The Emerald Wrap, Australia’s first dedicated responsible investment wrap platform, has entered into a partnership with Impact 20/80 to promote socially responsible impact investments.
Impact 20/80 provides financial, advisory, investment and funds management services for the impact investment sector and has been founded by Lisa Wade, an Emerald Wrap director, Matthew Dent, a director of the Emerald Wrap, and Michael Brooks. Impact 20/80 formed the strategic alliance with the Emerald Wrap, which was acquired by InStreet Investment in early 2015.
“The overall business is designed to be an impact investment bank,” Wade said.”[Impact 20/80] is designed to capacity-build along all areas of the value change. The biggest disconnect we see is the inability for everyday investors to align their investments to their values, if they want to. With this deal with emerald, we can take the responsible investment platform, give it great technology, align it with our investment matrix, which is a process around what we call shades of green to allow people to align their investments to their values and bring customer choice.”
Impact 20/80 will source and develop investments with social and/or environmental impact as well as financial returns, and use the established platform of Emerald Wrap as a basis to provide access to investors. The strategic partnership between Impact 20/80 and InStreet will also include significant, ongoing technology upgrades to the Emerald Wrap’s platform.
“One of the things for us with the partnership with Emerald Wrap is the enormous brand equity in the platform and the ability to bring that forward,” Dent said. “We’re making a lot of noise about impact investing, but if we’re going to make a big deal about impact, everyday investors have to be able to access it. You talk about supply [of impact investments] – there’s also a lot of timing and aligning when it comes to people transitioning their investments. We don’t talk about divestment, we don’t talk about being activists, we talk about choice and we talk about people aligning their investments with their values.”
The Emerald Wrap will continue to be a B2B service for financial advisers, but the platform technology will be upgraded and evolved to allow customers to design investment services in a more bespoke manner, Wade said.
“We’re not using a traditional model of launching funds and getting wholesale investors,” she said. “We are about aggregating talent more than raising capital. Emerald Wrap already has funds under management, already has a great profile, and what we’re trying to do is build on that. The model we’re using is a little bit different in that within the impact matrix, we’re bringing in portfolio management skills.”
Wade said that Impact 20/80 is operating in an environment where technology costs are falling, which means it is increasingly less expensive for retail investors to design their own portfolios.
“When we talk about investors choosing their own investment adventure in their portfolio, it all comes down to cost,” Wade said. “The way technology is evolving, we believe it’s great for investors because costs have come down. We believe that the more education we can bring to impact investment, the more awareness we can bring, and combined with investment expertise, the better the outcome.”
Emerald Wrap was founded in August 2011 by Tim Xirakis and Justin Medcalf. The Emerald Wrap is a dedicated responsible investment, superannuation and pension platform, and includes approved funds and separately managed account (SMA) model portfolios.