Majority of investors surveyed want their fund managers to engage with corporations to promote more diversity in leadership.
TORONTO – October 22, 2020 – The vast majority of Canadian retail investors want to see more diversity and inclusion in their investment portfolios, according to a new survey from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA).
The 2020 RIA Investor Opinion Survey, which is based on an Ipsos poll of 1,000 individual investors in Canada, found that 73% of respondents would like a portion of their portfolio to be invested in organizations providing opportunities for the advancement of women and diverse groups, and 72% want their fund manager to engage with Canadian corporations to encourage more diversity in leadership.
In addition, the survey found that 89% of respondents believe it is important for Canadian companies to create inclusive workplaces that are free of discrimination, while 85% said Canadian companies should provide more leadership opportunities to qualified women and people of diverse backgrounds.
The survey, sponsored by AGF Investments Inc. and Desjardins Group, also shows 75% of respondents would like their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investment (RI) options. However, only 28% of respondents have been asked by their provider if they are interested in RI. This gap is consistent with previous years’ findings.
“The market has spoken and, unsurprisingly, Canadian investors want corporate leadership to reflect the diversity that defines Canadian society,” said Dustyn Lanz, CEO of the RIA. “The survey results provide a market signal for investment managers to increase their stewardship efforts around diversity and inclusion. They also show there is a huge opportunity for financial advisors to be more engaged with their clients around responsible investment,” said Lanz.
“The findings of this year’s survey indicate that Canadians are ready for change and now is the time to take action and advance conversations around diversity and inclusion,” said Judy Goldring, President and Head of Global Distribution, AGF Management Limited. “At AGF, we want to be part of this positive change and are continually examining our practices and providing forums for dialogue to ensure we are living daily our commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
“With the largest suite of RI solutions in Canada, Desjardins is proud to partner with the Responsible Investment Association to present these survey results that show the growing interest of Canadians towards financial products promoting diversity and inclusion,” explains Éric Landry, Vice-President, Investment Solutions at Desjardins. “We have indeed noticed over the last 30 years how our members and clients value the integration of environmental, social and governance issues in their investments.”
- 89% of respondents believe it is important that Canadian companies create inclusive workplaces that are free of discrimination.
- 85% say Canadian companies should provide more leadership opportunities to qualified women and people of diverse backgrounds; 76% say they should set goals for more diversity in leadership.
- 72% want their fund manager to engage Canadian corporations to encourage more diversity in leadership, and 66% would want them to take action if a company was known to have a culture of discrimination.
- 73% would like a portion of their portfolio to be invested in organizations providing opportunities for the advancement of women and diverse groups.
- While 75% of respondents agreed they would like their financial services provider to inform them about responsible investments that are aligned with their values, only 28% have been asked about RI options.
- 83% of the 18-34 age group are interested in RI and 50% reported they currently own responsible investments. This stands in contrast to 59% of respondents aged 55+ being interested in RI and 20% owning RI.
- Nearly half (45%) of respondents said they are more likely to choose RI than they were a year ago. This percentage jumps to 59% of the 18-34 age group, 51% of university graduates and 58% of households with kids. These figures may be attributable to the pandemic and racial injustice reckoning of 2020, which have led to a greater focus on societal challenges.
View the full report here.
The 2020 RIA Investor Opinion Survey complements the RIA’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Week, a week of dialogues and education for investment professionals to advance diversity and inclusion in their organizations and their portfolios, hosted from October 26-30th. The week will kick off with a keynote speech from Wes Hall, Executive Chairman of Kingsdale Advisors and Founder of the BlackNorth Initiative. The closing sessions on Friday, October 30th will feature English and French presentations of the survey’s findings. Those interested in the Friday sessions can register for free here.
About the Responsible Investment Association
The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is Canada’s industry association for responsible investment. The RIA’s membership includes asset managers, asset owners, advisors, and service providers who support its mandate of promoting responsible investment in Canada’s retail and institutional markets. Learn more at www.riacanada.ca.
Responsible Investment Association
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