Tool launched to assist managers with SFDR compliance

Pictet Asset Services launches platform to navigate applicable compliance criteria.

Pictet Asset Services has launched an online platform to assist third-party asset managers in navigating compliance with the upcoming EU Action Plan (EUAP) regulations for sustainable finance, as reported by ESG Clarity in the UK.

The EUAP, and specifically the EU new Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), come into effect in March 2021 and impose new transparency obligations and periodic reporting requirements on investment management firms at both a product and manager level.

Pictet Asset Services, the asset servicing business line of the Pictet Group, has developed the online platform to guide clients through all applicable compliance criteria regarding the integration of ESG characteristics or definition of sustainable investment objectives. 

The platform is based on three pillars:

  • A client awareness role of providing the relevant information from the five main regulatory dimensions of the EUAP: Disclosure (SFRD), Taxonomy, UCITS & AIFMD, MiFID II and Carbon Benchmarks. This allows clients and prospects to gather the relevant information and make informed decisions. The requirements will differ depending on the ESG strategies targeted by each asset manager.
  • Offering and supporting services that Pictet Asset Services can provide, as well as the implementation timeline.
  • Reserved to clients and prospects, the platform can also offer an online self-assessment designed to either support their transition towards more ambition ESG strategies or consolidate their current investment approach within the SFDR requirements. A concrete ESG implementation roadmap is then provided, in line with each asset managers’ product strategy.

Marc Briol, CEO of Pictet Asset Services, said: “The EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance is an important and necessary step. Our goal is to try to preserve boutique asset managers that don’t necessarily have the adequate infrastructure to tackle these ESG regulatory complexities.

“Third party fund managers are amongst our principal business-to-business clients and we are thrilled to offer them this unique service and facilitate their ESG transition. As their sparring partner, we accompany our clients every step of the way whilst navigating this regulatory transition.”

Sergio Venti, head of client solutions & innovation at Pictet Asset Services, added: “True to our tradition of building responsible partnerships, our digital client interface aims at accelerating ESG adoption through superior customer experience, while simplifying complex regulatory requirements.”

In an opinion piece for ESG Clarity in September, Victoria Gillespie, head of ESG at INDOS Financial, wrote: “SFDR will require all asset managers to publish policies on their website outlining how sustainability risks are integrated into their investment decision making processes. Asset managers will also need to disclose – on a comply or explain basis – details about these policies and the potential adverse impacts of investment decisions on sustainability factors. The transparency requirements for investment firms managing ESG-focused products will need to be even more comprehensive.”

“SFDR is an excellent opportunity for managers to articulate how seriously they are taking ESG. With little more than six months to go, managers need to turn their attention to documenting their ESG policies and procedures.