How to Use Your Money to Create a Better World

Last year, Bank OZK launched Sustainable World Investments, an investment offering committed to fostering a healthier, more socially-conscious planet. Our experts can help you drive positive social and environmental change through your investments. Socially-conscious investments aren’t mutually exclusive with economically competitive ones. If you want an investment portfolio tailored to creating a cleaner, healthier environment with a financially competitive eye, look no further than Bank OZK.

In the following interview, Senior Vice President/Trust Investment Officer Michelle Garey discusses how your money can build a sustainable future.

Interviewer: Why are Sustainable World Investments important?   

MG: Sustainable investing provides an opportunity for investors to align their values with their investments for a positive impact in the world without sacrificing performance.

Today’s investors want to be responsible and conscientious about the way their investment capital is utilized. There is a lot of interest in the environment, social concerns and corporate governance issues. We help investors recognize and leverage the power they have to exert influence to make a positive impact.

There is more information available now about investments, corporations, and corporate behavior, than in the past. Our clients are asking more questions on how they can invest in the causes that they care about, and how they can support positive impact in general.

Interviewer: What are some things you wish more people knew about sustainable investing?

MG: All the different components that are measured—ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) criteria. I think it is insightful for investors to see what a long list it is, all the things measured and tracked in corporate behavior. It’s enlightening, when you really think about it. Most folks are going to have an interest or two on that list.

Investors enrolling in a 529 plan or a 401k plan may spend a couple of hours looking at the menu of investments, and then they tend to pick one or two and forget about it. In a mutual fund, for instance, there may be several hundred companies represented, all in different industries and sectors, doing all kinds of different things. Even if there’s a mishap, investors may not really think about whether or not they own that stock.

Many investors would find it interesting to be more involved in the investment research process. “What do I own, exactly, in this fund? Do these companies’ values align with mine? Does this investment make sense for me?

Interviewer: How can the knowledgeable advisors in Bank OZK’s Wealth Management team help?

MG: If people spend the time to be involved they will find it interesting and meaningful. And, they will realize they do have a voice in affecting corporate policy. They should ask how a company they are thinking of investing in is working to minimize environmental harm. Does it have a good record of responsible treatment of employees, customers and community?  Does the company use suppliers who provide safe working conditions for their employees? The reality is that, as a shareholder, you have an opportunity to vote on many of these things. Yet, many investors don’t vote their proxies, or even read them. At Bank OZK Trust and Wealth Management, we are happy to help anyone who wants to learn more about sustainable investing.

To get started with Sustainable World Investing, contact Michelle Garey, CFA, Bank OZK’s SVP Trust Investment Officer, by calling 704-484-6462 or emailing [email protected]