Submitted by: Tiller, LLC
Posted: Jan 22, 2008 – 07:00 AM EST
Jan. 22 /CSRwire/ - Investors Focusing on the Environment:
Social Responsibility and Investment Potential Seen As Compatible, Increasingly Linked
Where Do Investors See the Most Opportunity?
Solar Energy, Wind Power, Hybrid Vehicles and Water Purification
Green a Primary Color: Two out of Three Investors Say
Presidential Candidates’ Environmental Records Will Impact Their Vote
NEW YORK, NY - January 22, 2008 - Investors view the environment as a major long-term investing opportunity, according to the results of a groundbreaking survey of investors released here today by Allianz Global Investors, a leading global investment firm.
Of the 1,003 investors surveyed, nearly half (49%) said that over the next 12 months they were likely to invest in a company or mutual fund looking to provide solutions for environmental problems; 17% reported having already made such an investment.
"The environment is a fertile investment area at an early stage of growth," said Bozena Jankowska, lead portfolio manager of the Allianz RCM Global EcoTrends Fund, a continuously offered closed-end interval fund, and head of the RCM Sustainability Research Team. "It is one of the few sectors where the public and politicians are in alignment and inclined to act. As popular sentiment grows and legislation continues to tighten, technological innovation will accelerate, laying the groundwork for great investment opportunities."
The poll of 1,003 adults examined investors' understanding of and attitudes toward the environment, absolutely and with specific regard to investing. The poll was conducted via the Internet between December 14 and December 20, 2007 by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, a division of GfK Custom Research North America. Participants had to be age 25 or older and have primary or shared responsibility for investment decisions in households with financial assets of at least $100,000. The sample was weighted to match the characteristics of the total online population in terms of gender, age, and region, according to the U.S. Census.
Green is the New Black
Investors see the environment as a large and enduring investment opportunity.
Better than seven in 10 investors (71%) deemed environmental technology a "buy", the most desirable sector of the six surveyed(3). More than half (54%) said that environmental investing will be an "important focus" for them in the future.
"Protecting the environment is a social and political imperative, and, increasingly, an investing priority as well," Jankowska said. "Our research shows that investors understand that significant environmental issues represent potential lucrative opportunities for businesses endeavoring to bring real solutions to a global market."
Investors expressed strong familiarity with environmental issues. Seventy-three percent said they knew at least a fair amount about the Greenhouse Effect and 73% said they knew at least a fair amount about the Energy Star energy efficiency rating. That compares with 77% who said they knew at least a fair amount about mutual funds.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said environmental investments offered the potential for long-term capital growth. In terms of specific investment opportunities, 62% of investors said they consider solar energy a major investment opportunity. It was followed by wind power (57%), hybrid vehicles (53%), and water purification (50%). Ethanol (cited as a major opportunity by 37% of investors) and Eco-tourism (17%) were the least highly rated sectors.
"Environmental investing is not a passing fancy, but a substantial opportunity with real staying power," Jankowska said. "As an investment, the environment has all the hallmarks of information technology in the early 90s - popular attention, robust demand, high innovation, abundant capital, an enduring need and rising valuations. We believe that we are in the early stages of a long-term secular up-cycle for environment-related companies."
Social Responsibility, Investment Opportunity Seen As Increasingly Linked
Survey data debunk the stereotypical notion that what's good for business is bad for the environment.
"When it comes to the environment, social value and economic value are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are increasingly linked," said Blake Moore, Managing Director and CEO of Allianz Global Investors US Retail. "The greater the focus on the environment, the greater the need for safeguarding or remediation - and that equates to innovation and robust demand for services."
The survey found that while the environment represents a major financial opportunity for some companies, it should be an essential operating consideration for most.
Eighty-four percent of the investors surveyed believe a business' profitability will be increasing linked to its ability to address resource sustainability issues. More than two-thirds (67%) of the investors surveyed strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement that "global warming is a serious threat that businesses need to address in order to be successful."
"The survey shows that in terms of public perception, the environment is serious business," Moore said.
While investors believe the environment is a serious business issue, they also believe that many companies have yet to view it that way. Nearly eight in 10 investors (78%) say most companies today focus on environmental issues for public relations value rather than financial value.
"The best companies are ahead of the curve, making substantial investment in their environmental business practices," Jankowska said. "At the same time, we are seeing a paradigm shift in which environmental products and services are moving from the realm of corporate social responsibility or niche activities to core businesses that will generate significant future revenue streams."
Looking for Help
The survey found that investors are keenly interested in learning more about environment-related investing opportunities, and are looking to financial advisors for help.
