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Gulf families shift to ‘responsible investing’

High-net worth families in the Gulf say that social media and education are changing outlooks between the generations, in turn affecting financial planning. (AFP)
High-net worth families in the Gulf say that social media and education are changing outlooks between the generations, in turn affecting financial planning. (AFP)
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25 Nov 2020 02:11:26 GMT9
25 Nov 2020 02:11:26 GMT9
  • Millennials lead the trend to sustainable assets among wealthy, survey finds

Arab News 

LONDON: Rich Gulf family groups are increasingly being coaxed toward more sustainable investing, a survey has found.

Almost three in five (59 percent) older generations of high-net worth families in the GCC say millennials are leading their family toward more sustainable investing, according to a report from Barclays Private Bank.

It found that ESG investing has been brought into wealthy families’ consideration by younger generations, leading to increased family allocations to sustainable assets.

The research, undertaken by global intelligence business Savanta, revealed 58 percent of high-net worth (HNW) individuals of all ages and generations in the Middle East agree that responsible investing is now important to them.

For around four in five of each of the studied age groups, investing responsibly is important to them to some extent, with 81 percent of under 40-year-olds, 77 percent of 41 to 60-year-olds and 86 percent of over 60-year-olds agreeing.

“The report findings reflect that 76 percent of all respondents in the Middle East state that responsible investing is important to their family,” said Rahim Daya, head of private banking at Barclays in the Middle East. 

“This demonstrates that business leaders across the generations are deeply committed to adding value to the societies in which they live.

“While differing life outlooks and values may determine discrepancies in risk investment appetites across the generations, it is encouraging to see that impact investing is a movement that resonates with individuals of all ages.”

Changing attitudes have led to a substantial shift in the way HNW families are investing, the Barclays Private Bank report found.

Around four in five (78 percent) globally and in the Middle East (82 percent), expressed their views on social and environmental responsibility in their investments.

For those who are not already investing this way, 22 percent of the elder generations would like to find out more about their sustainable investment options, and 19 percent are interested in understanding more about investing specifically for positive social and environmental impact.

The GCC-based high-net worth families say that broadly different life values (54 percent), the impact of social media and differing educational backgrounds are also areas that are contributing to different outlooks and priorities between the generations, which in turn affects financial and succession planning.

In contrast to sustainable investing, charitable giving tends to be led by the older generation.

Globally, people over 60 more commonly said that philanthropy was their passion (38 percent) compared to those under 40 (20 percent), but in the majority of families (74 percent), the older generation hands responsibility for managing philanthropic activity to their children.

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