Large increase of sustainable investments by European High Net Worth Individuals

Eurosif’s 2010 High Net Worth Individual & Sustainable Investment Study published by Eurosif examines the sustainable investment strategies used by wealthy families in their asset allocations and the extent to which they integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into their investment decision-making and ownership practices.

Based on a survey of wealth managers and family offices, Eurosif estimates the 2010 European HNWI Sustainable Investment market to be approximately €729 billion, representing an average of about 11% of European HNWIs’ portfolios as of December 31, 2009. This is a growth rate of 35% over the two-year period since the data was previously collected. Following its research, Eurosif predicts that by 2013 the share will have increased to 15%, just below the €1.2 trillion mark.

Other key findings of the Study include:

80% of wealth managers and family offices see that the financial crisis has had a positive influence on sustainable investments;
90% of wealth managers and family offices think that their sustainable investments have performed better in light of the financial crisis;
There is a diversification in asset allocation, with microfinance, private equity and bonds being more represented than in 2007; the appetite for real estate as well as alternative (hedge funds) investments is decreasing;
The source of sustainable products for Family Offices and HNWIs is increasingly the investment vehicle itself, with lesser interest for consultant and advisor services; HNWIs are increasingly internalising expertise on Sustainable Investment;
HNWIs are less and less looking at sustainable investment as an alternative to philanthropy;
A majority of HNWIs considers financial opportunity to be the main driver for sustainable investment demand.

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