“Please don’t take your politics into this room” – An evening with @shareactionuk .

 

The statement was made by the chair of trustees advised by my friend Nico Aspinall, when Nico advocated a green default for the chair’s mastertrust.

The statement was very stupid. Nico Aspinall (or as he shall hereafter be know- Professor Green) is not political. He is a man with a Cambridge degree in Theoretical Physics, an actuary and a firm believer in the economic advantages of sustainable investment. He is – by way of balance – exactly the kind of man you can share a pint of Whitstable Bay with.

The Share Action meeting I’d attended before retiring to the Westminster Arms was noisy, packed and enthusiastic. I tried to catch something of the diversity of testimony from those who spoke on twitter.

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screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-06-44-17screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-06-44-38screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-06-44-58

You get the picture. A lot of people trying to take some control of the behaviour of the pension schemes they are in.


Not just moaning – Share Action!

share-action

Action

While all this testifying was going on, Jeanie Drake and others were debating the second reading of the Pension Bill in the House of Lords.

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I’m very pleased to hear from Pre-Raphaelite Goddess CEO – Catherine Howarth, that Share Action are putting their very simple suggestions for better member engagement, as amendments to this bill.

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I’m also pleased to report that though the majority of the people in the room were men, it was the women who were making the most sense!

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Pension Action

There is a sound case for investing in sustainable products. My pension provider – L&G are reported as introducing a range of sustainable DC investment products shortly, I will be looking at them for the investment of my own funds.

The stupid comment of the Chair of Trustees to Professor Green (King of the green default) suggests to me that we have some  way to go before sustainability moves out of “political correctness” and into mainstream investment theory.

But the idea that pension investment can have both economic and social purpose and that the two ideas are not incompatible is gaining ground.

Theoretical physicists are not as stupid as they look.

nico

Professor Green

 

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen, Director of First Actuarial, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to “Please don’t take your politics into this room” – An evening with @shareactionuk .

  1. DaveC says:

    Good news and a great article.

    But how do these sustainable investments work with subsidised green projects like wind power for instance?

    They’re short term unsustainable, long term they may be, but they will certainly need government policy to be ‘on their side’ to keep them relevant.

    I hope these investment funds don’t end up holding sudsidy or government policy hostage in future.

    If these investment types can stand on their own two feet then I’m all for them. I’m a strong supporter of people voting for the world they want through their wealth, and this should let many people vote for the things they’ll believe in!

    Like

  2. Gerry Flynn says:

    Pension schemes investments are there to make money so they can pay pensions now and in the future. If this means investing in Oil, Nuclear Power or any other form of investment that the “tree huggers” consider “dirty” because the rate of return is greater then so be it.These people would be the first to complain if the fund consistently performed poorly due to it’s investment strategy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. henry tapper says:

    It’s the essential question – are these green funds an economic necessity or a political fad. We won’t know for a decade, for now we have to take a view. The Pension PlayPen lunch on Monday will be asking these questions – anyone with an interest should try to get to the counting house at 12.30

    Liked by 1 person

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