Investment Term Paper

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Our study explored how investment platforms compete to win new customers and retain existing ones, to help us assess how we can improve competition within this market and develop better consumer outcomes.

We found that while competition is generally working well, some consumers and financial advisers can find it difficult to shop around and switch to a platform that better meets their needs.

This is Cash and Short Term Investments at the last reported results.

Cash and Equivalents represents short-term, highly liquid investments that are both readily convertible to known amounts of cash and so close to their maturity that they present insignificant risk of changes in interest rates.

The Investment Leaders Group (ILG), in co-operation with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), has applied a new Long-term Disclosure Framework to assess whether investment companies are providing the information required to enable their customers to assess the long-term orientation of the fund.

Focusing on a small group of funds that explicitly identify themselves as ‘long-term’, the ILG concluded that the disclosures being provided by funds that identify themselves as ‘long-term’ are insufficient to enable their current or potential clients to assess whether they are actually operating in a long-term fashion.

Yet, these disclosures are not referred to when describing or marketing these long-term funds.

“At present it is very challenging to assess whether and how the aspiration in funds that present themselves as ‘long-term’ feed through to investment beliefs, and from there into objectives (financial and sustainability-related), investment processes, stewardship practices, performance monitoring and reporting”.

There are particular weaknesses in relation to investment beliefs and stewardship.

These findings are surprising given that, in many cases, the parent organisations have long-standing commitments to responsible investment, and report extensively on responsible investment in responsible investment reports and/or as part of the PRI reporting requirements.

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