during 2016 were nominated from seven broking firms, including Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), Citi, CLSA, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Macquarie Bank. Nominations were assessed by the ESG RA Research Evaluation Committee, comprising superannuation funds and fund managers.
The winners of this year’s ESG Research Australia Awards are:
27 March 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27, 2017 – Today the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) released its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016, showing that global sustainable investment assets reached $22.89 trillion at the start of 2016, a 25% increase from 2014.
The Global Sustainable Investment Review brings together the results from regional market studies by the sustainable investment forums from Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand. Market information on Japan was provided by JSIF—Japan Sustainable Investment Forum; data on Asia ex Japan was provided by the Principles for Responsible Investment. GSIA leaders Flavia Micilotta, Executive Director of Eurosif: The European Sustainable Investment Forum; Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment; Meg Voorhes, Research Director at US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment; and Simon O’Connor, CEO of Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), hosted a media web conference on Monday, March 27th at 11:00 a.m. ET to discuss report findings.
24 November 2016
A new superfund benchmarking report launched at RIAA’s Responsible Investment Conference in Melbourne today has found that over two-thirds of the largest superfunds in Australia now have embedded a commitment to responsible investment, highlighting just how deeply the move to invest with a responsible approach has become a part of Australian investment markets.
The inaugural Superfund Responsible Investment Benchmarking Report (the Report) involved a detailed assessment and survey of the largest 50 superfunds1 in Australia – a universe that accounts for around $1.3 trillion of assets under management.
15 November 2016
Consumer polling released today highlights just how strongly New Zealanders believe their KiwiSaver providers should consider environmental, social and ethical factors as a part of delivering good investment products and financial returns.
A clear majority of respondents (81%) believe that it is important that KiwiSaver funds consider environmental, social and/or ethical factors providing a loud and clear signal to the industry that New Zealanders expect that their retirement savings are invested in a responsible manner.
Launched today at the New Zealand Responsible Investment Conference in Auckland, the polling very clearly highlights that New Zealanders don’t see this as a choice between financial considerations or personal values, but that both should be part of good investment practice.
27 July 2016
A significant sum of New Zealand’s capital is now being invested responsibly – totalling $NZ 78.7 billion – with early signs showing consumer demand is increasingly following this rise that has resulted in billions shifting from mainstream to responsible funds.
The new report launched today by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), shows this strong up take of responsible investment, from the largest institutions through to boutique funds and KiwiSaver products, is not only benefiting New Zealanders by underpinning strong investment strategies that deliver strong returns, but also contributing to a better environmental and social outlook for New Zealand.
13 July 2016
Nearly half (47%) of Australia’s investments are now being invested responsibly – totalling $633 billion – with a significant step up in consumer demand cementing this rise that has resulted in billions shifting from mainstream to responsible funds.
The new report launched today by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), shows it’s not only consumers who are benefiting, but financial advisers, superannuation funds, fund managers and banks who are leading the way in delivering great products with great returns, whilst creating a better environmental and social outlook for Australia.
“In observing the significant and consistent growth in responsible investment we can say without a doubt that this isn’t just a passing trend, but an evolution of the entire sector that is now being driven strongly by consumer demand and engagement with where they invest and bank their life savings,” said Simon O’Connor Chief Executive of RIAA.
“Years of demonstrated long-term investment benefits to investors, who consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, have quietly shifted around half of Australia’s investment industry to invest responsibly. Now, it is consumer demand targeted at superannuation funds, banks and financial advisers that is creating unstoppable momentum with implications for all parts of the finance sector,” said O’Connor
17 May 2016
The Seventh Annual ESG Research Australia (ESG RA) Awards function was held today in Melbourne. The award winners were:
At a luncheon function today in Melbourne attended by some of Australia’s leading superannuation funds, fund managers and broking firms, the coveted annual ESG Research Australia (ESG RA) Awards were announced.
