The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have good business instincts. We haven’t heard anything about Meghan’s investment in Clevr Blends in a while, but I’m sure that it’s probably doing very well, especially with Oprah’s endorsement. They’re working with Procter Gamble on charity endeavors. Harry’s work with BetterUp has been brilliant, and the company’s valuation has more than doubled in less than nine months. So what’s new in SussexWorld? What is their next big project? Ethical investing.
Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, are getting into the investment business. They are joining Ethic, a fintech asset manager in the fast-growing environmental, social and governance space, as “impact partners” and investors. Ethic has $1.3 billion under management and creates separately managed accounts to invest in social responsibility themes.
The couple could attract more attention to sustainable investing. Harry and Meghan can make E.S.G. investing part of pop culture in a way that, say, BlackRock’s Larry Fink can’t. “From the world I come from, you don’t talk about investing, right?” Meghan told DealBook in a joint interview with Harry. “You don’t have the luxury to invest. That sounds so fancy.”
“My husband has been saying for years, ‘Gosh, don’t you wish there was a place where if your values were aligned like this, you could put your money to that same sort of thing?’” Meghan said. They were introduced to Ethic by friends, she said.
Harry and Meghan said they hoped that their involvement would help democratize investing, making people — especially younger people — more deliberate in their choices and conscious of investing in sustainable companies. “You already have the younger generation voting with their dollars and their pounds, you know, all over the world when it comes to brands they select and choose from,” Harry said, suggesting it was a natural extension to do the same with investments.
Ethic was founded in 2015 and has tripled assets under management in the past year, Doug Scott, a founder of the company, told DealBook. Ethic runs screens on companies and sectors based on social responsibility criteria, including racial justice, climate and labor issues. Its user interface has more in common with the likes of Robinhood than traditional financial sites, and it has developed a new platform, “Sustainability for Everyone,” which scores a person’s portfolio along different dimensions.
[From The NY Times]
Hey, Billions-watchers: Ethic sounds like Taylor Mason’s work, right? On Billions, Taylor Mason has always been all about “ethical investing,” with a specific focus on investment towards environmental achievements. I mean, the Billions writers understand what’s happening in the real world, and that people with millions of dollars want more ethical, sustainable and moral choices for how and where they invest. As in, no investing in gun companies, no investments in serial polluters, no investing in companies which destabilize democracies around the world. It’s interesting.
As for Meghan and Harry… they’re basically putting their money into an ethics-driven hedge fund and they’re taking the title of “impact partners,” meaning that they’re going to use their names to bring in even more money and investors. Good for them! But Isla de Saltines will have a week-long meltdown about it.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.