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SJP’s Ralph joins forces with ethical fund platform

The Big Exchange, the social and sustainable fund platform, has added more names to its partnership.

Pictet Asset Management, Quilter, Stewart Investors, WHEB Asset Management and Tortoise have joined the cross-industry partnership between The Big Issue and Standard Life Aberdeen.

The service aims to initiate a rolling launch to the public from mid 2019. Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Jill Jackson joins the initiative as managing director, leading the business through launch and beyond. St James’ Place Wealth Management’s chief investment officer Chris Ralph joins as chairman of The Big Exchange. His role is to focus on funds which deliver “competitive performance, value for money and positive impact to people and the planet.”

Ralph says: “Becoming chair of the investment committee will, I hope, add weight to the dialogue that we are having with fund management companies who have funds that have positive social and environmental impact and are considering linking with our developing platform. These are exciting times.”

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In addition, 3D Investing and Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research will also join as partners in delivering the fund selection process. Square Mile managing director Richard Romer-Lee says: “People are increasingly looking for investments that have a social purpose and that generate impact. Square Mile is delighted to be working with The Big Exchange in support of the industry on this forward-thinking initiative.”

The Big Exchange announced in November that technology provider FNZ will supply the blockchain system powering the new platform.

It says this investing proposition is just “phase one” of the project. It is driven by the same mission as The Big Issue Group, to dismantle poverty through creating opportunity. It hopes that through creating opportunity, it will make not only impact investing, but ethical financial services available to all through a “simple, mobile-first interface”. “The ultimate objective is a complete blockchain-based financial ecosystem that works for everyone,” it adds. One element of the platform will include easy-to-access cash account

Jackson says: “The proposition is ground breaking; it’s a mission-driven business that is more effective and sustainable because it’s not a charity. It will help millions of people to help each other build a better society as well as being a channel for them to invest for long-term financial returns.”

The Big Exchange website states features of the platform will include a simple, mobile-first interface, impact-focussed educational content, and a unique social passport which tracks how much good the investor is doing for others and how their investments are performing.

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