Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment Awards 2022

29th June 2022

There was a packed room of 200 people at the Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment awards yesterday afternoon, coming together to celebrate leaders in the transition towards ethical investment.

Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment Awards 2022

Celebrating leaders in the transition towards ethical investment

There was a packed room of 200 people at the Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investment awards yesterday afternoon. The event started with a conference that focused on shifting more investment towards positive change to support the transition to net zero, regenerating nature and social equity.

Barry Coates, Founder and CEO of Mindful Money commented: “The buzz around the conference and awards was amazing. There was palpable passion and commitment from the ethical and impact investment communities, coming together to celebrate investment for a positive impact.

"The awards are also about celebrating the leaders. This second year of the conference and awards has affirmed the important role of these awards in celebrating excellence and highlighting best investment practice.

“The awards have set a new benchmark for high standards across the ethical investment and impact sectors. We have been thrilled at the quality of the entries, the expertise of the judges, and the support from our sponsors.

“These awards show innovation and leadership on ethical and impact investing. Amidst public concern over misleading claims and greenwashing, these funds are walking the talk. Standards have risen over the past year and there are now more choices for investors, and real benefits for the climate, environment and society.

“The awards extend Mindful Money’s focus on transparency and objective information. The judging process has relied on independent and experienced judges to assess the best performance in each category.

"We hope that the celebration of these awards will drive best practice and raise the level of ambition for the sector as a whole," Coates said.

Best Ethical KiwiSaver Provider
Best Ethical Retail Investment Provider

Photo: The Pathfinder Asset Management team celebrating their two awards.

The night’s biggest winner was Pathfinder Asset Management, winner of the Most Ethical KiwiSaver Provider and Best Retail Ethical Investment Provider. Pathfinder’s John Berry also won the Best Media Reporting award for his opinion series in collaboration with Stuff.

Mindful Money congratulates Pathfinder for continuing to push the boundaries of good practice winning The Best Ethical KiwiSaver provider award for the second year running. The judges were impressed by the way that ethical/responsible investment is at the core of Pathfinder’s business model, and investment policies and practices are aligned with that approach. Their positive impact approach includes investment in sustainable themes, private equity, venture capital and support for social enterprises.

Best New Ethical Fund

Photo: Victoria Harris, Devon Funds, receiving the award from Mark Longbottom from category sponsor, Mercer.

The Best New Ethical Fund award was awarded to Devon’s Global Sustainability Fund. The judges were pleased to see this new global equity fund launched into the New Zealand market, with a strong track record of ethical practice. There are a number of welcome features to the fund, such as the inclusion of emerging market investments, strong stewardship systems, and alignment to EU reporting standards.

The Best Overseas Ethical Fund

Photo: Matthew Mimms, Investment Store, the New Zealand distributor for Pengana funds receiving the award from Colin Thomson, from category sponsor, MAS.

The Best Overseas Fund award was a new addition to the Mindful Money Awards. The judges were looking for overseas investment funds, actively marketed within New Zealand, which are able to demonstrate the best ethical investment outcomes.

The award went to Pengana's WHEB Sustainable Impact Fund. The judges were impressed by the thought leadership that Pengana WHEB has shown over many years. They recognised that the fund looks beyond investments in companies that create positive impact to also seek out companies that can catalyse change. The judges also commended the WHEB fund on its strong analytical approach to engagement and voting, along with excellent communications to financial advisers and clients.

The Best Impact Investment Fund

Photo: Bill Murphy from Purpose Capital receiving the award from Paul Stocks from MBIE.

The judges awarded a highly commended award to the Climate Venture Capital Fund on its sound framework, including the establishment of a climate impact committee to provide input on investment decisions. The top-line measures in terms of investment per tonne of carbon reduced or avoided are clear, and the fund shows strong potential.

The winner of the 2022 Best Impact Investment fund went to the Purpose Capital Impact Fund. The judges commended Purpose Capital on their progress since the awards last year. It is great to see strong initial projects underway and clear investment criteria outlined on the website. The measurement approach to impact is rigorous and it will be extended to future reporting on the impacts from the perspective of local communities.

Best Net Zero and Climate Action Investor

Photo: Matt Whineray, New Zealand Superannuation Fund, receiving the award from Martin Pike, from category sponsor Lifestages.

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund took home the award for the Best Net Zero and Climate Action Investor for 2022. The Super Fund has been an early mover in developing a climate strategy, setting and then exceeding targets for emissions reductions. The Super Fund has started to invest in climate solutions - the judges encourage them to invest at scale across the New Zealand economy. Their leadership in climate finance is crucial for the finance sector.

Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment

Photo: John Berry, Pathfinder, receiving the award from Frances Sweetman from category sponsor, Milford.

The Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment was awarded to John Berry and Stuff. The judges were impressed with the depth of commitment shown in the series of high-quality opinion pieces. The articles are insightful and well-written, demonstrating thought leadership for the ethical investment sector.

Best Ethical Financial Adviser

Highly Commended was awarded to Money Matters. The judges were impressed at the way that Money Matters continues to innovate, providing high-quality bespoke solutions for clients. Rodger Spiller continues to provide thought leadership on financial advice, including a deep exploration of ethical values. His engagement and influence extend far beyond his client base, providing leadership on ethical issues across the financial advice sector.

Photo: Peter Lee, Ethical Investing NZ receiving the award from Weini Winslow from category sponsor, Generate KiwiSaver.

The Best Ethical Financial Adviser for 2022 was awarded to Ethical Investing NZ. The judges were impressed by the way that ethical approaches had been used as a basis for their client-centred approach. Ethical Investing Group provides in-depth information to clients accompanied by support to enhance their understanding of ethical and financial choices. There is a high standard of transparency, particularly around fees, so that clients are given full information about costs at the start of engagements.

Barry Coates concluded: “Huge congratulations to those highly commended and the winners in these awards. They provide the inspiration for others and exemplify the standards that should be applied across the sector.”

“We look forward to seeing the innovative funds that are poised to enter the New Zealand market over the next year to offer consumers new investment choices and to raise standards further.”


Jenny Parker from Convergence Partners commented: “Another great awards evening, wonderful ongoing initiative by Barry and the Mindful Money team, we loved being able to support it this year. Insightful and important panel discussions and so great to see the quality of all the entrants. Congratulations again to our well deserving two time category winner Pathfinder, and to Harbour Asset for their Highly Commended award.”

"Milford is delighted to be a sponsor of the Mindful Money Awards for 2022 and applaud the work Mindful Money is doing to surface important issues and make a positive impact. Investors want to avoid their money doing harm, which is why it’s important investors such as ourselves are committed to creating a more sustainable future by driving companies we invest in to improve the sustainability of their practices."

Mindful Money secured generous support for the conference, including from Convergence Partners, Generate, Lifestages, Medical Assurance Society (MAS), Mercer, Milford Asset Management and Trustees Executors.

Mindful Money is also grateful for the support of AMP, ASB, Booster, Macquarie, Money Works and Pathfinder as sponsors, and to Good Returns as the media partner for the awards.