Freelance paraplanner and ESG consultant Rebecca Kowalski has co-authored a new PFS/CII course on ESG and Sustainable Investment Advice.
The course, jointly written by Rebecca (pictured) and Alan Whittle, an independent consultant, university lecturer and Chartered Financial Planner, is part of the Spotlight series from the PFS.
“The PFS undertook a survey of members to see what information they wanted on ESG and sustainable investing,” Rebecca explains. “The answer was not an exam but rather an accessible course. Alan and I were delighted to be asked to write it”.
The course is split into four sections, Rebecca explains. “We cover the fundamentals of ESG and how and why it is becoming more a part of everyone’s world, whether you actively follow ESG principles or not. Then it looks at the more practical aspects of ESG investing. The third section looks at advising clients and the fourth section is on leadership and how things might progress from here.
“There is a huge amount of content in the course. It is a comprehensive look at ESG in the advice market, as well as giving advisers and paraplanners practical help and tips they can use in their business and with clients.”
Rebecca developed a passion for ESG investment as a paraplanner and set up Overstory Finance to assist financial advice firms in their approach to helping clients better understand and invest with ESG principles in mind.
“All advice firms of have a different way of approaching ESG and different needs in terms of education, training, and how they want to do client communications”, she says. “I help firms get under the lid of ESG investing, and better understand what it means for different clients and their business.”
Rebecca has also been working with the NextGen Planners community and will be helping them to curate a sustainable conference, which is expected to run later in 2024.
Both Rebecca and Alan are Fellows of the PFS.
The Spotlight: ESG and Sustainable Investment Advice course meets the Chartered Insurance Institute and membership requirements for 12 hours of CPD. There is a discounted price of £120 including VAT for PFS members. For non members the course costs £185 including VAT.
The learning objectives of the course are as follows:
1. Understand the nature and complexity of sustainable finance.
2. Recognise how the global transition to a sustainable economy affects the whole financial system, bringing risk, costs, opportunity and potential reward.
3. Understand how engaging with sustainability can be important to clients and the outcomes they wish to see their investments achieve.
4. Identify sustainable and ethical products and services available. Discuss their uses, and the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies.
5. Apply practical skills relating to investment selection, client education and communication to help deliver good client outcomes.
6. Apply understanding of sustainability issues and investment choices to empower and assist clients.
7. Apply your knowledge of investment problems and solutions to build a resilient, high-quality ESG/sustainable advice proposition.