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Instreet acquires responsible investment platform

By Tim Stewart
2 minute read

The ownership of responsible investment platform The Emerald Wrap has changed in the wake of Australian Unity’s takeover bid for Premium Wealth Management.

Speaking to InvestorDaily, Instreet managing director George Lucas said his company has purchased 100 per cent of The Emerald Club (the platform’s parent company).

Twenty-five per cent of The Emerald Club was previously held by financial planning dealer group Premium Wealth Management, while the remaining 75 per cent belonged to individual investors, Mr Lucas said.

The opportunity to acquire the 25 per cent stake arose after Australian Unity’s announcement in July 2014 that it intends to acquire Premium, he said.

Mr Lucas pointed out that "more and more" companies are unveiling socially responsible policies.

"We’re seeing a lot of pension funds overseas getting rid of their fossil fuel holdings," he said.

"A lot of the big US endowment funds are either divesting from that sector or asking various companies what their plans are and how they’re going to become more socially responsible," Mr Lucas said.

As it stands, the Emerald Club gives investors access to 200 funds including "more than 20 certified as a responsible investment", according to the platform's website.

It also includes socially responsible separately managed account (SMA) model portfolios.

Mr Lucas said Instreet is aiming to make overseas socially responsible ETFs available to Australian investors by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

While Emerald Wrap only has $30 million in funds under management, Mr Lucas said he was confident that figure would "grow substantially".

"Speaking to financial advisers, the feedback we get is that more and more of their clients want an ethical foundation to their investments," he said.

Responsible investments have performed particularly well in the last year thanks to their underweight positions to companies invested in oil and coal, Mr Lucas added.

"That will produce more and more publicity around the performance of these funds," he said.