As the brand new decade gets underway, matters of sustainability and environmental impact are already dominating the news headlines. Whether it is the likes of Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg making headline speeches at Davos or news of extreme weather conditions across the globe, this is a matter of universal importance and which is set to remain mainstream for the foreseeable future.
But how does this theme impact upon the world of investment advice and financial planning? Is there confusion around the myriad of terms used to describe the growing relevance and importance of responsible or sustainable investing? Do advisers feel sufficiently equipped with the knowledge they need to make effective investment decisions when it comes to ESG investing? What about the risks?
These are just some of the questions which were up for debate and discussion at the IFA Magazine ESG round table event which took place in the autumn. In the forthcoming pages of this issue, we bring you our report on the event and highlight some of the main themes, opportunities and challenges which face the advice profession when it comes to matters of sustainability and impact investing. Our thanks go to all the participants who kindly came along and joined in the debate and we hope that you find the results of interest.
Whichever term you use, responsible or sustainable investing, ESG or anything else, this is a topic that is very close to our hearts here at IFA Magazine. It’s also one to which we will continue to give prominence throughout the rest of this year and beyond.
THE BROADER PICTURE
Beyond matters of ESG, this month’s IFA Magazine contains all the usual features and much more. Given the UK’s formal departure from the European Union on 31st January, Michael Wilson is looking at what Brexit might mean for the financial services sector. Brian Tora gives his thoughts on the top performing investment companies of the 21st century so far and Tracey Underwood has sound practical tips for financial planners on the client engagement process in her usual Better Business column.
There are plenty of other topics on the agenda this month. These include a brief guide to professional indemnity insurance, a legal perspective on succession planning for advisory firms, the implications of the FCA’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime and structured products.
We hope that you find content which gets you thinking and which you can put to practical use within your financial planning business.