7 September 2021

PIMFA launches ESG Academy for Wealth Managers

PIMFA, the trade association for wealth management, investment services and the investment and financial advice industry, is delighted to announce that registrations for its new ESG Academy for wealth managers – an online training platform built specially to equip them with the latest ESG knowledge and insights and empower better client conversations – is now open.

Launching in partnership with lead sponsor MSCI, and supported by Fidelity International and Farrer & Co, the PIMFA ESG Academy for Wealth Managers, officially launches on 28 September 2021. The new platform is a CPD-accredited, online learning experience that is free to PIMFA members and has been designed especially for wealth managers.

The Academy simplifies the array of latest information and language around ESG, while also delivering the latest regulatory guidance. The online course will be split into three modules designed to provide wealth managers with a greater knowledge and understanding of ESG. Those wishing to access the ESG Academy can register here.

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Demand for ESG (environmental, social and governance) investments has never been higher. Of the record £6.2bn ($8.6bn, €7.3bn) net inflows in UK based-equity funds in the second quarter of this year, 50%, or £3.1bn ($4.3bn, €3.6bn), flowed into UK funds focused on ESG factors. (1)  Meanwhile, the whole of last year saw sustainable open-ended and ETFs available to investors across Europe investors attract net inflows of £199bn (€233bn, $277bn) almost double the figure for 2019. In the fourth quarter alone, sustainable funds pulled close to £85bn (€100bn, $188bn) in net new money, taking 45% of overall European funds flows. (2)

PIMFA’s ESG Academy is not a traditional online class – participants can learn at their own pace and in their own time, and they will have access to a library of ESG content that they can engage and interact with on any device.

In this supportive, online learning environment led by experts in the field, including Julia Dreblow, Founding Director, SRI Services & Fund EcoMarket; Steve Kowal, Head of EMEA Wealth Management and Larry Lawrence, Head of ESG products, Wealth Management at MSCI; Grania Baird, Partner and Jessica Reed, Partner at law firm Farrer & Co; Jenn-Hui Tan, Global Head of Stewardship and Sustainable Investing at Fidelity International and Mya Erceg, Senior Policy Advisor, PIMFA wealth managers will gain deeper insights into the diverse and occasionally complicated nature of ESG investing.

Those taking part in the course will learn how to recognise and meet their clients’ demand for ESG investing and be able to explain clearly and succinctly what qualifies as an ESG investment and what does not. Participants will also learn about the regulatory framework governing ESG investments, as well as how to use appropriate tools and portals to identify suitable ESG investment paths for their clients and develop opportunities for themselves and their firm by guiding clients through ESG investing.

Liz Field, Chief Executive of PIMFA commented: “It is clear that 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.

“It is with these factors in mind that PIMFA, in partnership with MSCI, Fidelity and Farrer & Co, has launched the ESG Academy for wealth managers. We want to ensure that our members, and through them their clients, are provided with the latest information and support, equipping them with everything they need to understand, and if appropriate, embrace the future of ESG in investment strategies.”

Steve Kowal, Head of EMEA Wealth Advisory Channel Management, at MSCI commented: “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. MSCI, a global leader in ESG ratings, indexes and analytics, is pleased to have been able to work with PIMFA in the development of the content that hopefully will help better position Academy participants to meet these challenges and opportunities.”

Jenn-Hui Tan, Global Head of Stewardship and Sustainable Investments, Fidelity International, commented: “The rise is of sustainable investing has been one of the most significant changes in the investment industry in a generation. At Fidelity, we fundamentally believe – and have research to demonstrate – that sustainability factors have the potential to materially impact the short and long-term value of companies. Thus, investing in companies with high standards of sustainability can protect and enhance investment returns. In Europe, sustainable fund assets under management are predicted to account for over 50% of total European fund assets by 2025, driven by rising regulatory focus and increased client demand.

“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.”

Grania Baird, Partner at Farrer & Co commented: “We are delighted to be supporting PIMFA’s ESG Academy this year. Our involvement will help PIMFA members to navigate and understand the evolving legal and regulatory requirements in this area equipping them with the tools to engage with their clients on all aspects of ESG consistent with the regulatory requirements.”

To register for the PIMFA ESG Academy please go to: https://esgacademy.sites.pimfa.uk/register-now.

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Notes for Editors

(1) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-funds-calastone-survey-idUSKBN2EJ0IG

(2) https://www.morningstar.co.uk/uk/news/209411/sustainable-funds-record-breaking-year.aspx

About PIMFA – the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association

PIMFA is the trade association for firms that provide investment management and financial advice to everyone from individuals and families to charities, pension funds, trusts and companies.

The sector currently looks after £1.5 trillion in private savings and investments and employs over 55,000 people.

PIMFA represents both full and associate member firms. Full members provide a range of financial solutions including financial advice, portfolio management, as well as investment and execution services. They assist everyone from individuals to families, to charities and pension funds, all the way to trusts and companies. Associate members provide professional services to the PIMFA community.

PIMFA leads the debate on policy and regulatory recommendations to ensure that the UK remains a global centre of excellence in the wealth management, investment advice and financial planning arena. Our mission is to create an optimal operating environment so that its member firms can focus on delivering the best service to clients, providing responsible stewardship for their long-term savings and investments.

PIMFA was created in 2017 as the outcome of a merger between the Association of Professional Financial Advisers (APFA) and the Wealth Management Association (WMA) with a history as a trade association since 1991 – read more.
Further information can be found at www.pimfa.co.uk

To become a member of PIMFA for access to training, benefits and discounts, please visit https://www.pimfa.co.uk/become-a-member or contact us directly at membership@pimfa.co.uk

About the PIMFA ESG Academy

The Academy is a new CPD-accredited, online learning experience that is free to PIMFA members. Designed especially for wealth managers to provide them with an immersive and engaging learning experience that supports them in making the most of the growing opportunities arising for their clients from ESG investments.

The programme is self-paced and available online using the Thinkific platform. It comprises of Podcasts, Self-Assessments, downloadable worksheets and discussion forums.

The first module (of three) officially launches on 28 September 2021 and provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of ESG Investing. Module two will look at how to analyse data in the context of ESG investing and the final module will provide training in how to speak to clients and potential clients about ESG investing opportunities.

Find out more at: https://www.pimfa.co.uk/pimfa-events/esg-academy-wm-register-interest/

Contact

For further information on this release or other press matters please contact:

Matthew West, PIMFA PR Manager – MatthewW@pimfa.co.uk, +44 (0)20 7382 0376 / +44 (0) 7843 903258

Sheena Gillett, PIMFA Communications & PR Director – sheenag@pimfa.co.uk, +44 (0)20 7011 9869 / +44 (0)7979 493225