PFS establishes expert panel to set standards around Sustainable Financial Advice

by | Sep 27, 2023

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The Personal Finance Society has established a new panel of advisers, policy professionals and sustainable finance experts to enhance advice standards and consumer outcomes around climate change and other sustainability challenges.

The PFS Sustainable Financial Advice Panel will help PFS members to embed sustainability into the advice they provide to consumers and ensure that the profession is at the heart of policy development in this space. 

Don MacIntyre, PFS CEO said:


“Personal finance professionals have a vital role to play in making the urgent changes needed to meet the Paris Climate goals and the transition towards a sustainable economy. Our new panel will set standards for advisers as well as providing PFS members with the support, guidance and training that will enable them to give consumers consistent, high-quality advice on sustainable finance and related areas.”

The Panel comprises 10 external experts, chaired by Don MacIntyre, CEO, PFS and facilitated by the CII Group. The members are:

Don MacIntyre (Chair), PFS


Clémence Chatelain, CCLA

Lee Coates OBE ESG Accord (Accord Initiative)

Petra Deavall, St James Place


Elly Dowding, ESG Accord (Accord Initiative)

Julia Dreblow, SRI Services

Sebastian Elwell, Switchfoot Wealth


Rebecca Kowalski, Overstory Finance

Nicole Sykes, Pro Bono Economics

Alan Whittle, Director, Unburdened Solutions


Alena Zbirenko, Hugh James

Ian Simons, Content and Capabilities Director, CII

Dr Matthew Connell, CII


The Panel also includes Nicoletta Paraskeva, Senior Associate at FCA, in an observing capacity.

Clémence Chatelin, ESG Integration Manager at CCLA commented:

“Financial Planners and Advisers play a key role in guiding clients on investing in line with their values but also in a way that is sustainable for the long-term, sometimes beyond their immediate client’s lifetime. The sustainable investing space has become increasingly complex to navigate and therefore it is an imperative that the profession receives clear, actionable support.”

Sebastian Elwell, Director at Switchfoot Wealth said:

Financial Planners and Advisers have an opportunity to reform the profession into a regenerative force for good in society, simultaneously supporting the transition to net zero and building the resilience of our clients to the inevitable impacts of climate breakdown.”

Petra Lee, Responsible Investment Consultant at St. James’s Place added:

“Our industry has the privilege and responsibility to help clients.  Improving skills, competency and knowledge around sustainability can help advisers align client’s goals and objectives to deliver meaningful recommendations which is something we are all passionate about.”

Julia Dreblow, the founder of SRI Services, who has specialised in sustainable investment for over 25 years said:

“The alternative to delivering a sustainable future is seriously bleak, and progress to date has been painfully slow, so I am delighted to welcome, and be part of, this important initiative – which is very much ‘part of the solution’.  Ensuring the financial advisory community and colleagues are well placed to understand sustainability risks and opportunities so that they can meet clients’ needs better is vital.”

Elly Dowding, Director at ESG Accord (Accord Initiative) commented:

“To prevent greenwashing and to ensure that every financial decision considers climate and sustainability so that we reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, all advisers and planners must adapt and upskill.”

Lee Coates OBE, Director at ESG Accord (Accord Initiative) added:

“ESG and Sustainability is such an exciting area for advisers to be involved with. It isn’t suitable for all clients, but for those clients who do want ESG/Sustainability, the adviser that discusses it with them will be their adviser for life, with significant opportunities for referrals.”

Rebecca Kowalski, founder of Overstory Finance said:

“It’s great to see the CII bringing us together to support and encourage our fellow finance professionals.  We all want to make the world a better place and know that personal wealth cannot protect against planetary system overload.  Finance is key to the sustainable transition and advisers and planners have a unique opportunity to be instrumental in this.”

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