FECIF Secretary General
Only a quarter of advisers always consider ESG investments
This was one of the significant findings of the recent, unique, ESG survey conducted by FECIF.
Whilst it was found that over 90% of financial advisory professionals considered ESG investments some of the time, just 23% did so all of the time; which is potentially concerning, given the EU regulations around ESG matters, the first of which will commence as early as March 2021!
Unique webinar and survey
This data was revealed at the market-leading ESG webinar that FECIF held at the end of September. It was derived from the above-mentioned research, conducted in July and August; which elicited responses from no less than 2,000 advisers and financial intermediaries across Europe.
Given the countries covered and the number of respondents, this is, to the best of my knowledge, one of the most extensive research projects, of its kind, ever conducted; if not the premier survey in the area of ESG advice.
The online event attracted over 200 advisers from all across Europe, and combined a number of industry experts in order to assess some of the key discoveries from this research and discuss advice around ESG investing, not least in light of the forthcoming regulations (which much of the advisory sector seems unsure or unaware of, at this stage).
E, S or G?
Another interesting aspect of the research, also discovered during the webinar, is that 82% of advisers believe that the key component of ESG, as far as their clients are concerned, is Environmental matters. The panellists felt exactly the same as the survey respondents, but pointed out that Social considerations were fast gaining traction within the populace, not least on the back of the present global pandemic. A lesson for advisers, perhaps; ensure that you are in tune with changing and developing public opinions in this sphere.
Comparisons at national, association and adviser level
The results from the survey have enabled us to compare individual countries as well as provide conclusions and clarification across Europe as a whole. Our National Association members can now specifically see where their advisers stand against other European markets and the collated data also helps individual advisers and intermediaries see if there are any gaps in their work or processes in these areas; ahead of the new regulations impacting them.
Other data collated
In addition to the results highlighted above, the survey looked into the present activities of advisers with regards to ESG, how often they consider such matters with clients, why, and when. It also assessed their views of investment companies and regulators, concerning “Sustainability” – and ascertained where they themselves need more knowledge and assistance to perform their role better.
Finally, but certainly not least, we collected their opinions with regards to clients’ interest, thoughts and approaches to this area.
Some of this data will be made available within the public domain in the near future. The total research will be exclusively available to FECIF members.
An unmatched survey and incomparable webinar unveiled significant data and resultant conclusions, as well as highlighting FECIF’s unique ability to generate such market-leading research.
It became clear, through the webinar, that there are presently 2 key factors creating the need for greater advice to be provided to investors on ESG matters: firstly, consumer interest and demand; secondly, regulatory requirements. COVID-19 has obviously been an accelerant to these factors, but not a prime driver in itself.