AIC publishes investment companies’ ESG policies

ESG education page launched to help investors.

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The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has today published investment companies’ ESG policies on its website www.theaic.co.uk. The disclosures are available on AIC members’ profile pages and appear alongside existing information such as performance data and portfolio holdings.

The disclosures are free-form and allow investment companies to fully explain their ESG policies. For example, companies can state whether they have adopted or signed up to sustainability initiatives such as the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or whether they actively exclude specific sectors such as tobacco or gambling. They can also explain how they engage with investee companies and provide links to further information.

Currently 63% of AIC members have submitted an ESG disclosure, representing 68% of members’ assets. These numbers are expected to grow as more members join the initiative. AIC member investment companies can submit or amend their ESG disclosures at any time.

To help investors the AIC has also launched an ESG education page. This includes a new animated video ‘What is ESG?’ which explains the relevance of ESG to investment companies, an ESG Q&A and a jargon buster, as well as ESG-related content and articles.

Ian Sayers, Chief Executive of the Association of Investment Companies (AIC), said: “ESG is personal and priorities will vary from investor to investor. That’s why we’ve given each of our member investment companies the opportunity to describe their ESG policy so that investors can select the companies that best match their preferences. The disclosures sit alongside information on our website such as investment companies’ performance and portfolios, so investors can easily incorporate ESG into their investment decisions.

“Investment companies’ closed-ended structure and their independent boards make them particularly suited for ESG strategies, from active engagement to social impact. However, we recognise that ESG is an area which is evolving rapidly. Our new ESG education page is designed to help investors by explaining key ESG-related terminology, answering questions investors may have and providing links to useful articles and videos.”

-ENDS-

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Notes to editors

  1. The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) was founded in 1932 to represent the interests of the investment trust industry – the oldest form of collective investment. Today, the AIC represents a broad range of closed-ended investment companies, incorporating investment trusts and other closed-ended investment companies and VCTs. The AIC’s members believe that the industry is best served if it is united and speaks with one voice. The AIC’s mission statement is to help members add value for shareholders over the longer term. The AIC has 361 members and the industry has total assets of approximately £249 billion.
  2. Disclaimer: The information contained in this press release does not constitute investment advice or personal recommendation and it is not an invitation or inducement to engage in investment activity. You should seek independent financial and, if appropriate, legal advice as to the suitability of any investment decision. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investment company shares, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the full amount invested and, in some cases, nothing at all.
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