Private Wealth and ESG

Private wealth plays an increasingly important role in supporting the global movement to align our financial system with sustainable development, environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations all of which are key to achieving the desired positive impact on the planet.

ESG considerations are no longer ‘theory’ or a nice to have. From an investment perspective having a wrongly constituted portfolio could have material implications on value and the spectre of ‘stranded assets’ (e.g the holding of fossil fuel investments) which can’t be sold is a real one. Plainly this is a material consideration for trustees given their fiduciary duties to preserve and enhance the trust fund.

On a practical level going forward it seems likely that we will all have to demonstrate and evidence our carbon footprint and simple actions and tasks in today’s world may become increasingly difficult (e.g. opening bank accounts) for those who are unable to evidence an acceptable carbon footprint.

It is also interesting to note that certain family offices have been at the forefront in terms of implementing change around ESG considerations and impact investing. Private capital is an increasingly powerful voice.

On the  softer side of ultra high net worth family dynamics and governance ESG considerations, philanthropy around ESG  and views around impact investing have also given second and third generation family members a real voice and a sense of purpose. This has to be welcomed. Trustees and professional advisers need to be aligned.

We support trustees, foundations, family offices and philanthropists seeking to ensure that the structuring and investment of private wealth is positively "impactful" from an environmental and/or social perspective.

We create solutions for clients seeking to incorporate ESG considerations into existing private wealth structures or seeking to establish private wealth structures with ESG, sustainable or impact investment objectives.

We innovate to meet evolving legal and regulatory requirements and help clients respond to such changes.

We understand the interaction between fiduciary duties, good governance and the mitigation of fiduciary risk with the goal of aligning the investment of private wealth with the families' sustainable investment vision.

Services

Our services include:

  • Establishment of private wealth structures primarily focused on ESG, impact or sustainable investment objectives (these might be charitable or non-charitable purpose trusts, foundations or companies limited by guarantee)
  • Establishment of traditional private wealth structures which are drafted to be compliant with ESG or sustainable investment principles albeit for the wider benefit of the family
  • The drafting of investment powers in trusts and foundations specifically around ESG principles and the family's wishes
  • Advising trustees on the adoption of ESG principles and trustee investment duties
  • Family governance advice on bringing in second and third generation beneficiaries to a structure's ESG policy and operations
  • Assisting trustees, family offices and families to determine a workable ESG policy
  • Amending family charters to include the family's wishes on ESG
  • Working with family offices and individuals to develop and design impact journey's and translate into the portfolio
  • Optimise grant strategies for foundations and help leverage PRI and MRI to acheive impact