Green references take root with the launch of the TS&W portfolio

Launch of a pioneering portfolio of sustainable investments in the new Jersey aggregate washing plant at the La Collette recycling center. Photo: JON GUEGAN. (31918419)

TS&W, which manages £ 55bn in assets, chose Jersey for the launch because of its confidence in the island’s green credentials, even suggesting in a webinar that Jersey could become the world’s first carbon-neutral island. in 2030.

The launch of the sustainable portfolio management offshore service also coincided with the commissioning of AAL Recycling’s £ 3million aggregate washing plant at the La Collette recycling center, the type of investment that TS&W looks for in its portfolios.

Louie French, Director of Tilney Sustainable Managed Portfolio Services, visited AAL’s aggregate washing plant, which will produce high quality products from waste earth, stone and concrete, recycling up to 100 %. The facility can deliver 250 tons of concrete per week and produce sand and stone, eliminating the need to extract materials from natural resources or to import. The company recycles 100,000 tonnes of waste per year, the same amount of which ends up in landfill, but it is hoped that the new machines will significantly reduce the amount spilled.

The launch of offshore investment portfolios is also important for Jersey, as TS&W are far from being new boys in ESG investing, an area which Morningstar says represents more than $ 2 trillion in global markets. .

Local fund managers will now be able to take advantage of the track record of Mr. French and his team managing the group’s six sustainable strategies, ranging from Conservative to Maximum Growth. The Tilney Sustainable Portfolio fund, for example, recently won the award for best ESG strategy at the City of London Wealth Management Awards and the Tilney Sustainable Model Portfolio Service range has a ten-year history. They were also launched in the financial advisor market in August 2020.

Mr French told JEP Business that the portfolios have amassed a strong performance record which is now available through Jersey.

“I started in sustainable investing when ESG was not a widely recognized term and sustainable portfolios were definitely a niche,” he said.

“The concept of circular economy will certainly be discussed at COP26, and I hope that it will also become a common term. I am delighted to see that Jersey has already taken an important step in this direction with the modernized recycling facilities at La Collette. ‘

Making the portfolio range available overseas will expand out-of-the-box choices for investors, but the Jersey office can also create tailor-made solutions for clients with different policies, meaning small investors can also participate.

Despite the growth in ESG investments, some investors remain cynical and believe there is a risk of being misled as to where their investment is going. Mr. French acknowledged that greenwashing was a major challenge for the entire investment community, but highlighted the increase in regulation.

“For example, the EU has already introduced its sustainable finance disclosure regulation and the UK government announced similar measures last week,” he said.

“The big challenge currently facing market players is the coverage and quality of ESG data, which requires significant improvement for funds to make these new regulatory disclosures. We therefore expect to see significant upgrades from data providers in the last quarter and through 2022, to help investors with greater transparency about where their money is invested. ‘

This challenge was also taken up in Jersey where new rules are being introduced to protect investors from greenwashing.

However, as Mr. French admitted, ethics and sustainability can be subjective. Most oil and defense companies, for example, would fail TS & W’s pre-defined filtering policies, but investors could change their attitude as commodity and energy prices start to rise as expected and prices rise. investors would see their top ten holdings change.

“That is why we prefer to signal our positive impact alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and use case studies to support decisions,” he said. “It helps to highlight the nuances in this area of ​​the market, which are sometimes lost with some of the more blunt reporting measures.”

Matt Falla, managing director of Smith & Williamson International in Jersey, said last week’s launch was an incredibly exciting development in terms of delivering sustainable financial solutions to Jersey.

“This is a goal our industry is working towards here, supporting an environmentally and socially sustainable global economy,” he said.

“By launching and managing this new wallet service from Jersey, we are making a clear statement about our intentions to do just that.

“Smith & Williamson International are also proud to be Genuine Jersey’s premier patron and support the organization in advocating for local produce, which is a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of the island’s food imports while by supporting local businesses. “

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