Assessment of sustainability preferences of investors is coming under the spotlight ahead of potential regulation in the UK. How advisers adapt the way they speak to clients and practically turn their sustainability preferences into suitable investment portfolios is a challenge.
To help advisers address this challenge, FE fundinfo have partnered with Compliance First, ESG Accord, Fidelity Adviser Solutions and Sarasin & Partners, for two special seminars to discuss how sustainability can be discussed with clients in the context of their financial goals and be integrated into the advice process.
8:45 - 9:20
Welcome to the event
Arrivals and introduction - including breakfast
9:20 - 9:50
What is sustainable investing, and does it actually do any good?
Record temperatures around the world this year have left little doubt on the urgent need to tackle climate change - business-as-usual is unsustainable. Sustainable investment considers the change to nature and the nature of change.
Human industrial and consumer activities are not just destabilising the climate but also destroying all other aspects of nature and the ability of the Earth to regenerate and repair itself. The necessary, belated but inevitable change to business will be far-reaching and create risks for those investors that fail to respond and adapt.
How do we invest to give clients the best risk adjusted returns whilst considering all these factors? Is it all about exclusion or engagement?
Henry Boucher and Megan Brennan from Sarasin & Partners will discuss the major themes that will drive future investment, laying bare the implications of the transition to sustainability. Expect remarkable change and significant disruption - but in the economic transformation lies opportunity.
9:50 - 10:20
What are the regulations advisers must be aware of?
At our London event, Lee Coates OBE from ESG Accord will look at the existing Regulations that already require advisers to consider client ESG and Sustainability prefers. In addition, Lee will explain how ESG and Sustainable advice is critical for all firms when the forthcoming Consumer Duty and Sustainable Fund Label regulations arrive.
At our Glasgow event, Shirley Owen from Compliance First will look at regulatory aspects of ESG. Shirley will cover what ESG is to the Client, what due diligence should be held, and very importantly what should be in a Client file and the suitability report?
10:20 - 10:50
How to speak to your clients about their sustainability preferences and build it into your advice process
Some clients will have clear goals when it comes to sustainable investing, whether that be excluding specific activities or sectors from their investments, choosing companies that are actively working to improve the world around them or using their investments to engage with company managements for change. However, others may not have thought about this previously but want their investments to do less harm and more good to varying levels.
But how do you ascertain the balance of a client’s sustainability preferences with their investment risk/return profile and then build it into an investment solution?
Ray Adams from FE fundinfo will discuss how to have meaningful conversations with your clients around their sustainability preferences during the onboarding process, and the tools that can support you to incorporate them into a financial plan that supports their investment goals and beliefs and aligns to PROD suitability.
10:50 - 11:05
11:05 - 11:35
How do you select a suitable investment?
So now you know what your client’s sustainability preferences are, how do you use FE Analytics to research a suitable investment solution?
Stuart Carmichael from FE fundinfo will demonstrate what’s available in FE Analytics today, including:
- Fund level ratings
- Alerting and filtering
- New data and documents
Stuart will also discuss what further enhancements are planned for ESG, and other useful integrations on the Roadmap that will help you research appropriate ESG investments in the most efficient manner possible.
11:35 - 12:05
What does a good ESG investment proposition actually look like?
Financial advice starts with the retail client, extends to the adviser and includes the discretionary investment manager. The focus under PROD and especially the new consumer duty, is to embed the consumer principle and cohesion throughout the advice process, to produce high quality client outcomes.
The risks of failing to comply are very real to the adviser and the new regulation consolidates accountability onto the advice firm. A shift to responsible investing – or ESG - increases complexity and may erode integrity of the advice process.
But how do you deliver on the four outcomes for Consumer Duty and deliver on communication, customer services, products and service, price and value?
Ed Margot from FE Investments will link together the advice process, PROD, communication and suitability to simplify the framework with conflicting outcomes in mind.
12:05 - 12:50
How are advisers tackling the responsible investment challenge?
As the UK regulatory impact of sustainable investing is still uncertain and investor interest has increased, investment managers have seized the marketing opportunity available, meaning advisers and investors are facing a deluge of material advertising investments as ESG or sustainable.
This opens up a significant space for greenwashing - using ESG and sustainability as a marketing story rather than an investment approach – and the risk of greenwashing has already prompted the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to warn about its rise.
Against the deluge of information and investment narrative, how have advisers been rising to the challenge of assessing suitable sustainable investments for their clients and building it into their proposition?
Our panellists from Sarasin & Partners, Fidelity Adviser Solutions, and Niche IFA will discuss the current impact of sustainable investing on the adviser community and outline how product providers can help to support them further.
12:50 - 13:50
Networking and lunch
FE fundinfo is a trading name of FE fundinfo Limited, registered in England & Wales (03672592). Registered office 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6HJ.
FE Investments is a trading name for Financial Express Investments Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of FE fundinfo Limited. Financial Express Investments Limited is registered in England and Wales (03110696) and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (209967). Registered office 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, Surrey, GU21 6HJ.