Seventy-three percent of investors said they would need to consult a financial advisor for help investing in the environment. Interestingly, among investors with a financial advisor, 83% said their advisor had yet to recommend an environment-related investing opportunity.
"Investors understand that the fact that they recycle or drive a hybrid vehicle does not make them an expert in environmental investing," Moore said. "Success in this sector requires an understanding of the problem, the market, the competition and, in many cases, the ability to understand and evaluate a new technology. Investors are looking to their advisors for help and many advisors are, in turn, looking for the experience, technical expertise and diversification offered by professionally managed products."
Blue State? Red State? It’s All Green to Me.
The environment used to be considered a left-leaning issue, but, at least among investors, it has squarely hit the political mainstream.
Forty-one percent of those who say they are likely to make an environmental investment over the next 12 months describe themselves as politically conservative compared with 36% who say they are liberal. Two-thirds of all investors say that a Presidential candidate's environmental record and positions will have at least some impact on their vote.
1. This information strictly represents the results of the GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media December 2007 public opinion survey and does not represent the views of any investment advisor or mutual fund distributor. The polling results do not represent an investment recommendation or a solicitation.
2. See above footnote.
3. This information strictly represents the results of the GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media December 2007 public opinion survey and does not represent the views of any investment advisor or mutual fund distributor. The polling results do not represent an investment recommendation or a solicitation.
About Allianz Global Investors
Allianz Global Investors, the asset management division of Allianz SE [NYSE: AZ], is a leading investment management company, with more than $1 trillion under management as of December 31, 2007. Allianz Global Investors offers access to a premier group of institutional investment firms, including PIMCO, NFJ Investment Group, RCM, Nicholas-Applegate and Oppenheimer Capital. The company offers investment solutions across a broad spectrum of asset classes and investment styles in a wide array of products, including mutual funds, managed accounts and closed-end funds. For more information on the survey or for, please go to www.allianzinvestors.com.
Allianz SE has been a pioneer in corporate sustainable development. The Allianz Environment Foundation dates back to 1990 and the firm recently partnered with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on climate-change strategy and research. Allianz offers a range of "green" products and services, including emission trading credits, for its customers in the insurance and banking sectors. It earned a top rating in the insurance sector of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 2006 and 2007.
Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the Allianz RCM Global Eco Trends Fund carefully before investing. This and other information is contained in the Fund's prospectus, which may be obtained by contacting your financial advisor, or by calling 888-877-4626. Click here for the Fund's prospectus. Please read this prospectus carefully before you invest or send money.
Allianz RCM Global Eco Trends Fund is an interval fund, a type of closed-end fund that limits when investors can sell shares, in part, to give the manager more flexibility in managing the underlying assets. In contrast to an open-end mutual fund, this structure allows the manager to invest a greater portion of the Fund's assets in smaller, potentially less liquid securities, which are part of the Fund's investment universe. Under this structure, the Fund will make quarterly offers to repurchase shares in an amount set by its Board of Trustees; thus investors may not be able to sell their shares in the Fund when and/or in the amount that they desire. An investment in this Fund is suitable only for long-term investors who understand the risks associated with the limited liquidity of the Fund's common shares.
The Fund is a closed-end interval fund seeking long-term growth of capital. There is no guarantee the Fund will achieve its investment objective. While the Fund may invest in companies of any size, it may often invest a substantial portion of its assets in securities of smaller companies, including newly formed and early stage companies. The Fund may invest without limit in illiquid securities. Investors should note that the Fund is designed to provide exposure to a relatively narrow group of sectors and should be considered as only one element of a complete investment program.
The Fund may also use derivative strategies for investment or hedging purposes. Use of these instruments may involve certain costs and risks such as liquidity risk, interest rate risk, market risk, credit risk, management risk and the risk that a fund could not close out a position when it would be most advantageous to do so. Portfolios investing in derivatives could lose more than the principal amount invested in those instruments.
The Fund is non-diversified and may focus its investments in a small group of companies or industries. The companies in which the Fund invests may have limited operating histories and/or small market capitalizations. The Fund's substantial exposure to non-U.S. securities, including emerging markets securities, also involves special risks, including political and economic risk and the risk of currency fluctuations; these risks may be enhanced in emerging markets.
Allianz Global Investors Fund Management LLC, the investment advisor for the Fund, is an indirect, majority-owned subsidiary of Allianz Global Investors of America L.P. and is a member of Munich-based Allianz Group (NYSE - AZ). Allianz is a leading global financial services company. The Fund is distributed by Allianz Global Investors Distributors LLC, 2187 Atlantic Street, Stamford, CT 06902. Investment Products: ARE NOT FDIC INSURED / MAY LOSE VALUE / ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED