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Fund EcoMarket

the sustainable, responsible and ethical investment information hub

Different fact finding methods work for different financial advisers…

You will be better placed than anyone to know what will and will not work for your business and your clients – which is why we offer ESG / sustainable investment fact finding ‘options’ rather than a single method…

Based on our experience, you should start by asking a simple question of all clients as part of your standard fact find to work out who is and is not interested in this area.

Example questions include:

  • ‘Would you like us to consider any environmental, social, ethical or faith related issues when looking at where you might invest?’
  • ‘Are there other issues that you care about that you might like to consider – like environmental or social issues?’

Once you have identified who is interested in this area you then need to explore further to both better understand your clients views and start narrowing down possible fund choices.  Methods include:

  • discussing ‘SRI Styles’ (or similar high level broad areas of interest).  This works well for getting things started – and it may be that this is sufficient, for example if a client indicates they have strong opinions about a specific area like sustainability.

However many clients will have more specific requirements (areas they’d like to focus on or exclude) – in which case you need to find out more.  Options include…

  • showing clients a comprehensive list of ethical, social and environmental issues for them to select from.  This can work well as a stand alone process for many clients and advisers although others find this difficult – particularly as many clients are interested in all the issues and tick all teh available boxes on offer.
  • using a combination of these two can also work well, perhaps with a narrower list of common areas or styles that might be of interest and asking if there are additional areas, with the help of prompts.  This method enables you to  start with identifying the key areas of interest to your clients and drilling down further  into the areas they have identified.

How can fund EcoMarket help with fact finding?

How to use our online StyleFinder tool

  • You can direct clients to our online ‘SRI Stylefinder’ (Supplementary Fact Find Questionnaire microsite) tool to help them find the Styles or ‘types’ of sustainable, responsible and ethical funds that match their personal interests most closely.
    • The questionnaire is a series of paragraphs that clients can chose from.
    • Once completed a client can simply click ‘search’ and generate a report that will list their top three SRI Styles.
    • They can then either print their findings of save them to pdf for discussion with their adviser.
    • You can then enter the Styles listed in their personal report into the SRI Styles filter field on Fund EcoMarket.  (If you use only that field all funds in all of the selected SRI Styles will be displayed.)
    •   SRI StyleFinder online questionnaire (link)

Your findings should be recorded for your due dilligence processes

Although this is designed to be used online you can download a Word version of our SRI-StyleFinder-Tool-Mar-2021 here (for clients who do not wish to complete an online questionnaire)

Refining your search further

    • Once you have entered a client’s preferred SRI Styles into the SRI Styles filter field on Fund EcoMarket you can refine your search further by using the additional filter options on Fund EcoMarket.
    • If you use the ‘Policies, Issues and Themes’, ‘Approaches and Application’ and/or ‘Responsible Ownership’ filters only funds which display ALL of the attributes requested in these three filters will be displayed (in order to ensure your client’s requirements are met in full).
      • Please also read the text supplied by fund managers and use the links available if you need further information – keep in mind that strategies vary and our filters do not show all possible variations.

Build your own fact find questionnaire

The filter options on Fund EcoMarket cover the main issues approaches and features of funds in this area.  You can use this (in its entirety or in part) to build your own questionnaire.   To help you get started with this you can download Word versions of the ESG / SRI  filter options here.  There are two versions available:

The above is for information only.  We are not authorised or regulated and do not advise clients.

If you are an individual investor you can find an adviser through our Find An Adviser list.  All the advisers shown offer all clients the option to invest in sustainable, responsible and ethical funds.  Please note we do not endorse or vet advisers – this list is for your convenience only.

Regulatory position

It has long been seen as best practice to ask clients about this area – but more recent FCA Fact Find Guidance goes further and  references the need to understand clients’ ethical and political views – as examples of when a single core fact find may not be sufficient. Additional relevant areas include the need to ensure the appropriateness of products – particularly as part of the PROD rules.

This area is however expected to become even more central to how financial advisers operate as the goverment has said it plans to ‘match the ambition of the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan’ (ie MiFID 2).

Our recent blog also sets out the FCAs current areas of consideration for possible new ‘principles’ –  see here for link to the FCA Director of Policy speech given at our annual Good Money Week conference in October 2020 .

 

 

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