24 February 2022
4 min read
Roadmap to ESG series - Part two: Exploration
It may be that you place higher importance on the need to provide clients with ESG investment options but haven’t spent a huge amount of time considering what happens within your own firm. This is understandable but there are a number of benefits to spending time thinking about your own operations before you commit to a strategy for clients.
Adrian Murphy, Murphy Wealth
When researching advisers for this series we heard so much frustration around the amount of paper and energy that is wasted. As a customer of these services, are you voicing your frustrations?
In March 2021, NextWealth published its ESG Tracking Study Update which analysed 23 platforms. It found that platforms that require a paper form signed by a client for fewer than 10% of processes almost doubled within six months, most likely as a result of the pandemic, hailing these companies ‘digital process champions’.
The report also recognised the ‘gamechangers’ – firms that have reduced paper processes by at least a quarter since March 2020. These include 7IM, Quilter (Old Mutual Wealth), Parmenion and Standard Life Wrap.
Clearly there are huge improvements being made and advisers have a role to play in ensuring the momentum continues, for the good of their own businesses as well as the environment.
According to the Financial Advice Business Benchmarks 2021 report published by the Personal Finance Society and NextWealth, philanthropy has long been a focus for financial advice firms as a way to give back to the communities in which they operate.
In the report, two in five (41%) of firms said they take part in philanthropic activities. The most common means to do so is via a named corporate charity, firm-wide volunteering and matching employee donations. A similar number (42%) of firms that support philanthropy undertake pro bono work.
As we see ESG move further towards the norm rather than a specialist area, NextWealth research shows virtually all (98%) financial advice professionals are now using ESG, ethical, sustainable or impact funds or portfolios at least to some extent, compared with 89% a year ago.
Alex Reynolds, Advies Private Clients
Thinking about your own firm’s philosophy and approach to matters that impact the environment, working practices, social diversity and philanthropy will set you up for the next step ahead.