Federated Hermes takes advisers to school on ESG

The company's new Responsible Investing Institute taps into the growing appeal of ESG investing by giving financial advisers a road map to building portfolios and working with clients. Beyond the courses, the curriculum also include podcasts.


Recognizing the educational gaps in the increasingly popular sustainable investing space, Federated Hermes Inc. has launched the Responsible Investing Institute to provide continuing education for the investment community.

In developing the initial three-course curriculum, Federated teamed up with KKS Advisors to “develop ESG integration and impact strategies that pave the way to a more sustainable society.”

The courses include ESG 101, ESG data and investment implementation, and ESG business implementation.

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The 101 course is designed to help investment professionals identify what environmental, social and governance investing is, and what it is not, while defining key concepts, themes and approaches. The data and implementation course expands investors’ knowledge about authentic ESG integration, helps advisers navigate the ESG data landscape and recognize the value of engaging with corporate issuers.

And the business implementation course is described as a practical guide for advisers and asset allocators to help them identify ESG interest and talk about responsible investing with new and existing clients.

“Through a Federated Hermes 2020 survey, we learned that 90% of financial advisers were being asked about ESG investing, while less than 25% of them felt confident having a client conversation about it,” said Paul Uhlman, president of Federated Securities Corp.

“We established the Responsible Investing Institute to help fill that gap by offering a series of interactive, web-based courses designed to ensure financial professionals were not only fluent, but confident in their understanding of responsible investing and authentic ESG integration in order to deepen client conversations.”

Beyond the courses, additional resources include podcasts to help financial professionals learn more about “the what, why, how and who of responsible investing,” according to Federated.

The ESG educational program comes at a time when interest in ESG investing is hitting all-time highs. According to a report out Thursday by London-based CoreData, 45% of global institutional investors plan to increase their exposure to ESG bonds, and 72% of say integrating ESG into fixed income improves performance and credit risk management.

According to Morningstar Inc., asset flows into funds labeled sustainable in 2020 more than doubled the flows of 2019 and accounted for a quarter of total inflows into mutual funds and ETFs.