Survey: SRI to Go 'Mainstream' Within 10 Years

April 8, 2005 ( - With the increasingly common belief that socially responsible investing (SRI) can produce successful investment results, money managers in a recent survey said they expect SRI to go completely mainstream within a decade.

A news release from Mercer Investment Consulting (Mercer IC) said that 89% of the investment managers responding to its  latest global survey predict active ownership will be a mainstream practice over the next 10 years while nearly three quarters (73%) believe that the incorporation of SRI corporate performance indicators will be common industry practice during that time period. Finally, some 65% predict that positive or negative screening will be mainstream by 2015.

“In the past, it was just a small group of organizations that were interested in SRI, but there are a growing number of mainstream investors who believe these issues can have an impact on long-term   investment performance,” said Tim Gardener, global leader of Mercer   IC, in the news release. “Investment managers’ views are clearly changing.”

Mercer IC said it found a very different picture when it quizzed  US money managers . US managers were the most skeptical, with more than six in 10 asserting that screening and the integration of social and/or environmental factors will never become a mainstream investment practice.

Among Asian and Australian managers, on the other hand, more than eight in 10 (85%) predict that all three SRI-related practices will become mainstream within 10 years. European managers predict the most short-term activity will be seen in relation to the integration of   social and/or environmental criteria, and positive and negative screening.

More than 190 regional investment management organizations responded to Mercer IC’s 2005 global Fearless Forecast survey with 195 managers responding to the SRI questions. Those respondents manage in excess of US$30.5 trillion in assets.

A free registration is required for access to the Mercer IC Web site.