Australian regulation governing the use of 'social considerations' in managed investment portfolios

Matthew Haigh, James Guthrie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Purpose: In an effort to improve comparability between investment products and standardize investment terminology, Australian legislators recently required investment managers to report to what extent they employ ‘social considerations’ in portfolio construction. This paper assesses if the objectives of the legislation have been met. Methodology: The context of legislative development is examined in Parliamentary debates. Practised accountabilities are identified by examining a sample of the initial set of social information disclosures issued under the purview of the legislation. Although the regulatory laissez faire approach can be criticised of and in itself, the quality of social information disclosures is assessed by the degree of compliance to regulatory requirements. Findings: Initial social disclosures were poor, providing little basis for comparability. In some instances, the quality of information relating to managers’ use of ‘social considerations’ had declined relative to information supplied on a voluntary basis before the legislation took effect. Research implications: Answers calls for studies on the social responsiveness of financial markets. Findings provide important evidence for public policy debate. Originality/value: Establishes a set of standards for disclosures of non-financial information attached to retail managed investment products.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 30th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association
EditorsWillem Buijink
Place of PublicationLisbon, Portugal
PublisherEuropean Accounting Association
Number of pages43
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Congress of the European Accounting Association (30th : 2007) - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 25 Apr 200727 Apr 2007


ConferenceAnnual Congress of the European Accounting Association (30th : 2007)
CityLisbon, Portugal


  • ethical investment
  • social reporting
  • Australian financial services
  • practiced accountabilities


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