The concept of EST investment

EST refers to ethical, sustainable and thematic investment.

At Holden & Partners we invest for the long term, which means delivering returns that are both reliable and sustainable.

A key part of uncovering investment potential is to identify the trends which are driving global change and anticipate potential opportunities, and risks, that may arise as a result. There is no guarantee that the areas of the market which have enjoyed growth up until now will continue to do so in the future; the trends set today could be the norms of tomorrow.

Trends such as resource scarcity, climate change and demographic shifts will influence the movement of financial markets to an even greater extent in the future. Long term investment involves recognising the changes which are otherwise overlooked by the rest of the market and using this information to shape financial decisions.

We call this unique approach EST – ethical, sustainable and thematic – investment. The concept is simple; investing in a way that acknowledges future threats and opportunities, whilst considering a wider range of issues than past performance to assess potential returns.

This may be achieved through the purchase of:

  • ethical funds, which screen out areas of the market engaged in controversial industries or those exposed to a particular sector-wide risk;
  • sustainable funds, which focus on the ability of companies to ensure the longevity of their products, processes and business models;
  • and thematic funds, which identify global macroeconomic themes and seek out opportunities which are best placed to capitalise upon them.

At the heart of this strategy is the assessment of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, which is crucial in providing a realistic indication of the risk and return characteristics associated with a particular investment.

There is increasing pressure on companies and asset managers to heed the social and environmental impact of their activities, and the emphasis placed on ESG can offer a valuable insight into the quality of a company’s management, culture and risk profile.

These factors ultimately help to scrutinise a business prior to investing, mitigating the risk of an event occurring which could affect its financial performance. In this respect, our EST approach is an essential means of creating enduring value for clients – investing with a focus on short term results is neither sensible nor sustainable.

Read more about the potential impact of ESG characteristics [PDF]

The idea that commitment to sustainable principles and good investment performance cannot be combined is an out-dated concept.

Our in-house investment team carefully select funds which we believe will deliver sustainable returns in a manner which will not supersede the financial objectives, or values, of our clients.

Not only can this approach reap significant social and financial rewards, the diversification benefits of analysing opportunities according to their ESG characteristics are stark and can considerably reduce investment risk.

My wife and I really value the advice and support we’ve received over many years. Our key contact is Tim Cosway, whose friendly and calm manner is a real plus. He also involves team members who are equally committed. We particularly value that their approach is that no question is stupid – we always receive a clear and helpful explanation. We have full confidence in the team’s management of our finances and definitely recommend them.


We have consulted Holden and Partners for 10 years.  Having been in financial disarray because of poor advice from our previous financial advisor, we have Tim Cosway to thank for digging us out of a deep financial hole.  As a result of his painstaking tenacity pursuing a claim against our former financial advisor through the Financial Ombudsman Service, which resulted in substantial compensation, we can anticipate a comfortable retirement.  We continue to take Tim’s advice on all financial matters.  He is a pleasure to deal with, and we whole heartedly recommend Holden and Partners, and Tim in particular.

Mike & Jacque

I have been a customer of Holden & Partners since its inception. During this time, no matter what the state of the financial climate, I have always found that their advice has been balanced and fair. They have a good understanding of everyone’s individual circumstances and produced tailored strategies to match these needs and expectations.

Duncan B, NHS consultant

I’ve always received high quality, personable advice at a time of my convenience. My adviser has often travelled to my home in order to provide very personal service. The advice given is clear and unambiguous. The risks of different types of investment have been clearly discussed to allow me to make an appropriate decision on the nature of my investment portfolio. This has been of great importance when considering the available investment options for my forthcoming retirement. I have always considered that Holden & Partners is very client centred and they have my best interests at heart. I have been with Holden & Partners since 1996 and have recommended them to friends and colleagues on many occasions.

Michael, Surgeon

Holden & Partners manage our company pension scheme with a totally professional and dedicated approach. They have worked with us over a number of years, and are able to explain the potential ‘minefield’ that is pensions, to make it perfectly accessible for the staff.

Jeremy, Print Management Partner

On retirement after 40 years of salaried employment, I interviewed several financial advisers, amongst whom Mark Dodd of Holden & Partners was the nicest and seemingly the most understanding of my investment needs and priorities. Since then my wife and I have had regular (c.6-monthly) meetings with him in order to check and, when necessary, adjust the holdings in our portfolio. This has been very helpful and provided a comforting sense of confidence and security. I have recommended Holden & Partners to others and will certainly continue to do so.

Patrick, retired university professor

It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of global trends such as climate change and environmental destruction. But I feel I regain power as a consumer and a citizen by thinking about where I spend my money and to whom I entrust my savings. I chose Holden and Partners because they were recommended to me and because of their strong track record in ethical investments. It has proven to be a wise choice. Their advisors listened carefully to my needs and created an investment strategy and portfolio that has met and indeed continues to exceed my expectations. The culture of a company also matters to me, I have found their advisors to be well informed and financially shrewd but also easy to speak to and engage with. Many of us find it difficult to trust institutions and organisations these days, but I do trust Holden and Partners to make the right decisions on my behalf.
I would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.

Patrick, Advertising and Marketing Consultant

Read all our testimonials

Contact us

Whether it’s a question about your personal finances or how you can invest your wealth more ethically, we are here to help. Call us on 020 7812 1460, email or complete the form: