While the ethical and sustainable investment industries have been relatively well established for some time, the term ‘thematic’ is somewhat less familiar to investors. Although it is more of a recent trend, it is no less integral to our ethical, sustainable and thematic approach. It involves the delivery of returns from a specific set of global themes which are thought to be driving change, through investment in the sectors and businesses that are best placed to exploit them.

Thematic investing depends on identifying global trends that are likely to influence financial markets and above all, the way we live our lives, whether they are driven by economics, politics, cultural or demographic changes, or a combination of all factors. The core drivers behind most thematic investment funds are population growth, rising wealth in the developing world, natural resource and energy scarcity, and climate change and as such, the investment options available to UK investors are typically biased towards either environmental (‘green’) or social themes.

Environmental themes

Environmental investment stems from the growth in evidence surrounding the impact of climate change on the planet and the need to tackle it by securing sustainable resources for the future. Although a dramatic change to our environment may not be something you can see, or even perceive, happening, it is, and will continue to be, one of the principle drivers behind global political and economic action in the 21st  century.

However, large swathes of the population are yet to understand the extent of their personal impact on climate change, and this is a necessity if the world’s population are to live in a completely sustainable manner. This need has resulted in investment by governments and institutions in the clean energy, water, timber, and waste management industries, resulting in an abundance of opportunities for private investors.

As well as providing opportunities to access companies that are addressing climate change and resource scarcity through their positive impact on the environment, ‘green’ investment also enables investors to generate a credible financial return by supporting companies which are targeting areas of significant future growth in a rapidly changing world.

In the same way that environmental change can result in a tangible shift in favour of businesses promoting a more sustainable way of living, it also poses risks to mainstream investment, in areas which do not recognise changes in climate change. Regulatory pressure on behalf of national governments and corporations to reduce its impact are leading to strict new policies which may fundamentally alter the way businesses operate.

It is likely that this trend will only continue to gain momentum and therefore investors should position themselves accordingly.

Read more about the rationale behind environmental investment

Social themes

Alongside environmental issues, thematic investment may also address social challenges such as a burgeoning population growth, urbanisation and social health.

Ageing populations are becoming a universal phenomenon, yet the impacts of longevity are chronically underestimated. Older people are set to consume a growing share of resources, placing pressure on the remainder of the working population who will need to support them. This is a dynamic which future generations will not be able to ignore, presenting what we believe to be interesting opportunities for investors. This trend will be particularly pronounced in industries such as health and elderly care, insurance, and pensions, which should grow rapidly in line with an ageing demographic.

In addition, the rapid pace of urbanisation across the globe is leaving some cities, particularly in the emerging market nations of Asia and Latin America, struggling to cope. In many instances, they possess out-dated infrastructure that lacks capacity, as well as depleting sources of energy, water and food.

Urbanisation is undoubtedly an important driving force for growth, but in order for growth to be sustainable, consideration must be given to the framework that is needed to house, feed, educate and transport the population. Only by dedicating investment to such areas, will the expanding regions of the world create resilient cities that are not only resource-efficient, but also offer a higher quality of life.

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 info@holden-partners.co.uk or complete the form: