Reframe & Reclaim - Winning the ESG Argument

Financial Advisory

27 April 2023

AdvisorsESGFinancial AdvisoryMarketingMeeting of MindsNet ZeroPortfolios

Expert: Richard Butters, Aviva Investors Facilitator: Dan Russell


  1. Advice technology must be the solution but at the moment it does not adequately support the effective alignment of ESG investments with client requirements
  2. No delegates felt they had a really good method for extracting a customer’s ESG mandate and translating it into a suitable portfolio that matches the mandate
  3. Clarity of regulation is seen as a potential positive, if it provides a structure around which the supply chain (funds, advice tech) can operate with common terminology 

Discussion points:

“We need the words to use with clients.” Many advisers felt that mixed terminology and focus of marketing used by the asset management community did not help with giving suitable advice.

While most delegates were comfortable with ESG terminology but thought their customers were not. It was suggested that simple, frequent information would be useful, with several delegates suggesting podcasts were a preferred format over and above video, email or web content.

It was seen as a “fundamental mistake” of the asset management market to badge everything as ESG, as now it is even more difficult to ascertain what to use.

“It’s the funds not the company we are interested in.” The ESG credentials of an asset management company were not felt to be as important as the “story” of an individual fund. Similarly, no delegates had clients who were interested in their advice business’ ESG credentials, or path to net zero.

Advisers expressed a desire to understand clearly the path a fund was on, and how they could explain that to a client.