Doing business with a company that aligns with personal values isn't a new trend. But the movement toward socially responsible investing has only gained traction over the last few years – particularly with millennials.
In fact, according to a recent Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (Allianz) study,1 the vast majority (97%) of Americans say that the social responsibility practices of companies – things such as taking a stance on important issues, making substantial investments in communities, and treating employees well – factors into their investment decisions.
And research indicates that those who are taking the plunge on a socially responsible investing strategy will only increase in the near future. Of those not currently investing in socially responsible companies, 53% indicated they are interested in starting.
But it's not just about the practices of retail or consumer-facing organizations that Americans do business with every day. The study shows that Americans have particularly high expectations of financial services and insurance companies. Sixty-eight percent said knowing more about the social responsibility efforts of financial services companies would influence their decision to do business with them, and 63% expressed the same about insurance companies. Seventy-nine percent even indicated that they are more likely to choose an insurance policy based on the company's commitments to social responsibility.
Perhaps this increased focus is due to the idea that these types of organizations have a greater influence and impact when it comes to social responsibility.
- 71% indicated a financial services company can have a significant impact on social responsibility and 64% felt the same way about insurance companies
- 71% also indicated that financial services companies that embrace social responsibility are better positioned for long-term success with 67% expressing the same view for insurance companies
It's also interesting to note that millennial clients may have higher interest in sustainability practices – particularly social responsibility.
- 99% of millennials say social responsibility practices are important when making investment decisions
- 80% of millennials support investing in companies with good social responsibility practices
- 80% of millennials believe insurance companies with good social responsibility practices are better positioned for long-term success
For financial professionals, understanding the level of interest – and what clients value when making investment decisions – can help them set clients up for success as they embark on their investment strategy.
Learn more about how Allianz is committed to sustainability at www.allianzlife.com/sustainabilty.