Individual customers account for 70% of assets being managed in international financial markets, through a combination of savings, pensions and insurance premiums, say HEC Paris professors, Diane-Laure Arjaliès and Afshin Mehrpouya.
This, they argue, presents a great opportunity, and responsibility, for customers to collectively influence companies’ stance towards socially responsible investment – by asking their banks and insurance firms where their money is invested, en masse.
HEC Paris continues its accessible animation series
With an eye on accessibility, these views on socially responsible investment are expressed in the second installment of an animated video production series initiated between HEC Paris and Augustin de Belloy, a graduate of the school.
HEC Ideas#2 comes almost a year since its predecessor. ‘How to Bake a Broccoli Quiche: A View on Organization’ was based on a book (La Désorganisation du Monde) penned by Rodolphe Durand, a strategy professor at HEC Paris.
The research behind the call-to-arms of ‘The Individual: the Missing Link in the Socially-Responsible Investment Chain’, meanwhile, comes from two members of the school’s management control department.
See the HEC Paris video in full below:
Arjaliès and Mehrpouya believe that greater attention to socially responsible investment can provide long term gains for both financial services customers and companies, but that it is the customers who must be the driving force of change. The stance taken by the HEC Paris professors is reminiscent of the popular adage, ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’; whoever you might attribute these words to.
The authors reason that firms must be persuaded to look past current obstacles in the path of socially responsible investment, such as the costs of analyzing the environmental and social aspects of investments and companies’ underlying desire to see returns in the short term. And, for this to happen, they concede that it will not just take one individual demanding that attention is paid to social and environmental issues when they invest, but millions of individuals.