Helping advisers to navigate the ESG minefield

Recently we’ve focused a lot on ESG and why advisers need to get on board with it for a number of reasons, largely due to the increasing awareness of clients about the need to act to have a positive impact on the world, plus the knowledge that regulation is around the corner that will mean ignoring it is not an option.

While clients may be taking greater interest in doing the right thing, they may not want to compromise their future returns. Advisers who can help them achieve these ‘greener’ goals will be able to add extra value to their client relationships.

The good news is, despite what some past academic studies have suggested, ESG investing has performed well, so there are multiple benefits to incorporating this area of investment into portfolios.

This is not a new area for PortfolioMetrix. As well as incorporating ESG considerations into our core offering, we have been running specific ESG-focused portfolios for three and a half years. Few discretionary managers can say the same, with plenty of Johnny-come-latelies jumping on the bandwagon recently. Unlike the newcomers, our track record means we have robust stats to support our past and recent performance claims.

Engaging with this topic can be a minefield for advisers. As well as our whitepaper, we have recently put our support behind an independent service for advisers in the form of SRI Services and its Fund EcoMarket website.

SRI Services

Founded by Julia Dreblow, who has been talking about the importance of ESG for over 20 years, her organisation helps financial advisers and other intermediaries to understand and compare sustainable, responsible and ethical investment fund options.

By bringing together information about the many different ‘sustainable, responsible and ethical investment’ (SRI) strategies and approaches, it makes it easier for advisers to advise clients about the options that fit their needs.

Julia’s expertise led her to be appointed director of not-for-profit industry association UKSIF in November 2018 and is also the lead author of the new PIMFA ESG Academy amongst other things.

During her prior involvement with UKSIF, she chaired their retail subcommittee and was involved in setting up the first Good Money Week (formerly National Ethical Investment Week).

Fund tool is award-winning

The fund tool on the Fund EcoMarket website has been a finalist in a number of SRI awards.

We believe advisers need as much help as they can get to fully understand and, soon, to comply (regulation is on the way in 2021), with what is a complex and potentially time-consuming area of investment.

For any adviser who is looking to find new clients that are interested in ESG it is worth noting that there is a “Find an Adviser” service on her website that allows advisers who can facilitate ESG investing to advertise their services. SRI Services also runs an annual Good Money Week conference which is free for advisers to attend. Details are available via this link:

The work that Julia and her team are doing on this important topic is first class and we are very happy to offer our support to them at this time.