Richard Zimmerman Discusses ESG Investing with Private Banker International

By taking a greater interest in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, family offices and driving growth in ESG investing, with U.S. families increasing their ESG allocation by seventy-one percent between 2016 and 2018 according to the latest SIF Foundation Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends report.

To learn more about the ESG investing process, Private Banker International recently spoke with WE Family Offices Advisor Richard Zimmerman.

“The values-aligned investing process begins with understanding the investor’s objectives and unique preferences,” says Zimmerman. “A diagnostic determines areas of interest or disinterest for each family, which can be a dynamic process as they identify, prioritize and incorporate these areas of importance into the mission of the family wealth enterprise, as well as the investment portfolio.”

While there are many ways family offices, private banks or wealth managers may approach ESG investments differently, one key difference is how they measure these investments.

“Measurement in ESG and impact investing is both quantitative and qualitative, and we have found that there are many approaches, yet no perfect solution,” explains Zimmerman. “However, measurement is rapidly improving due to date, technology, and industry frameworks.”

“We have developed our own methodology to track and report ESG impact performance, which continues to evolve. In general, we prefer to report on the intentionality and impact of an ESG or impact investment using more qualitative measures. We have found that anecdotes and stories resonate more with our client families.”

Read the entire article in the July 2019 issue of Private Banker International.