Synaptic Ethical Fact Find update

Posted on: September 17th, 2015

Synaptic Ethical Fact Find update

Synaptic Software Ethical Fact Find update

Leading fund tool provider Synaptic Software  (formerly Capita Financial) have this week refreshed their Ethical Fact Find Questionnaire.

A wide range of improvements have been made to bring this important adviser aid up to date ahead of UKSIF’s  ‘Good Money Week’  next month.

These improvements will help advisers to identify,  record and address the areas of interest to today’s ‘ethically, sustainably and responsibly’ minded investors.

Click here to see the full document (2 pages of options, two pages of notes).

Some of the main changes are as follows:

New additions

(Activities clients may like to aim to support or avoid – as applicable)

  • Positive Sustainability Strategies
  • Reference to ESG integration for non SRI options
  • Positive Impact Measurement
  • Coal/Oil/Gas Extraction

Other improvements

(Name changes to clarify or widen scope of fact finding/discussions)

  • New explanatory notes or clarifications added for Banks/Financials, Equal Opportunities, Climate Change Management and the areas above
  • ‘Clean Energy/Renewables’ reference replaces  ‘Clean Technology’
  • ‘Environmental Management’ reference replaces ‘Environmental Conservation’
  • ‘Health,  Safety and Wellbeing’ replaces ‘Health and Safety’

My opinion…

Synaptics is a major player in the financial services world.  They provide comprehensive support systems and tools to many thousands of advisers.

I am delighted that Synaptics (previously branded Capita Financial)  have maintained their commitment to SRI and ethical investment for many years now – and that they found the time to upgrade this document whilst they were going through a major rebranding exercise!

For those who may be unfamiliar with how this works it is important to appreciate that the structure of this questionnaire is required to work with the mass of data Synaptic Software collects and manages – and that this largely drives its structure.  This integration is however integral to its usefulness and success.

I understand that there are still some back end changes to be made in order to fully integrate these improvements into their systems and research.

Irrespective of when this takes place however my view is that these improvements will help advisers.  They fit well with TCF requirements and of course with the internationally recognised  ‘best practice’ adviser standards such as ISO22222.  This document will help advisers to gather information on clients opinions relating to a wide range of ‘ethical’ issues in line with these standards.

By using this new document advisers will be able to identify and discuss issues that are important to people today – many of which are also increasingly under the media spotlight.

These changes will also help make advisers (and their clients) become aware of some of the highly positive ‘SRI’ developments that have emerged over the last few years.   This includes issues that have been well received by institutional, charity, foundation and HNW investors – but often hidden from retail investors.

I am also of course also delighted that Synaptic now include our sriServices logo on this document – not least because this will help direct advisers to the additional specialist support and materials we offer!