The Church Investors Group (CIG) is a group of investors connected with the Churches of Britain and Ireland with combined assets of c£12 billion. We believe it will serve to increase the witness and influence of the Church in society if our investment portfolios reflect the moral stance and teachings of the Christian faith.
- to encourage the formulation of investment policies based on Christian ethical principles;
- to assist each other in putting such policies into practice;
- to encourage responsible business practices through engagement with company managements;
- to share information and views on ethical matters related to investment.
Al Gore speaks at St Paul's Cathedral on 'Sustainable Capitalism'
Earlier today, St Paul's cathedral hosted Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President, environmental advocate, and co-founder and Chair of Generation Investment Management. He spoke at a special event aimed at energising investors and businesses to aide the transition to a more sustainable form of capitalism. The Very Revd David Ison, Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, welcomed Mr Gore to the event that was hosted by St Paul's Institute and the Church Investors Group as part of the fifth annual National Ethical Investment Week.
Speaking to an audience of Church and charity investors, pension funds, and investment managers he spoke on the threats facing the economic system, urging investors to invest for the long term and put an end to asset management that is 'oblivious to anything other than short-term financial factors.' He stated that 'incentives are the secrets to capitalism's success but it matters how the incentives are designed' and pressed the audience to choose their investment managers based on environmental, societal and governance factors.
Following the presentation he responded to questions from the attentive audience. The event was chaired by Andreas Whittam Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner at the Church Commissioners for England.
The session reflected recent research conducted by YouGov for National Ethical Investment Week that stated that nearly two-thirds of British investors expected Church and charity investors to take the lead on promoting responsible investment.
Mr Gore praised the attendees, acknowledging that 'asset owners, like the ones in the room, do have the ability to insist that their assets are managed in line with their values in a sophisticated way' but reiterated that they had a responsibility to do so because future generations 'will ask us, what were you thinking? Was your attention focussed elsewhere? They'll ask if we rose to the difficult challenge we face'
Dean Ison said 'Al Gore's message about sustainable capitalism offers an inspirational ray of hope for those who feel that nothing much can be done. He challenged the 'owners of capital' not only to believe that there can be a different future, but then to act in straightforward ways to help it happen: and getting that message out so that it transforms lives and structures is the task he left us with. Let's get to it!'
A summary of the event is available to download here
Church Investors Group Annual Report
Our new 2012 Annual Report is available to download.
Meeting of International Church Investors
40 participants representing church investors from North America, Europe, Australasia and Africa met in Paris on 14 September for an event hosted by the Church Investors Group. To learn more about this historic meeting where international Church investors agreed to collaborate further on corporate responsibility issues please see the press release.
Executive Renumeration Report
The CIG has commissioned a report on the ethics of executive renumeration, in response to the growing public concern at excessive pay awarded to many senior corporate executives. The full report, a four page summary, and the press release are all available to download.