Socially responsible investing continues to grow… but where are the best opportunities?


The popularity of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is soaring as investors look for ethical holdings with great returns.

Buying stock in ‘socially responsible’ companies and funds has seen the asset class grow by more than 10 per cent every year.

But investment experts found that there was still a significant amount of confusion around the approach.

R. Scott Arnell, founder of Geneva Capital, said there were misconceptions that SRI revolves around ‘easily understandable and recognizable mainstream ”do-good” projects like solar or wind farms.

He said: ‘The real SRI opportunities in the next 10 years lie in infrastructure investments in emerging and frontier markets, which are less trendy to discuss due to an overarching lack of awareness and understanding.

‘New SRI opportunities abound as a result of exploding middle classes in many rapidly growing economies that still have massively un-met needs and little or no legacy infrastructure.

‘The comprehensive and sustained foundational development in these regions is vastly under-reported in the media, at least from an investor’s point of view, which is unfortunate since opportunities in this sector can deliver triple-digit returns for equity investors.’

In a recent interview with Wall Street Journal TV, Arnell explained more of the ins and outs of SRI.

Investor demand is driving the growth in the sector, According to MarketWatch.

They added: ‘Clients, individuals and institutions alike, are increasingly asking for sustainable investing products across all asset classes. In fact, 80% of money managers in the US SIF report cited client demand as the primary motivation for incorporating environmental, social and governance criteria in their strategies.’

A similar pattern is occurring all over Europe where the Continents policies, strategies, and implementation for Socially Conscious Investing is ahead of U.S. regulations.

About R. Scott Arnell

R. Scott Arnell is a founding partner of Geneva Capital S.A., an advisory firm based in Geneva, Switzerland specializing in alternative investments, including advising investors on socially responsible investment opportunities with a high concentration in private equity in emerging and frontier markets. He has 25+ years of international financial & business management experience serving in senior executive roles at multiple Fortune 500 companies in the high-tech and internet telecoms sectors. Since co-founding Geneva Capital, he has specialized in emerging/frontier markets, international private equity business development and alternative investment advisory. Arnell has extensive international business experience in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Prior to founding Geneva Capital, Arnell was the Chief Executive Officer of Coming Home Studios, an entertainment programming rights company in Los Angeles focused on the production and distribution of multi-camera, live music concerts of leading bands and performers producing two Billboard Top Ten music video DVDs. Previously, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of PSINet Europe where he restructured the $200 million revenue, 800 employee pan-European internet access and data hosting business across 13 countries and sold the company in a share purchase transaction.

Before PSINet, Arnell was International Treasurer at Silicon Graphics, Inc. in both Geneva and Hong Kong, establishing a centralized global treasury operation and the international sales finance and remarketing business. He began his career serving in various corporate and business finance roles at Kimberly-Clark Corporation in both North and South America.

Arnell earned his Bachelor’s at Western Michigan University and his MBA from the Marshall School of Business – University of Southern California.


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