Why does the industry need a network like Virtuvest?

Firstly, a huge welcome to all of our network members who have joined us this week. Thank you for joining us.

As many of you will know, on Monday we shared our press release and announced that Virtuvest exists. It existed before, but we didn't really shout from the rooftops about it. This week we told our friends, our colleagues and whatever investment media outlet would listen to us.

We were met with positivity; however, time and time again, the same question arose.
"Why does the industry need a network like Virtuvest?
If I were to have a pound for the number of times I've had journalists ask me the reasoning behind setting up Virtuvest... I'd probably still be pretty poor. But the point remains, why create a network for professional investors when they already have an abundance of information and know what they are talking about?

Here's why.  

As allocators we are bombarded. Bombarded by managers, sales people and news outlets. Everyone is keen to tell us their version of ethical investing, why their new fund is groundbreaking and then why we should buy it.

They want to tell us about what asset managers think about the SDGs, what industry regulation is coming into force and what ESG industry standards are being developed.

None of this is a bad thing - it is a very good thing.

The trouble is it is pointed at us.

Allocators, who have years of experience, have developed countless propositions and read possibly every ESG fund presentation that has come across their desks, are well and truly UNTAPPED.

We are not pointing outwards.
"Sophisticated allocators are the greatest untapped resource to accelerate industry change.
This network is for allocators: to share knowledge, to discuss ideas, to debate definitions, approaches and ideas.

It is a neutral place for highly experienced investors to share their expert opinions and demonstrate the breadth and depth of the knowledge they have accumulated.

It is a place where we can ask one another:
  • What do you think about sustainable gold?
  • Are long/short funds truly ethical?
  • What criteria do you require to invest in a fund that claims it aligns with the UN SDGs?
  • and any other question I've only ever been able to ask my peers quickly at a conference or on a 30-minute judging panel.
It is also a place for our member base to demonstrate this to the wider industry, to educate those who always educate us. We will be encouraging all of our allocators to participate in writing blogs, joining our webinars, as expert speakers or panellists, and joining our mission to revolutionise our industry.