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Celebrating ethical choice

Written: 29 06 2022

Author: Jono O’Grady

4 mins

Celebrating ethical choice

Congratulating the winners from the 2022 Mindful Money Awards

Each year the Mindful Money awards are highly anticipated, and 2022 was no exception. At Flint we were stoked to see several of the managers on Flint featured as both finalists and winners. Each of these businesses are contributing to a sea-change – a new direction for the financial sector in New Zealand – and at Flint we raise our glasses and applaud them all. Here’s our wrap of the Mindful Money Awards 2022, and what the event highlighted about the changes in ethical, sustainable and impact investing in New Zealand.

Introducing the winners!

Congratulations to Pathfinder Asset Management, Devon Funds Management and Harbour Asset Management – three fund managers who have funds on Flint and who were acknowledged at the awards.

Pathfinder Asset Management

Best Ethical KiwiSaver Fund Provider 2022

Best Ethical Retail Investment Fund Provider 2022

Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment 2022

A hearty congratulations goes to Pathfinder, who again scooped the largest number awards on the night, backing up their strong performance at the awards in 2021. Pathfinder were named as the winner of ‘Best Ethical KiwiSaver Fund Provider 2022,’ ‘Best Ethical Retail Investment Fund Provider 2022’ and CEO John Berry was the winner of ‘Best Media Reporting on Ethical Investment 2022’ in connection with his collaboration with Stuff.

John acknowledged that, while Pathfinder doesn’t pursue ethical investing to receive awards, it is nice to be recognised. The recognition is well-deserved and demonstrates Pathfinder’s commitment to a values-based approach to investing and doing business. In receiving the awards, he quoted Noam Chomsky, saying ‘Another world is possible, we should be thinking about it all the time.’

Devon Funds Management

Best New Ethical Fund 2022

Devon Funds were another recipient, receiving the award for ‘Best New Ethical Fund 2022.’ Well done Devon on this excellent achievement. This award acknowledges the new Devon Global Sustainability Fund that Devon has recently brought to market. Mindful Money says ‘The judges were looking for innovation in a fund launched over the past year. The large number of entries indicates the growth of ethical and impact investment in Aotearoa.’

Devon had two funds named as finalists in the award category, showing real innovation on the part of Devon to be bringing sustainable and impact themed funds to the New Zealand Market.

Harbour Asset Management

Highly Commended in category (Best Ethical Retail Investment Fund Provider 2022)

Harbour Asset Management was highly commended in the category ‘Best Ethical Retail Investment Fund Provider 2022.’ Well done to Harbour – this is a continued acknowledgement of the work that Harbour does where ethical investing is concerned. Mindful Money was clear to point out that the highly commended awards this year were a recognition in and of themselves, and indicated the healthy level of competition between providers pursuing sustainability.

Impact investing, and leadership

By far and away, the biggest themes at the awards this year were impact investing and leadership. Over the last 12 months New Zealand has seen an increase in impact investment funds, signalling a maturing and broadening out of the ethical investment landscape in New Zealand.

The panellists for the evening included Jodi Hayward from Te Pai Roa Tika o te Taitokerau, Paul Richardson from Carina Capital, and Barry Coates, CEO and Founder of Mindful Money. The discussion centred on impact investing, and the changes that are being evidenced among financial services providers. The panellists highlighted the exciting momentum that is building in the ethical investing movement in New Zealand, and the movement from ESG, ethical investing and responsible investing to now impact investing. While ethical or responsible funds are becoming more mainstream, and this is pleasing to see, impact investment funds are relatively new to the New Zealand market.

This raised the burning question: what is impact investing? Jodi had some insightful comments to share and suggested that ‘impact’ needs to be primarily defined by the communities that investment serves. She highlighted the power of ‘cups of tea and sharing kai’ – connecting on a human level to understand the power of capital investment in communities. Jodi called on the audience to ‘be brave,’ to think about investing differently and called for leadership within organisations. She recommended that, when starting out in an ethical or impact investing direction, organisations should look internally before they look externally for guidance. Often there will be people within an organisation that ‘get it’ and will rise to the occasion.

Barry has a strong history in community focused delivery having previously been head of Oxfam New Zealand. He echoed Jodi’s sentiments, encouraging businesses who are considering impact investing to really understand where their money is going, and the impact that it is having. He called for further scrutiny to be applied in business decision making when  measuring impact investments off the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Paul Richardson also called for leadership in the ethical investing space, starting at the board level. While ethical investing is a complex area, leadership is required to take New Zealand businesses forward.

Acknowledging Mindful Money

Throughout the awards, many mentions were made of the excellent work that Mindful Money do in progressing ethical investing in New Zealand. In a short space of time, the Mindful Money Awards have risen to be an industry benchmark for ethical investing in New Zealand, and at Flint we applaud the Mindful Money team. Ethical investing is gaining traction and momentum across New Zealand business, and Mindful Money has a pivotal role to play in providing transparency, information and helping businesses and consumers celebrate success.

For a full list of categories and winners, you can view the awards here.

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners – let’s keep this movement going!



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