Wealth management and investment industry trade association Pimfa has launched an online ESG academy, in partnership with MSCI, Fidelity and Farrer & Co, pulling insight from across the industry.
The ESG Academy for Wealth Managers will teach participants about identifying ESG investments, meeting their clients’ ESG needs, ESG regulation and ESG tools.
The course will be split into three modules, with the first launching on 28 September 2021 and covering the fundamentals of ESG investing. The second will look at how to analyse ESG data and the final module will provide training in how to speak to clients and potential clients about ESG investing opportunities.
Modules will be led by experts such as Julia Dreblow, founding director, SRI Services & Fund EcoMarket and ESG Clarity editorial panellist, who described the academy as a “whistle-stop tour of retail ESG, made up of bite sized units, covering the key information intermediaries need to know in order to get started in the area”, and Jenn-Hui Tan, global head of stewardship and sustainable investing at Fidelity International.
Tan said: “The rise is of sustainable investing has been one of the most significant changes in the investment industry in a generation. But, defining what is and what is not truly ‘sustainable’ is difficult and can mean different things to different stakeholders.
“Working collectively as an industry and supporting initiatives such as Pimfa’s ESG Academy, we can advance sustainable investing more broadly, and ultimately, better serve our clients financial and non-financial objectives.”
The academy is CPD-accredited and free to Pimfa members. Hosted on the Thinkific platform, it uses podcasts, self-assessments, downloadable worksheets and discussion forums.
Liz Field, CEO of Pimfa, said: “ESG considerations play a significant role in investment decisions. There is an opportunity to be seized here both for investors and companies alike as new technologies are developed and as attitudes change, some of which has been accelerated by the Covid pandemic.”
Steve Kowal, head of EMEA wealth advisory channel management, at MSCI added: “The rise of ESG as a new wealth investing paradigm presents new responsibilities for the wealth management community. Managed effectively, it also provides the chance to deepen client relationships via understanding and implementing ESG-related goals and preferences.”
Joining the club
Pimfa joins other industry bodies in having launched ESG learning tools over the past year.
In April 2021 the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) launched a new course on sustainable and responsible investing.
Aimed primarily at wealth and investment managers, the CISI Sustainable and Responsible Investment Professional Assessment is an online, intermediate-level course that takes six hours of study time/CPD hours culminating in a 60 minute test and completion certificate.
And in March this year the CFA Institute rolled out a global version of its Certificate in ESG Investing.
“This Certificate is the first of its kind to be made available globally, and will equip practitioners with foundational knowledge and competencies, enabling them to better serve the needs of their clients and contribute to building trust within the industry,” said Margaret Franklin, president and CEO of CFA Institute, at the time.