HOLBROOK, N.Y. (Aug. 15, 2018) — American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (AP) affiliated investment professional, and president and founder of AJF Financial Services, Inc., Andrew J. Friedman recently spoke at a forum on sustainable development at the inaugural Peace Boat Partnership Expo, which took place on July 12, 2018, in Manhattan, N.Y. The expo—which highlights the importance of partnerships for transformation toward sustainable and resilient societies—featured a comprehensive agenda, including speakers from the United Nations (UN), the Hague Appeal for Peace and NASA, as well as subject matter experts within the spheres of government, technology and financial services. Friedman organized and led a series of insightful presentations during the AJF Financial Peace Boat Ecoship Reception that hinged on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all.
Peace Boat, an international non-profit organization that promotes peace, human rights, and equal and sustainable development and respect for the environment, has a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN. Peace Boat’s mission is guided by the UN SDGs, which align with Friedman’s investment philosophy. “The 17 SDGs are the most comprehensive guideline for how human beings should treat each other. It covers all of the human and global issues we face,” states Friedman, who strives to effect change through and promote awareness of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) based on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. AJF Financial Services operates within the SRI framework, which is grounded in the premise that all business decisions are made to encompass all stakeholders (i.e. employees, shareholders, communities, members of the supply chain, environment) and that operating in this manner is a long-term value proposition. Uncovering deficiencies in areas of ESG can alert investors to uncommon risks that have the potential to impact investment performance over the long term.
Friedman’s association with Nobel Peace Prize-winning Peace Boat stems back to a Sustainable Responsible Impact Investing Conference he attended in November 2017. It was there that he developed a symbiotic relationship with Peace Boat Founder and Director Yoshioka Tatsuya, as well as with former NASA Astronaut and Chairman of Constellation Col. Ron J. Garan; Constellation is an organization formed by Garan and fellow astronauts Leland Melvin, Anousheh Ansari and Nicole Stott to inspire positive action in students, decision-makers and the general public with the profound perspective shift experienced in space. Both Tatsuya and Garan spoke during the AJF Financial Peace Boat Ecoship Reception, where Friedman also introduced attendees to two asset managers—Calvert and Domini Impact Investments, LLC—who have subscribed to SRI methodology and spoke to the importance of advocacy and shareholder engagement, as well as the integration of systems-level thinking in terms of investing.
Friedman, who has more than 35 years of experience within the financial services industry and serves as one of AP’s subject matter experts on SRI, firmly believes that investors have the unique opportunity to hold companies accountable to ESG criteria. “There are so many issues in this world that are created as a result of bad decision making at the corporate level,” he attests. “If we approach investments the way we always have, by looking only at profit and loss, then we’re missing the opportunity to make corrections. If we see that a company’s public image doesn’t match up to how it conducts business and we don’t say something, then we’re responsible.” Friedman actively educates his client base to effect change through shareholder advocacy and has done so through reviewing proxies, engaging in letter-writing campaigns, contacting CEOs and supporting/objecting to legislation. Having done so, he’s seen positive results that should encourage those investment professionals who are reticent to promote impact investing to their clients. “No one is saying that sustainability isn’t about making money,” Friedman contests. “Everyone should know whether a company is meeting industry standards. If you’re not making good investments for your clients, then you’re not making them money. There’s a new triple bottom line; it’s called people, planet and profits. Make money—all the money you want—but don’t do harm.”
AP Vice President of Asset Management Clifford T. Walsh concurs. “Creating business value and building a better world do not have to be conflicting goals. We firmly believe that doing business ethically and responsibly is a competitive advantage.” As a company, AP firmly believes in sustainability and supports corporate social responsibility through many initiatives, including fundraising for and participating in local, national and global initiatives such as World T.E.A.M., The Center for Discovery, Long Island Honor Flight, The Butterfly Effect Project and Thame Sherpa Heritage Fund. The firm also launched its own Nine Points Investment Management (NPIM) Impact Portfolios, which reside within AP’s registered investment advisor (RIA) American Portfolios Advisors, Inc. (APA) Nine Points Advisory Services Platform. The NPIM Impact Portfolios use ETFs and mutual funds in combination. At present time, there are five Impact Portfolios available on the Nine Points Advisory Services Platform, including: NPIM Impact Income, NPIM Impact Income & Growth, NPIM Impact Growth & Income, NPIM Impact Growth and NPIM Impact Aggressive Growth.
About American Portfolios
Headquartered in Holbrook, N.Y., American Portfolios Financial Services, Inc. (APFS) is a full-service, independent broker/dealer and member firm of FINRA and SIPC, offering a complete range of financial services, including personal financial and retirement planning, securities trading, mutual funds, access to investment research, long-term care planning, insurance products and tax-free investing. Fee-based asset management is offered through its sister subsidiary, American Portfolios Advisors, Inc., (APA), an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Both entities, along with technology entity American Portfolios Advisory Solutions, LLC, collectively reside under the legal entity American Portfolios Holdings, Inc. (APH). Full-service securities brokerage is available through a clearing firm relationship with Pershing, LLC, a BNY Mellon firm, the securities of which are held on a fully disclosed basis. The company currently serves 811 independent investment professionals located in 376 branch locations throughout the nation. It was named Broker-Dealer of the Year* (Division III) by Investment Advisor magazine in 2015, 2016 and 2017, as well as one of the top 10 Best Companies to Work for in the state of New York for 2016, 2017 and 2018 by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management (NYS-SHRM) and the Best Companies Group (BCG).
*Based on a poll of registered representatives conducted by Investment Advisor magazine. Broker/dealers rated highest by their representatives are awarded “Broker/Dealer (B/D) of the Year.”
About Andrew J. Friedman
Andrew J. Friedman has been providing comprehensive estate, insurance and wealth management strategies for high net worth clients since 1982. He is a Certified Sustainable Investment Professional, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) since 1997 and a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). He was a member of the advisory board for American Portfolios and is on the board of directors for the Sean Kimerling Testicular Cancer Foundation. Friedman graduated from the University of Wisconsin and has received numerous industry awards and non-profit acknowledgements throughout his career. He earned his certification as a Sustainable Investment Professional from Concordia University, is a member of The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) and a Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) signatory.