SIX, or the Sustainable Investment Exchange, is an ethical investing and shareholder advocacy platform on a mission to help shareholders use their influence to make change. 

This week I spoke to SIX co-founder and CEO, Adam Verwey — who also co-founded Future Super and was a long time director of the ACCR, one of Australia’s most prominent shareholder activism agency — to hear about the company’s plans. 

SIX is currently focused on shareholder activism, but is working towards building a full activist and ethical investing platform that incorporates activist investing, ethical investing, and will hopefully one day offer a secondary trading market for impact or B-corp companies, an ASX for B-corps if you like. 

The group is currently looking to raise +$1 million to fund the coming 12 months of operation. That funding would allow SIX to maintain its current activist investing development program. And if it can raise more, other exciting opportunities can be added to the platform. 

(For more contact on the capital raise contact

Shareholder activism

Currently, the activist investing portal is in beta mode, undergoing testing by first users with the first trades being put through. It will soon be made open to everybody who wants to participate in SIX’s shareholder activism campaigns. Users will be able to log into a portal, where they’ll, initially, see the first six campaigns and first 10 target companies. 

There will be a range of different actions users can take to participate in those campaigns and they will be able to buy shares in those companies. 

“I think shareholder activism is the most accessible form of impact investing. 

“A lot of impact investing is for really wealthy people, being able to invest in things like  unlisted companies, infrastructure funds that are closed off to people, but here for an investment of as little as $500 they can be part of a movement that’s helping to make change at a really large listed company. 

“It can open the opportunity for the regular Australians — everyday investors — to make a $500 investment in say Woolworths, help save an animal from extinction as part of that investment. They are also to redeem that investment whenever they need the money. That’s what makes it a really accessible form of impact investing.” 

“We want to make impact investing more accessible, giving more people the tools — the same tools that billionaires have — in terms of doing shareholder activism.” 

An ethical trading platform 

“I really love that we are starting with activist investing. I have a personal passion for it,” said Adam, while adding that “from the middle of this year, we’ll be expanding it out to be a full ASX share trading platform. That will allow people to build ethical share trading portfolios, where ethical shares will sit next to their activist shares on the same platform. 

“They can see ESG profiles that have been written by our team on ETFs and on each of the largest ASX-listed companies. They’ll be able to search and create watchlists based on different ESG criteria.”

A solution for advisor groups

This initial stage will also see SIX build out an advisor version of the platform. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Adam says ethical advisor groups and a number of foundations are really interested in what they’re building, wanting to be really involved in shareholder activism. Stewardship is one of the really important ways that advisors can engage their clients in impact and ethical investing. 

“At the lower level of our raise, that’s what we will be looking to achieve in the next year,” said Adam. 

Potential for unlisted investments; crowdfunding

“If we can raise more than the minimum $1 million target, we’ll start building out some of the other features — such as adding unlisted investment opportunities to the platform, particularly for equity crowdfunding, which I think is one of the most reliable forms of funding new impact ventures at the moment. And then adding in other impact investing opportunities as well.” 

In addition to the current raise, Adam says SIX is committed to doing an equity crowdfund in the second half of the year so that users can be owners of the company as well. 

Making impact investing accessible

Adam explains that there’s been a focus of the impact investing community over many years on how to democratise impact investing and open it up to more people. Overall that hasn’t been very successful to date. That may be because efforts have involved trying to take things that very wealthy people invest in and make them available to retail inventors, but that often presents a mismatch between things such as liquidity and appropriateness. 

The advantage here is in taking something that’s already accessible, in terms of share trading, and creating really big impact on top of it. That can go a long way towards making impact investing more democratised and available to everybody, which is something that the impact community has been looking for.  

Save the Skate

One of SIX’s current campaigns is to ask Woolworths and Coles to stop sourcing salmon and trout from Macquarie Harbour to protect the endangered Maugean Skate. 

For more on this campaign see:—save-the-skate 

“Groups, NGOs, foundations, investment managers, and businesses can wield enormous influence. We can mobilise large numbers of supporters, investors, customers, and employees. We can also own shares in Woolworths and Coles. Together with individual supporters, we can be a powerful coalition to push Woolworths and Coles to Save the Skate from extinction.

“Below you can find the open letter to Woolworths and Coles calling on them to Save the Skate. Use the sign up form to add your entity’s name to the open letter.”

Click here to sign an open letter to Woolworths and Coles to save the endangered Maugean Skate. 

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