Instreet acquires The Emerald Wrap

Boutique investment firm Instreet has reached an agreement with Premium Wealth Management and other parties to acquire a responsible investment platform.

Twenty-five per cent of The Emerald Club is owned by Premium Wealth Management, while the remaining 75 per cent belongs to individual investors, Instreet managing director George Lucas said.

The opportunity to acquire the 25 per cent stake arose after Australian Unity’s announcement in July 2014 that it intends to acquire Premium, he said.

Mr Lucas pointed out that "more and more" companies are unveiling socially responsible policies.

"We’re seeing a lot of pension funds overseas getting rid of their fossil fuel holdings," he said.

"A lot of the big US endowment funds are either divesting from that sector or asking various companies what their plans are and how they’re going to become more socially responsible," Mr Lucas said.

As it stands, The Emerald Club gives investors access to 200 funds including "more than 20 certified as a responsible investment", according to the platform's website.

It also includes socially responsible separately managed account (SMA) model portfolios.

Mr Lucas said Instreet is aiming to make overseas socially responsible ETFs available to Australian investors by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

While Emerald Wrap only has $30 million in funds under management, Mr Lucas said he was confident that figure would "grow substantially".

"Speaking to financial advisers, the feedback we get is that more and more of their clients want an ethical foundation to their investments," he said.

Responsible investments have performed particularly well in the last year thanks to their underweight positions to companies invested in oil and coal, Mr Lucas added.

"That will produce more and more publicity around the performance of these funds," he said.

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