Earlier this week the Prince of Wales warned a National Association of Pension Funds’ (NAPF) conference that their current emphasis on short term investing risked selling our children’s future away.
Citing research undertaken by Harvard and London Business Schools, the prince argued that businesses which were willing to improve their attitude to environmental and social adversity would deliver long-term returns.
The prince said investors had a “duty” to manage risks from rising populations, climate change and “unprecedented levels” of financial indebtedness, adding: “”Otherwise your grandchildren, and mine for that matter, will be consigned to an exceptionally miserable future.”
Although, from a political standpoint the focus on the short-term is understandable, with nine million more people to be enrolled in government pensions over the next five years, there are growing fears that people are living far longer but saving far less.
NAPF chief executive Joanne Segars praised the forthrightness of the prince and agreed that sustainability and environmental issues were important to long-term pension fund investors as a basis for providing good pensions in the future.