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Meeting client demands around sustainability

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and sustainability are now key factors for investors when making decisions about their portfolio. Julia Dreblow and Fund EcoMarket provide excellent resources to help advisers, wealth managers and paraplanners get the detailed information they need. In this the first of a brand new series of articles for IFA Magazine, we lift the lid on the SRI Services ‘FundEcoMarket’ tool and explain how it can support your ESG needs.

Research is suggesting that investors are becoming increasingly concerned about issues such as climate change. A study by OnePlanetCapital earlier this year revealed that the market is set to double this year as more investors plan to move their capital to ESG related funds in 2021. And this growth is expected to be even greater in 2022.

But how can advisers get access to all the detailed information they need on responsible investment funds in order to help clients make appropriate investment decisions which directly relate do their own aims and objectives? Julia Dreblow has been a leading light in this arena for many years. As an undoubted expert in the field of sustainability and ESG, she and her team have developed Fund EcoMarket, the sustainable, responsible and ethical investment information hub. It is a readily accessible resource which intermediaries can use to help them deliver efficient and effective advice for clients around matters of sustainability.

What is fund EcoMarket?

Fund EcoMarket is a unique, free to use (fund manager sponsored), ‘whole of SRI market’, information tool that helps advisers, wealth managers and paraplanners to understand and compare the many different ‘sustainable, responsible and ethical investment’ (SRI) fund options.

The Fund EcoMarket tool focuses entirely on presenting the ‘ethical’ aspects of investment funds as quality information of this kind is hard to find elsewhere – and even harder to compare. It can help you to meet the needs of your clients who want to be part of the solution to the growing climate emergency faced by planet earth – and all the impacts and consequences which this brings for the future.

You can use this tool for many purposes including researching ethical funds, getting easy access to detailed information on the subject, searching SRI options and much more too.

Getting to grips with client preferences

You can also identify your client’s preferred ‘SRI Styles‘ with Fund EcoMarket’s online SRI Stylefinder fact find tool. This helps to simplify fund selection by identifying the types of SRI option that are most likely to be appropriate given a client’s stated ethical/SRI opinions. (The tool will tell you which styles a person prefers and you can enter this information into the SRI Styles filter field in the main fund tool, to generate a list of relevant funds.)

Fund EcoMarket content and use

Fund EcoMarket was launched in 2011. It has evolved, expanded and developed over the years in line with the market – focusing on explaining what funds do and how they operate. For example, both the ‘ESG Plus’ and ‘Sustainability Tilt’ SRI Styles are relatively new – having been created to help reduce the risk of mis-selling as their strategies need some explaining. There are currently over 180 filter options on the system, showing different ESG/sustainable/ethical characteristics. This range reflects the wide range of client aims, fund strategies and issues that need to be tackled. The site also carries extensive explanatory text and links. All filter information, text and links (except for the SRI Styles classifications) is supplied directly by fund managers in order to ensure the information presented matches fund strategies, policies and aims as closely as possible. Fund EcoMarket is also available as a (free) App – which, like the website – also has a report generation function to support intermediaries’ due diligence processes.

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