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Foresters becomes first B Corp certified investment bond provider in Australia

For investors thinking holistically about future wealth, adding B Corp accreditation to the provision of investment and education bonds makes a compelling offer.

One of Australia’s oldest financial services providers, Foresters Financial, has become the first of its kind in the country to achieve B Corp Certification, a mark the company believes demonstrates its commitment to sustainable investing and environmental concerns.

B Corps certification is a global accreditation designating a company as being independently verified by the non-for-profit B Lab. The B Corp tag means a provider meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

There are currently more than 7,800 certified B Corp companies across the globe.

  • Foresters itself provides investment bonds and education bonds to consumers and has been operating for over 175 years, making it one of the country’s oldest continuously running institutions. Foresters Financial chief executive Emma Sakelaris attaining the B Corp accreditations matters because the group’s values are in many ways aligned with those of the provider.

    “Foresters was formed in the 19th century, long before there was government social welfare, so we have a legacy of protecting our members’ financial interests while supporting them in times of illness, disability, old age, and death,” Sakellaris said, adding that the accreditation allows the group to demonstrate its commitment to social and environmental causes, and join a global community set on using its influence to achieve “positive change”.

    “Our financial products are designed to enable individuals and their families contribute to a more equitable world for current and future generations,” she said.

    The education bonds Foresters provides, Sakellaris added, are a “powerful financial vehicle” to ensure there are funds available for the education needs of descendants.

    “Investment bonds are an ideal way to develop a long-term financial strategy, including estate planning, with no personal tax on investment earnings while the money is in the fund, and any withdrawal after 10 years tax-free, subject to the 125 per cent contribution rule. It can also provide a pathway avenue for building a charitable legacy with a non-contestable gift to entities working for better community outcomes.”

    Adding B Corp certification to the offering provides another layer to what is already a product that has the future in mind, she believes.

    “It’s a way of thinking differently about the economy, of shifting from a system that profits a few to one that benefits all, and it’s certainly one we want to embrace.”

    Staff Writer

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