The Big Exchange has attracted additional support from leading fund managers to launch a revolutionary mobile-first investment service that will bring a wide range of; social and environmental impact funds direct to a retail audience for the first time.
Pictet Asset Management, Quilter, Stewart Investors, WHEB Asset Management, and Tortoise have now joined the cross-industry partnership which aims to revolutionise the way UK retail investors engage with investing by building a service which encourages and rewards positive impact.
In addition, Jill Jackson is joining The Big Exchange as Managing Director from Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) and will lead the business through launch phase and beyond. At the same time, Chris Ralph, Chief Investment Officer of St James' Place Wealth Management, is joining as Chairman of The Big Exchange Investment Committee. Chris's role is to lead the Investment Committee, focusing on funds that deliver competitive performance, value for money and positive impact to people and the planet.
3D Investing and Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research will also join The Big Exchange as partners in delivering the fund selection process. 3D Investing have worked in tandem with The Big Exchange to build a unique impact assessment methodology which integrates a number of key metrics that will allow customers to frame their impact in relation to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research will provide analysis of the value and performance of the funds and are providing the framework for the risk rated fund bundles available to investors. Herbert Smith Freehills have also joined to provide advice pro bono, underneath the banner of their global impact investment and social finance practice, HSF Impact.
Launching the impact investing proposition is only phase one of an ambitious project. The Big Exchange, driven by the same mission as The Big Issue Group, dismantling poverty through creating opportunity, will make not only impact investing but also ethical financial services available to all through a simple, accessible, mobile-first interface. The ultimate objective is a complete blockchain-based financial ecosystem that works for everyone.
Customers will be able to choose from ready-made bundles or individual funds filtered by risk or by impact focus and track both performance and impact through the app. Funds will be offered at a price which will be amongst the lowest in the market.
The Big Exchange will also offer high-quality educational material, information and tools to support customers through their journey. The impact that each user creates will be recognised through a unique digital social passport and token system.
The Big Exchange has already received indications of support for at least £1 million in funding. The new partners will work alongside and collaborate with those previously announced: The Big Issue Group, Aberdeen Standard Investments, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, AllianceBernstein, Alquity, platform builder FNZ and specialist marketing agency AML Group. The Big Exchange will be an appointed representative of Rexigon Securities who will also provide custody services to Investors. Leading industry executives from the firms involved will be offered to join one of The Big Exchange's committees to help best shape the future of this proposition.
Jill Jackson, Managing Director of The Big Exchange, added:
"I am thrilled to be joining The Big Exchange and helping shape the future of UK impact investing. It is fantastic news to have additional support of Pictet, Quilter, Tortoise, Stewart Investors and WHEB who are all key players in developing impact and ethical investing. The proposition is ground breaking; it's a mission-driven business that is more effective and sustainable because it's not a charity. It will help millions of people to help each other build a better society as well being a channel for them to invest for long-term financial returns."
Chris Ralph, Chairman of The Big Exchange Investment Committee, said:
"I am delighted to be working with The Big Exchange. Becoming chair of the Investment Committee will, I hope, add weight to the dialogue that we are having with fund management companies who have funds that have positive social and environmental impact and are considering linking with our developing platform. These are exciting times."
Richard Romer-Lee, Managing Director of Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research, said:
"People are increasingly looking for investments that have a social purpose and that generate impact. Square Mile are delighted to be working with The Big Exchange in support of the industry on this forward-thinking initiative."
Wendy Appleton, Head of Sales - UK & Ireland, Pictet Asset Management continued:
"Pictet Asset Management are delighted to be a founding partner of The Big Exchange as environmental, governance and social investing plays a huge role in everything we do. It's a terrific opportunity to be part of something exciting and forward thinking. Working together we can help people achieve their financial goals by investing in the sustainable themes of tomorrow."
Nigel Kershaw OBE, Chair of The Big Issue Group and The Big Exchange, says:
"We created The Big Exchange to allow anyone with savings or pensions to invest in funds that give them a financial as well as social and environmental return. We are so proud to have world class partners on board all united to make our mission to create a financial system that works for everyone in society a reality."
Vincent Barnouin, a London-based Managing Director with the Tortoise Ecofin Platform, said:
"Tortoise is very pleased to be a part of this important initiative to help retail investors make a positive social and environment impact through their investments."
George Latham, Managing Partner of WHEB Asset Management said:
"The Big Exchange is an ambitious project to democratise positive impact investments. It has the potential to reconnect and mobilise disengaged savers with the outcomes their money is working towards in society. WHEB is really pleased to be involved."
The Big Exchange will initiate a rolling launch programme to the public which will start in mid 2019.
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