ABOUT ETHICAL INVEST GROUP
Ethical investing is a win for the finance industry, a win for investors, and a win for a more sustainable future.
You know you’re here because you want to be part of the global trend and growth of ESG and sustainable finance,
and you know you need help to make that happen
As a member of the finance industry, you can have a tremendous impact for good.
This is why Alexandra Brown created ESG Audios and the Ethical Advice Accelerator program. These innovative learning platforms will support your professional development in ESG, sustainable finance, and ethical investment advice. Finance professionals who differentiate themselves as industry leaders in ethical investment can create remarkable change through sustainable solutions, enhanced client relationships, and directing dollars to where it counts.
Clients have a growing desire to view investment opportunities
through the lens of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. They want to look beyond the traditional accounting measures, and include issues such as sustainability, equality, and diversity in their evaluation and decision-making process.
Upon reading a report about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Alexandra found an opportunity to make a significant difference. The SDGs are a set of global goals that aim to protect our environment, and create an equitable planet for all people.
There was a diagram showing the investment chain, and how money travels from people/investors to the SDGs, through organisations, financial institutions, foundations, and governments.
Alexandra recognised two things.
One: to help achieve the goals we need all members of the finance industry to understand sustainability.
Two: financial advisers should be in the diagram (see the yellow arrow below).
Click Image to Enlarge
Finance professionals are an integral link in the investment chain and an imperative inclusion towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
However, when speaking with finance professionals, Alexandra repeatedly heard it was too hard to get across this burgeoning and ever-changing industry. Financial advisers expressed their concerns about higher fees, lower returns, and limited capacity to recommend diversified portfolios. Alexandra became committed to breaking down the barriers to ethical investment advice, and increasing the ease with which finance professionals could upskill in sustainable investing.
Given her experience in the industry, her skills in providing education products, and passion for sustainability, Alexandra was perfectly positioned to accelerate the role of advisers and other finance professionals in delivering competitive solutions while simultaneously achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
MEET THE FOUNDER
Alexandra has been researching and consulting in the ethical investing space since 2015.
She first learned about environmental, social, and governance factors while developing and modelling ESG leader and laggard portfolios as a researcher at a leading university. Testing whether ethical portfolios performed better than traditional portfolios, her results showed no significant difference in returns when investing ethically.
Alexandra developed strong foundational knowledge by completing degrees in business and finance, and First Class Honours in finance. During a decade in academia, Alexandra developed training materials for financial advisers, provided support to lecturers, and taught students. Creating learning materials at both the graduate and post-graduate level fostered a deep love of sharing knowledge.
Since 2015, Alexandra has delivered practical and hands-on ethical investment services to advisers, including product research and analysis, process documentation, and training. This led to being on the Board of the Ethical Advisers’ Co-op, a group of advisers across Australia and New Zealand who specialise in ethical investing. Through this network, Alexandra has learned from, and helped, many advisers in this space. She maintains current working knowledge of ethical advice as a valued investment committee member of a leading financial planning firm.
“The study combines the findings of about 2200 individual studies… The results show that the business case for ESG investing is empirically very well founded."
In 2019, Alexandra co-founded Altiorem, a community-built sustainable finance library. The library is filled with summaries of trending research in ESG and sustainable investing, and is a fundamental resource for finance professionals. Members can learn about the different ESG issues, how to implement responsible investing, and what is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Importantly, it provides evidence-based support to those trying to make the case for change within their organisation, and the steps to act and implement. In her role as Head of Research, Alexandra is responsible for ensuring the quality, depth and breadth of the library is upheld. This means she has access to a huge amount of trending research.
“Alexandra produces work of the highest quality which is vital for the integrity and reliability of the library. Altiorem literally could not have existed without someone of Alexandra's skill, discipline, depth of knowledge and commitment leading these crucial areas of our work."
- Pablo Berrutti, Altiorem
Throughout this time, Alexandra recognised more and more advisers were seeking help in their transition from the traditional to ethical advice space. Alexandra began developing and accumulating the assets needed by advisers new to this area, including hand-picked research from the Altiorem library. Her collection draws on conversations and engagements with advisers, distribution teams, fund managers, and experts in sustainability, ethical investments, and advice.
In 2021, the Ethical Advice Accelerator was launched. This comprehensive online program brings years of experience and resources into one spot. The Accelerator is content-rich, CPD-accredited, and facilitates a deep understanding of ESG and sustainable finance. Advisers gain the skills to analyse and recommend responsible investment products, and the tools to confidently discuss client values and preferences. Advisers are equipped to connect with clients on a more personal level, ultimately enhancing their client proposition.
One thing is clear:
there is no one way to provide ethical advice, and for advisers it is a special opportunity to engage with clients at a deeper level and with purpose.
Alexandra is a regular panel guest for ESG and responsible investment events, conferences, and retreats. Reach out if you would like a credible, professional, and passionate speaker at your next event. She loves to help spread awareness and advocate for ethical and responsible investments.
“I have been in financial advice for a long time, and have been undertaking tertiary study in sustainability, but needed to bring the two into a compelling ethical advice proposition. The Ethical Advice Accelerator course was perfect in, well, accelerating this. It was a perfect blend of theory and practical application and gave me everything I needed to hit the ground running."
- Ross Little, Ethical Investment Advisers
In her downtime, Alexandra goes hiking to clear her brain so she can turn up the next day and fight the good fight. She used to be an award winning chef, but prefers to talk about sustainable finance instead of cooking, just know: if you ever get invited to her place for a dinner party, turn up.
In 2021, Alexandra Brown established the company Ethical Invest Group, and since then we have expanded our collection of resources to assist finance professionals across the globe. We continue to form strong partnerships with leading organisations that are vocal advocates for ethical and responsible investment. Our partners recognise the need for further education and support for advisers and other finance professionals.
In 2023, we are launching ESG Audios, a global curated platform for financial professionals to upskill on-the-go. Members will be able to listen to top research reports professionally narrated by premier AI technology. ESG Audios is an innovative solution to help bridge the ESG skills gap. Members will build their expertise in a flexible way, with easy-to-absorb, relevant, and credible information that fits any schedule.
“The OECD estimates that there is a US$3.7 trillion funding gap between the annual financing needed to meet the SDGs by 2030 and what is provided by current investment levels."
At Ethical Invest Group, we are committed to creating ripples of change. We know that for every adviser who completes the Accelerator program, hundreds more investors will have the chance to choose where their money goes. For each subscriber to ESG Audios, we know the knowledge and skills to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals will expand and reach even further. We are driven by our desire to support you in professional development, and magnify your ability to create positive impact.
Our vision is to accelerate ethical investment from niche to norm.
Let’s achieve this together.
People are looking for greater personalisation when it comes to their investments.
57% said that the ability to choose investments that align with their personal sustainability preferences
would encourage them to increase their allocation to sustainable investments.
When you work with Ethical Invest Group you will be supported as you gain the knowledge and confidence to provide the best solutions that align with client needs and values.
Ethical Invest Group can help you in the following ways:
Audio platform for finance professionals to upskill on the go by accessing premium industry research articles curated for relevance, educational content and credibility. Free for 30 days and new audio reports released monthly.
ETHICAL ADVICE ACCELERATOR
For financial advisers ready to provide values-based ethical investment advice without wasting hours trying to find what they need to know. This is a CPD-accredited and self-paced online program with expert support included.
For financial organisations needing professional development in ESG, ethical investment advice, and sustainable finance. Team education, toolkit development, conference keynote, collaboration or IP development. Let us help you.
Acknowledgement of Country: In the spirit of reconciliation Ethical Invest Group acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.