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Morgan Stanley Exceeds 5-Year Impact Investing Asset Goal

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Morgan Stanley headquarters in New York. (Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Morgan Stanley more than doubled its $10 billion asset goal in sustainable and impact investing.

The firm’s Investing with Impact Platform has more than $25 billion in client assets under management today across more than 120 third-party separately managed accounts, mutual funds, ETFs, alternatives and accounts with custom mandates dedicated to sustainable and impact investing.

Morgan Stanley launched the platform, one of the first platforms led by a major financial institution to be solely dedicated to sustainable investing, in April 2012. In November 2013, with the launch of the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing, the Investing with Impact Platform committed to a $10 billion goal by November 2018.

According to Morgan Stanley, the platform is flexible enough to fit the varied needs of individual investors, families, religious organizations, corporations, universities, pensions, foundations, nonprofits and donor-advised funds.

Morgan Stanley provides 10 firm-discretionary and firm-guided portfolios, two impact pools in its donor advised fund as well as custom diversified portfolios. According to Audrey Choi, chief sustainability officer and chief marketing officer at Morgan Stanley, the sustainability solutions offered on the platform range from “mitigating climate change, supporting diversity and inclusion, promoting community economic development and more.”

In terms of growth and adoption, 74% of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Financial Advisors use at least one strategy on the Investing with Impact Platform and 32% use five or more.

According to Morgan Stanley, the past 12 months have been instrumental in driving adoption of sustainable investing across the firm’s financial advisor force as well as building solutions for highly motivated client segments such as millennials, women and institutions.

The firm launched two programs in the past six months are the Mission Align 360 Toolkit and the Investing with Impact Director Designation.

The designation was developed to recognize financial advisors who are peer leaders in delivering holistic portfolio management for clients incorporating sustainable investing.

The Mission Align 360 Toolkit provides an eight-step implementation roadmap for organizations that, for many years, have pursued mission alignment in their philanthropic grant making but have not yet taken action in their market-rate investment portfolios. Morgan Stanley also offers toolkits on specific sustainable investing themes such as Catholic values, climate change, gender diversity and more.

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