New ESG report is very data-rich…but not everyone wanted to take part


Help is at hand for advisers who find choosing an ESG investment provider a headache. It comes in the shape of a new report from ESG Accord, which includes data from PortfolioMetrix.

For the report, 30 MPS providers fully completed a due diligence questionnaire and although a further 17 didn’t fully complete it, ESG Accord did the work for them using publicly available data.

There was no charge to appear in the report - this was not a ‘pay to play’ exercise so I was surprised that five providers asked not to be included.

To say the report is comprehensive is an understatement. Due to the volume of data provided, it cannot be presented in hard copy or PDF format. Instead, advisers – and its sole target audience is advisers - need to use their interactive tools.

Rich content

To create the report, each firm was asked 76 questions spanning the ESG & Sustainable spectrum. The questions were grouped into 8 headings:

  • General
  • ESG
  • ESG+ underpins
  • Responsible
  • Impact & Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Ethical
  • Engagement
  • Talking points
  • Additional info

To help navigate the report,  ESG Accord grouped advisers into four types, with suggested routes to progress for each of them:
  • Interested and have sufficient knowledge
  • Interested but have insufficient knowledge
  • Not interested and have sufficient knowledge
  • Not interested and have insufficient knowledge

The report also runs through common problem statements from advisers on ESG and has a counter for each one:
  •  “I want to offer best practice on ESG but I don’t know how”
  •  “None of my clients are interested in ESG”
  • “We already ask a question on ESG so we are compliant”
  •  “There isn’t any requirement from the regulator for me to ask ESG questions yet”
  • “I am confident my files are compliant when it comes to ESG”

The report also covers how to protect advisers from future claims on greenwashing/non-ESG compliance.

Advisers can get free access to the data here and can use the filters on the website to get information relevant to their own particular situation.

For any adviser currently trying to navigate this complex topic to formulate their ESG strategy and proposition, this is a very useful tool, especially given there is ESG regulation set to land next year.