“The Big Exchange follows exactly the same principles as The Big Issue and its co-founder Lord John Bird of a hand up, not a hand out. 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. That’s huge.”
Michelle Scrimgeour, CEO EMEA, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, said,
“Columbia Threadneedle has been a pioneer in socially responsible investment and we are excited to be part of the Big Exchange, an initiative that will enable all investors to do well by doing good, through easy access to a choice of ethical and social impact funds.”
Paul Robinson, Chairman and Founder of Alquity, commented,
“How we choose to spend our money is more powerful than we think. This is particularly true for investment; how we deploy our investment capital shapes our societies. The Big Exchange empowers those who crave a better and fairer future by allowing them direct and affordable access great responsible investment opportunities,”
A meeting called by Campbell in November 2017 led to the original concept, which brought together Nigel and The Big Issue team, investment managers, tech Platform builder FNZ, led by Phil Goffin and specialist marketing agency AML Group, led by Ian Henderson.
Emma Bickerstaffe (ex HSBC UK Head of Strategy) joined to lead the launch team, along with consulting firm Fimatix, Trowers & Hamlin, Herbert Smith Freehills, 3D Investing and FNZ’s regulated affiliate Rexigon Securities, which will provide execution and custody. The team has developed the platform to user testing stage with a beta version to be launched early in 2019.
Funds will be offered at a price which will be amongst the lowest in the market. The platform will allow investors to select their preferred area of impact (matched to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals) and risk appetite at a click.
Emma Bickerstaffe, commented:
“The aim is to offer 30-40 quality impact funds via the platform from day one. Over the first five years we believe The Big Exchange will become the go-to platform for retail impact investors and attract around £3 billion of assets.”
According to Nigel,
“Central to The Big Exchange is that investors can understand the positive difference made by their choices. Our unique approach will show investors through clear indicators how funds support the Sustainable Development Goals and align with our commitment to people and the planet.”
They will then be able to choose from ready-made bundles or individual funds, and track not only performance but impact through the app. The platform will also offer high-quality educational, support and effectiveness branded content from the Fund Managers. The impact that each user creates will be recognised and rewarded through a unique digital social passport and token system.
The fund managers will be featured in a ‘movement-based’ marketing programme using advanced consumer targeting (with Experian) via social and digital channels, together with profile-raising PR and advertising activity, coordinated by AML Group.
After platform testing, it is expected that a rolling launch programme to the public will start in early 2019 for The Big Funds. The platform will then be further enhanced with additional functionality and financial products over the course of the year. Leading industry executives from the firms involved will be members of The Big Exchange’s executive and investment committees.