New ESG Academy launched by trade body

13 September 2021

PIMFA has launched a new online ESG Academy for wealth managers amid growing demand for sustainable investing.

The new Academy, which has been launched in partnership with MSCI and supported by Fidelity International and Farrer & Co., aims to simplify the latest information and language around ESG and deliver the latest regulatory guidance.

The online course will be split into three modules, with participants able to learn at their own pace and in their own time. It is free to PIMFA members.

The course will be led by ESG experts, including Julia Dreblow, founding director of 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 adviser.

PIMFA’s launch comes as the latest data shows that £3.1 billion of net inflows in UK-based equity funds in the second quarter flowed into funds focused on ESG factors.

Liz Field, chief executive of PIMFA, said: “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 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.”

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