Sustainable responsible investment (SRI) is getting hot along with the planet. Shame about the jobs.
The latest AMP Capital SRI Median Study says the SRI median outperformed the benchmark ASX 200 index by more than 1.5% over one year, and 2% in the two years to 30 June 2007, returning a healthy 30.2% in one year, 26.7% over three years and 19.3% over five years.
Little surprise, therefore, that investors are marginally more willing to put their money into funds that also let them feel good about themselves. Megan Lewis, communications manager at the Ethical Investment Association, says SRIs as a proportion of all investments grew to 1.54% in 2006, up from an even more negligible 0.73% in 2004.
But are they hiring?
Maybe not. James Nicholson, director of recruiter Robert Walters, says, "It's entirely invisible on my radar. I have seen nothing of this."
Adrian Di Natale, manager of financial services at Hudson in Melbourne, says banks are doing it for themselves, training people in-house in SRI.
Hunter Hall, a manager of one of the top-performing SRI funds, seems to follow this model - hires are done directly. "We get to hear who's good," says media and communications manager Brooke Logan. "These guys are in at the crack of dawn, and still online at midnight, trading London or New York. They earn their pay and bonuses."
How much will you get for all that work? Pay is reportedly as for standard non-SRI positions - AU$80k to AU$130k base for analysts.
Now may be the time to find a way in, though. Lewis says advisors, managers and super funds are all hot for SRI staff and predicts that within five to 10 years, all analysts will have to be SRI savvy. "Start boning up now," she advises. "Get ready for your future."