Best Ethical KiwiSaver Provider fourth year in a row!

Ana Dermer

05 July, 2024

4 min read

Pathfinder wins three awards at Mindful Money’s Ethical and Impact Investment Awards.

A win for the planet and a win for the people – thanks to all our members who believe in us to grow their money by investing ethically – we are proud to announce we picked up three Mindful Money Ethical and Impact Investing Awards. The big wins included two high profile categories - Best Ethical Investor and Best Ethical KiwiSaver Provider. The latter of which we won for the fourth year in a row with Simplicity receiving highly commended and Generate and Medical Assurance Society the runners up. We also picked up a new award that was voted on my members of the public – The People’s Choice Award for Best Ethical Fund Provider.

In his book ‘Optimism Over Despair’, Noam Chomsky, says
“We have two choices. We can be pessimistic, give up, and help ensure that the worst will happen. Or we can be optimistic, grasp the opportunities that surely exist, and maybe help make the world a better place. Not much of a choice.”

“This is why Pathfinder exists” said Lily Richards, Pathfinder’s Creative Director, upon accepting the first award. “Yes, ours is a financial product, helping people save money for their future. But in this future, we want both businesses and providers of capital to make decisions that aren’t careless with our ecosystems, resources, other animals, our homes or our hearts.”

At Pathfinder we take the responsibility of managing our investors' money very seriously. We’re working to prove that you can use a morally challenging tool, such as investing, to create a morally acceptable outcome, such as retirement savings that weren’t earned at the expense of human dignity, animal welfare or sustainable ecosystems.

“There is a lot of work still to be done”, says Lily “but there’s real grace for all of us in the doing. We’d like to thank Mindful Money for the validation and congratulate the other fund managers shortlisted – it's so great to have company. Here's to more company, year on year.”

The Mindful Money Awards

Mindful Money is an independent charity that aims to make money a force for good. They provide transparency for Kiwis on holdings in their KiwiSaver and other investments, support for fund managers to deepen their involvement in ethical investment, and analysis for the financial services industry.

Their awards recognise leaders in the ethical and impact investing communities in Aotearoa for pushing the frontiers of best practice for our investment sector, showing innovation and leadership in providing choices for investors and creating more positive impacts for the climate, environment and social issues.

Mindful Money’s recently appointed Co-CEO, Kate Vennell explains: “Annual surveys show that consumers have growing expectations that their KiwiSaver or investment funds will be invested with high ethical standards. They are wary of greenwashing and exaggerated claims of being green or sustainable. The Mindful Money awards look behind the rhetoric and judge the underlying policies and practices in each of the eight categories.”

Judges’ Comments

The judges’ comments included congratulating Pathfinder for its leadership and said that they recognised that Pathfinder is committed to ethical investing across all aspects of their work, including avoiding harmful investments, engaging with companies and driving down climate emissions. The judges particularly welcomed Pathfinder’s increased investment in sustainable themes, such as renewable energy, and in positive impact companies.

Best Ethical KiwiSaver Provider - 4 years in a row

This is a crucial category, with a total of over $100 billion invested by 370 KiwiSaver funds. The judges said they were looking for the fund provider with the highest standards across the main strategies of avoiding harm, engagement to raise social and environmental standards, investing for positive impact and embodying an ethical approach. It is widely recognised that these are not only ethical standards, but important for sound investment management.

Highly commended went to Simplicity and the runners up included Generate KiwiSaver and Medical Assurance Society (MAS).

The Best Ethical Investor

This category includes $72 billion of funds under management in 502 retail managed funds, as well as private capital, venture capital and asset owner investments. A growing number of these funds are managed under some form of ethical investment strategy, including exclusions, integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors, stewardship, and investing for positive social and environmental outcomes. The judges were looking for providers that demonstrate high ethical standards and outcomes.

Highly commented went to Climate Venture Capital Fund and Harbour Asset Management was a finalist.

The People’s Choice Award, Best Ethical Fund Provider.

For the first time, members of the public voted for their favourite ethical investment fund. Pathfinder narrowly bet Simplicity as the inaugural winner of The People’s Choice Award, Best Ethical Fund Provider.

The award is dedicated to the memory of the late Rod Oram. He was previously head judge at these awards and was honoured for his huge contribution to climate action and sustainability in Aotearoa New Zealand.

For more information:

Read about all the winners and runner up from the awards here.

Read more about what was covered at the conference or watch it here.

Find out what you are investing in or find a fund that’s right for you at Mindful Money. They use publicly available data and powerful analytics to reveal the companies your fund is investing in. They have chosen issues that are of most concern to New Zealand investors that include animal cruelty, human rights violations, social harm, fossil fuels, weapons and environmental harm.

Ana Dermer

Ana is a marketing and communications specialist with a strong design and sustainability background that spans over 20 years. She is passionate about helping good companies promote good in the world as a way of staying positive about the future and leaving a legacy for future generations. She has Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma in Multimedia Design from the University of Otago. She has also completed courses in interior design, skiing and photography - her favourite hobbies.