ESG RA is an association of Australian superannuation funds, fund managers and asset consultants which has the single objective of increasing the quantity and quality of broker research in Australia that includes consideration of ESG issues (Environmental, social & governance issues). Membership currently represents over 50 institutions managing over $100 billion in Australian equities, and includes some of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, fund managers and asset consultants.
The awards ceremony also included an experienced panel showcasing and debating many of the very relevant issues raised by this broad array of research reports produced in 2015. The panel was expertly moderated by the Responsible Investment Association Australasia’s CEO Simon O’Connor.
Twenty-two pieces of research conducted during 2015 were nominated by members for consideration. Environmental and social research pieces dominated the nominated topics for this year’s awards with six nominations each.
Social issues included cyber security, employee safety, and payday lending, whilst climate change issues dominated the environmental nominations. Governance issues were also well represented with executive remuneration the dominant area of interest.
29 February 2016
Responding to the surging consumer interest in responsible and ethical investments, RIAA is today announcing the re-launch of its Responsible Investment Certification Program – a tool designed to help consumers and financial advisers navigate towards the growing range of responsible investment options.
RIAA’s Certification Program has been in place for 10 years and in recent months was revised and strengthened with a focus on the internal governance, program requirements, criteria and verification processes.
“With the recent work we have done on the Certification Program, we are now very excited to be bringing this to market at a time when it couldn’t be more important to provide clear, verified and transparent information about the rapidly growing range of responsible investment products.” said RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor.
14 August 2015
Responsible investment assets in New Zealand continue their strong growth reaching $63.5 billion following a 10% increase in 2014.
Launched today, the new report from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), the most comprehensive review of the responsible investment sector in New Zealand (now in its 14th year, but the first year as a stand alone NZ report), found more money is being invested under responsible investment portfolios through superannuation funds, fund managers, advisers and kiwisaver accounts to underpin strong investment returns, and deliver a healthier environment and society.
11 August 2015
Responsible investment assets form an ever greater portion of the country’s investment industry reaching $630 billion of assets and showing no signs of slowing down.
The new report from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), the most comprehensive review of the responsible investment sector in Australia (now in its 14th year), found more money is being directed into responsible investment portfolios by superannuation funds, fund managers and advisers to underpin strong investment returns, and deliver a healthier environment and society.
24 February 2015
The global sustainable investment market has grown substantially in both absolute and relative terms, according to The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2014, a report released today by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).
9 September 2014
The world’s leading responsible investment education business, the Responsible Investment Academy, will move to a new home with the Principles for Responsible Investment, enhancing the RI Academy’s global reach across the investment and finance community.
23 July 2014
Australia’s most comprehensive report into the responsible investment sector has found the market is undergoing a period of huge growth, with total funds under management in Australia and New Zealand in broad responsible investments increasing by 13% to $153billion.
13 February 2014
The RI Academy is pleased to announce the launch of new partnerships in Canada and India working with the Responsible Investment Association of Canada (RIA) and the Responsible Investment Research Association of India (RIRA).
28 November 2014
Most Australians (54%) would rather invest in a responsible super fund than a super fund which only considers maximising financial returns (46%), according to a national poll released today by RIAA.
11 July 2013
Whilst investment returns have strengthened to levels last seen before the Global Financial Crisis, responsible investment funds have surged even higher, outperforming both the benchmark and the average of mainstream funds over short and long term, in both Australian and international equities, according to the 2013 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report released today.
24 April 2013
The RI Academy today announces the launch of its first advanced course, Enhanced Financial Analysis, to help investors improve the practice of integrating these environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into fundamental investment analysis and stock valuation.
29 January 2013
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) today released a report on the size and trends within the sustainable investment industry which finds that globally at least US$ 13.6 trillion worth of professionally managed assets incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns into their investment selection and management.
21 January 2013
The Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon O’Connor as its new Chief Executive. Mr O’Connor’s appointment follows Louise O’Halloran stepping down at the end of 2012 after more than a decade leading the growth of responsible investment in Australia.
17 August 2013
After 11 years at the helm of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, Executive Director Louise O’Halloran has decided to step down to take a break from executive duties.