24/01/2020 – News / Environment / Industry / Global Investment / deVere Group / Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg’s environmental activism is reshaping the global investment industry, says deVere Group boss


Greta Thunberg is not just helping to save the planet – the high-profile environmental campaigner is also reshaping the global investment industry, according to the boss of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations.

The comments from Nigel Green – chief executive and founder of deVere Group, which operates in 100 countries worldwide – come as Thunberg urged political and business leaders and the media at the World Economic Forum in Davos to heed the science, as the Swedish climate activist warned that time was running out to tackle global warming.


“With today’s emissions levels, the remaining budget is gone in less than eight years. These aren’t anyone’s views, this is the science,” Thunberg said, citing a 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. “I know you don’t want to report this or talk about this but I will keep repeating the numbers until you do.”


Her comments at the elite meeting in the Swiss mountain town came just before US President Donald Trump – a global warming sceptic – was due to make a keynote address at the Forum.


Millennials and Gen Z ‘get’ the climate emergency


Nonetheless, deVere CEO Nigel Green affirmed that Greta’s message is a consistent one, one based on science and fact, and one that is likely to hit home with Millennials and Gen Z. 


“Typically, these generations – those born from the early 1980s onwards – seem to ‘get’ the climate emergency we’re facing, and the urgency with which it needs to be tackled, far better than older generations,” he observed. “This is why it is crucial that she is at Davos in order to drive her message through to the political and business leaders who can actually do something about it right now.”


Generation shift in political and social influence


Mr Green continued that those younger generations that are listening to the message and warnings of Greta Thunberg, amongst others, will be “beneficiaries of the biggest-ever generational transfer of wealth – likely to be around US$30trn – over the next few years”, he predicted. “They will also hold the balance of political and social influence,” he pointed out. “With their socially responsible awareness, plus their new wealth and power, we can expect them to put Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues at the centre of their investment decisions.


“Therefore, Greta Thunberg is not just helping to save the planet – she is reshaping the global investment industry because financial institutions, companies and agencies will need to decisively shift their priorities to match those of Millennials and Gen Z.”


ESG: Top investment priority for Millennials


According to a new global survey carried out by deVere Group, some 77 per cent of Millennials cite Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing as their top priority when considering investment opportunities.


The global poll of 1,125 people was carried out by deVere Group – one of the world’s largest independent financial services and advisory organisations – across the UK, Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, Australia, India, the ASEAN region and East Asia.


“This survey underscores that whilst traditional factors – such as anticipated returns (10 per cent), past performance (seven per cent), risk tolerance (four per cent) and tactical allocation (two per cent) – are important factors in Millennial respondents’ investment decision-making, they are no longer enough.”


Of Davos 2020, the deVere boss concluded: “In many ways, Millennials and Gen Z ‘have got this’; they’re with Greta. Now it is time for the global investment industry to play catch-up. And quickly.”

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