Barry Coates is the founder and CEO of Mindful Money, a new charity established to promote impact investing to the New Zealand public. Our aim is to change the way investors think about investment, and empower them to align their investment with their values.
Most of the public expect their KiwiSaver to be invested ethically, but only 2% of funds have a policy to avoid fossil fuels and only 1% avoid gambling and alcohol. As a result, $1.4 billion of KiwiSaver funds are invested in sectors and companies that over 60% of the public want to avoid.
The starting point is to providing radical transparency about where KiwiSaver funds are actually invested - fossil fuels, weapons, gambling etc - and making it easy (and free) for members of the public to switch to a more ethical fund. www.mindfulmoney.nz.
Mindful Money plans to extend the the coverage to other forms of managed funds and investments, including providing information about how retail investors can invest in sustainable themed and impact investment opportunities.
Barry has been a Green MP, CEO of Oxfam New Zealand, initiator of a Sustainability Programme at University of Auckland Business School and was involved in the formation of the ethical investment movement while living in the UK. He received an award for work on sustainability from the Sustainable Business Network and has led international initiatives on climate change, fair trade and corporate responsibility.