“I don’t really define ethical investment. Our clients do that for us. Ethics are very personal and are derived from our values.”
Ian Hudson is the principal of Hudson Green & Associates.
Q: You specialise in ethical investment. How does your work differ from that of other IFAs?
A: It doesn’t really differ that much from normal IFAs. In reality, you are still planning a client portfolio or creating a financial plan. Nonetheless, you have to consider their ethics in addition to this and make this central to your recommendations.
Q: How do you define ethical investment?
A: I don’t really define ethical investment. Our clients do that for us. Ethics are very personal and are derived from our values. Thus ethical investments are derived out of the values of the client, not what we say they are. A client could have no concerns in terms of animal testing but could feel strongly about ensuring their funds are invested in companies that produce arms for the UK military. Are we to judge that this is unethical?
Q: Is there a certain type of people that are particularly interested in ethical investment?
A: No. Everyone has an interest in ethical investment. The reason that most don’t invest is because they are not often asked. Everyone has ethics (…) even if they are deemed by others to be bad ethics.
Q: Which funds have recently caught your attention? Why?
A: The Impax Environmental Leaders fund [managed by Bruce Jenkyn-Jones and Simon Gottelier]. It ticks a lot of the boxes for performance and fits with those clients who are thinking about the technologies of tomorrow.
Q: Is there any sector that you are particularly interested in? If so, which one and why?
A: Water. Water is a commodity that we take for granted right now. It is unlikely to remain such a carefree commodity over the long-term, thus technologies that can improve water quality cost-effectively will likely be winners in tomorrow’s world.
Q: Has your strategy changed over the past 12 months?
A: We have paid more focus to corporate bonds, whereas two years ago they were performing less well against equities in this sector. This has now turned, somewhat, and some of our clients have been happy with the diversification that we first instilled in their portfolios.