Castlefield celebrate EIRIS Foundation Million Pound Question announcement

The Castlefield team has much to celebrate following the announcement today by responsible investment charity, The EIRIS Foundation, regarding the outcome of its recent Million Pound Question.

The challenge, incorporating a million pounds of the EIRIS Foundation’s investments, was to determine which responsible investment solution represents the best value for charities concerned equally with their own finances and a financial system that works for people and planet.

Investment managers and advisers with an ethical and sustainable investment approach were invited to submit proposals for the investment of £1m while demonstrating their stewardship and expertise of relevant ESG factors.

This unique initiative involved multiple-stages, culminating with a live webinar presentation of proposals from four shortlisted firms – Castlefield, Snowball IM, Rathbones and EQ Investors - to an audience of charity investors and the EIRIS Foundation’s trustees and members of staff.

Given the open invite for charities, the webinar also acted as an opportunity for other charities to improve their understanding of the market and learn about some of the responsible investment offerings available to charities.

Following a thorough review process, EIRIS Foundation decided to split the investment with £500,000 to be invested into Castlefield’s B.E.S.T Sustainable Portfolio Growth Fund.

Castlefield’s Simon Holman said: “The Million Pound Question was a captivating challenge for Castlefield; being part-owned by a charity, we have a strong affinity with the sector, so there was an added incentive for us to do well. This initiative enabled us to demonstrate how our sustainable approach could be tailored for charities with investments of this size.”

Castlefield were praised by the investment committee for the transparency and openness as investment managers, and scored particularly well on the screening.

Peter Webster, CEO of the EIRIS Foundation, said: “We received a number of excellent proposals and felt in the end that the best option for us was to go with both Castlefield and Snowball. Castlefield impressed us with their openness and transparency as well as their high scores with regards to human rights and conflict screening. They also seemed genuinely willing to learn from us and their other charity clients. With regards to Snowball, our investment committee felt in particular that they provided a unique offering to the market by investing significantly in impact investing. The EIRIS Foundation supports this and would like to promote it as a credible responsible investing option for charities. We are delighted to have an option that offers both measurable impact and competitive risk-adjusted returns.”

As part of the proposal, a representative from EIRIS was invited to join Castlefield’s External Advisory Committee, an independent advisory board which oversees responsible investment work. Simon continues: “We’re naturally delighted to have been recognised by the EIRIS trustees, and are looking forward to working with the Foundation’s representative who will be joining our External Advisory Committee.”

This announcement coincides with the launch of Good Money Week, the week-long festival to raise awareness of sustainable, responsible and ethical finance, which is co-ordinated by UKSIF – the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association.