— Pension Plowman (@henryhtapper) November 1, 2016
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.