Global wealth industry is being reshaped by a 17 year old girl

CEO of global wealth advisory firm deVere says Greta Thunberg is changing investment’s future

Global wealth industry is being reshaped by a 17 year old girl
Steve Randall

An inspirational young woman or an angry teenager; perceptions of Greta Thunberg vary.

But the 17-year-old climate change activist who has helped set the agenda for the World Economic Forum in Davos this week is making an impact – and not just on environment issues.

Nigel Green, CEO of global wealth advisory business deVere Group says that Thunberg’s message is hitting home, especially with millennials and those from her own Gen-Z cohort.

“These younger generations who will listen to the message and warnings of Greta Thunberg, amongst others, are going to be the beneficiaries of the biggest-ever generational transfer of wealth – likely to be around $30trn – over the next few years,” he said.

Green notes that these younger generations will also hold the balance of political and social influence.

“With their socially responsible awareness, plus their new wealth and power, we can expect them to put Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) issues at the centre of their investment decisions,” he said.

A new global survey by deVere Group shows that 77% of millennials cite ESG investing as their top priority when considering investments.

“This survey underscores that whilst traditional factors – such as anticipated returns (10%), past performance (7%), risk tolerance (4%) and tactical allocation (2%) – are important factors in millennial respondents’ investment decision-making, they are no longer enough,” he said.

Green added that Thunberg is not just helping to save the planet.

“She is reshaping the global investment industry because financial institutions, companies and agencies will need to decisively shift their priorities to match those of millennials and Gen Z.”

Calling out leaders
At Davos, Thunberg this week called out world leaders for inaction saying: “Pretty much nothing has been done, since the global emissions of CO2 have not reduced.”

The young activist called on leaders to take several urgent steps including ending subsidies for fossil fuels.

Speaking at the event, President Trump said: “We must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse.”

Thunberg later said that leaders were guilty of “empty words and promises” and stated that her generation will not “give up without a fight.”

deVere chief Nigel Green says her attendance at Davos is important.

“Greta’s message is a consistent one, one based on science and fact, and one that is likely to hit home with millennials and Gen Z. Typically, these generations – those born from the early 1980s onwards – seem to ‘get’ the climate emergency we’re facing, and the urgency with which it needs to be tackled, far better than older generations,” he said. “This is why it is crucial that she was at Davos in order to drive her message through to the political and business leaders who can actually do something about it right now.”