Prince Harry and Meghan have joined ethical direct-indexing investment manager Ethic as investors and partners in a bid to “democratise” investing.
The pair will join the firm, which specialises in directly-indexed ethical strategies, as impact partners in the hope of influencing younger people to be more conscious of investing in sustainable companies.
Launched in 2015, Ethic has seen its assets under management (AUM) triple over the past 12 months to $1.3bn as the trend into sustainable investing continues.
In an interview with the New York Times, the Duchess of Sussex, said: “My husband has been saying for years, ‘Gosh, don’t you wish there was a place where if your values were aligned like this, you could put your money to that same sort of thing?’”
Meghan added she was introduced to Ethic by friends and hoped their involvement would help democratise investing.
“From the world I come from, you do not talk about investing, right?” she said. “You do not have the luxury to invest. That sounds so fancy.”
The Duke added: “You already have the younger generation voting with their dollars and their pounds…all over the world when it comes to brands they select and choose from.”
Direct indexing has become increasingly important for investors recently as they allow a higher degree of customisation than traditional pooled indexing vehicles.
Looking ahead Cerulli Associates has forecasted direct indexing will grow at an annual rate of over 12% during the next five years outpacing the projected growth for ETFs and other investment vehicles.
Last November, BlackRock announced the purchase of direct indexing firm Aperio Group while Vanguard entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Just Invest in July. Index providers are also getting in on the action. Last month, Indxx announced a partnership with C8 that would provide customisable access to seven of their index strategies.