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Finalists Announced for Mindful Money Awards

Sat May 29th 2021


Ethical Investment is set to become the new normal in New Zealand, but there has been widespread confusion over uneven standards. Mindful Money has launched the inaugural awards for ethical and impact investment awards to celebrate those setting best practice standards.

Mindful Money’s Founder and CEO, Barry Coates commented: “There has been a huge leap in standards amongst leaders in ethical and impact investment. Now the best investment providers are avoiding companies that do harm, influencing corporate practices and shifting funds into companies that are creating positive social and environmental impact. That is a massive step forward over the past two years. The public can have confidence that the leading ethical funds are doing good and doing well.”

There were 48 entries in 7 different award categories, judged by 25 independent experts. The judging process has been rigorous and achieved consensus, selecting a strong field of finalists.

Best Ethical KiwiSaver Provider

The judges were excited to see significant deepening of ethical practices amongst the leading fund providers. In particular, funds have gone beyond just avoiding tobacco and some weapons to exclude a range of issues that are of concern to the New Zealand public. Some funds now report on the tangible changes they achieve through influencing companies to improve their ESG performance. And leading funds now devote part of their portfolio to impact investments, creating positive social and environmental benefits.

The finalists (in alphabetical order) are: Booster, Generate, Mercer, Pathfinder, and Simplicity.

Best Ethical Retail Investment Provider
There was a strong field of entries into this category, and improvements in the standard of ethical investment practice was evident. The judges looked for best practice through avoiding harm; improving company standards; investing in better companies; demonstrating commitment to ethical investing; and earning good returns. In each of these areas, the finalists were able to show tangible outcomes and verified evidence of best practice.

The finalists are: AMP Capital, Booster, Harbour, Mercer, and Pathfinder.

Best New Ethical Fund
This category celebrates the new and innovative ethical funds available to the New Zealand public. The judges welcomed the ways that the new funds have deepened the practice of ethical/responsible investing. Best practice for these funds has now progressed beyond managing financial risks to improving the impact of their portfolios on society and the environment.

The finalists are: Booster, Harbour, Mint, and Pathfinder.

Best Impact Investment Fund
Investment that makes a positive difference to people and the environment, while earning a financial return, sounds too good to be true. However, the funds that submitted into this category show that’s not the case.

The finalists are: Community Finance – providing finance for social housing at scale; Impact Enterprise Fund – combining impact investments with a high target rate of return; Purpose Capital – combining the power of commercial investment with the expertise of philanthropy; and Soul Capital – impact first investing driven by community needs, resources and aspirations.

The judges also acknowledged strong entries from two promising funds, AgRegen and the Climate Venture fund. Both these funds have great plans for launch later in the year, tackling crucial challenges with an innovative and impactful approach.

Most Effective Fund for Climate Impact
This is a new category with few qualifying entrants, but the judges affirmed it is crucial for generating the investment that will be required for the New Zealand economy to transition to a zero emissions pathway. The judges are looking for a huge increase in investment under this category in future years.

The finalists are: Climate Venture Capital Fund, a new early stage financing fund in the process of raising capital; and New Zealand Green Investment Finance, the Crown-owned green investment bank designed to accelerate investment in New Zealand’s decarbonisation.

Best Ethical Financial Adviser

The judges were impressed by the client-centred approach evident in the approach undertaken by all the entrants. Their strong commitment to ethical investing is supported by robust processes, strong research and integration of their clients’ ethical aspirations into investment portfolios.

The finalists are: Ethical Investing NZ, Money Matters, and Rutherford Rede.

Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment

The judges assessed the entrants on the basis of their story-telling skills, their track record of engaging audiences, and their ability to provide insights on ethical and impact investment. There were four finalists that showed outstanding journalism and the commitment to cover these crucial issues.

The finalists are: Daniel Smith/Good Returns, Deleted/Stuff Circuit, John Berry in collaboration with Stuff, and Rob Stock/Stuff.

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