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Royals Harry and Meghan Are Investors, Clients, and Backers of Sustainable Asset Manager Ethic

“The Duke & Duchess are mission-driven, with a relentless commitment to putting real action behind their words. We trust that their involvement will only help drive Ethic closer to accomplishing our core mission,” Ethic, the $1.3 billion asset manager, said in a statement.

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have partnered with Ethic, a growing separately managed accounts platform for wealth managers that is focused on environmental, social, and governance investing.

The royal couple, who invested in Ethic itself earlier this year and have assets managed by the company, will also be “impact partners” going forward, helping promote the asset manager and a shared mission, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

“They’re deeply committed to helping address the defining issues of our time — such as climate, gender equity, health, racial justice, human rights, and strengthening democracy — and understand that these issues are inherently interconnected,” Ethic said about the couple.

The New York Times was first to report the partnership Tuesday morning.

Founded in 2015, Ethic helps financial advisors build custom equity portfolios, something an increasing number of clients are demanding. In June, Ethic revealed its assets under management had reached $1 billion, a coveted milestone. “Once you cross that billion-dollar threshold you're in the stratosphere of being an institutional-size advisory business,” Doug Scott, co-founder and CEO of Ethic, told RIA Intel at the time.

Today, Ethic is managing $1.3 billion, three times the assets it was 12 months ago, a spokesperson told RIA Intel.

It is unclear when Ethic began managing assets for the Duke and Duchess, or when exactly the couple invested in the company earlier this year. Meghan told The New York Times the couple were introduced to the firm through friends.

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“My husband has been saying for years, ‘Gosh, don’t you wish there was a place where if your values were aligned like this, you could put your money to that same sort of thing?’” Meghan told The New York Times.

Ethic declined to share when the Duke and Duchess became clients, and whether the couple participated in the $29 million Series B round of funding the asset manager raised in March or if they were involved a separate investment. Ethic did not disclose the value of the assets it manages for Harry and Meghan, or how much they invested in the company itself.

Ethic charges a fee of up to 0.50 percent annually, depending on the total assets under management and portfolio type. (Ethic also has in-house strategies that advisors can use for clients who aren’t interested in diving deep into their portfolios and singling out companies to add or exclude.) There is no minimum advisory fee.

The asset manager hopes the partnership with Meghan and Harry will help spread their message about sustainable investing to millions around the world, Ethic’s co-founders wrote in a press release.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to collectively drive greater awareness toward personalized, sustainable investing and, by extension, greater action toward helping to solve some of the defining issues of our time,” Ethic told RIA Intel in a written statement.

The two formally split from the British royal family in March and, in pursuit of financial independence, have struck deals to produce programs for Netflix and Spotify. They now live in California.

Holly Deaton (@HollyLDeaton) is a staff writer at RIA Intel and based in New York City.

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