New Guide from MMI and TIIP Helps Financial Advisors Integrate Sustainable Investment into Their Practices

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

“Fundamentals of Sustainable Investment: A guide for financial advisors” advances the conversation about sustainable investing and offers practical information and guidance for practice management

NEW YORK, NY, April 2, 2019 – Amid growing investor interest in integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investing, the Money Management Institute (MMI) and The Investment Integration Project (TIIP) have introduced a new guide to help  financial advisors effectively integrate sustainable investment into their practices.

The guide, entitled “Fundamentals of Sustainable Investment: A guide for financial advisors,” addresses pervasive industry myths about sustainable investing, disentangles the complicated web of vocabulary used to describe the approach, and provides practical recommendations on how to help clients reach their sustainable investing goals.

“Sustainable investing will have a profound impact on the future course of the financial services industry,” said Craig Pfeiffer, president and CEO of the Money Management Institute. “Whether advisors are looking to attract new clients or to deepen their relationships with existing ones, this guide provides the direction and supplemental resources they need to embrace sustainable investing effectively and confidently within their practices.”

Co-authored by William Burckart and Jessica Ziegler of TIIP, the guide is informed by extensive interviews with leading financial advisors and other sustainable investment thought leaders and influencers. Outlining a practical four-step process for how FAs can talk with their clients about sustainable investment, it helps advisors to:

  • Prepare for conversations with clients about sustainable investment by learning about the sustainable investment products that are available to them,
  • Discover client sustainability goals through structured conversations,
  • Recommend strategies that reflect risk tolerance, financial goals, and sustainability goals, and
  • Manage sustainable investment progress over time through appropriate monitoring and reporting.

“Over the past few years, many asset managers and global financial institutions have embraced sustainable investment and are expanding their related services,” said Steve Lydenberg, the founder and CEO of TIIP. “This guide shows how financial advisors can do the same.”

The guide is appropriate for both independent and affiliated financial advisors, those with sustainable investment experience and those without. Beyond providing a “how to” for discussing sustainable investment with clients, the guide debunks common myths about sustainable investment and ESG and untangles and clarifies the often-overwhelming range of sustainable investment-related jargon.

It answers common questions from financial advisors, including: When should I discuss sustainable investment with clients? What exactly should I say? How should I conduct the conversation? How do I translate the discussion into action?

The guide includes four hypothetical “real world” scenarios – situations that financial advisors might recognize – and suggests how advisors can identify and address specific clients’ sustainable investment wants and needs.

A series of appendices accompany the guide, including a checklist and talking points for advisor-client sustainable investment conversations, as well as examples of sustainability performance reports to help financial advisors better understand the what, why, and how of sustainability performance monitoring.

The development of the guide was sponsored by Bank of America Global Wealth and Investment Management, High Meadows Institute, Money Management Institute, State Street Corporation, and Thornburg Investment Management.

About Money Management Institute (MMI): Established in 1997, the Money Management Institute (MMI) is the industry association representing financial services firms that provide financial advice and investment advisory solutions to investors. Through conferences, educational resources, and thought leadership, MMI facilitates peer-to-peer connections, fosters industry knowledge and professionalism, and supports the development of the next generation of industry leadership. MMI member firms are dedicated to helping individual and institutional investors, at every level of assets, plan for and fulfill their financial goals. For more information, visit http://www.mminst.org

The Investment Integration Project (TIIP): TIIP’s mission is to help investors understand how healthy environmental, social, and financial systems can benefit their portfolios. TIIP provides thought leadership, research, and consulting services that support investors’ pursuit of system-level investing, an advanced sustainable investing approach that focuses on managing systemic risks and investing in solutions to systemic problems. For more information, visit https://www.tiiproject.com

Contact:  
Joan Lensing,
 Money Management Institute, jlensing@mminst.org, (646) 868-8518
William Burckart, The Investment Integration Project, wburckart@TIIProject.com, (917) 830-6084
Matthew Conroy, Peppercomm, mconroy@peppercomm.com, (212) 931-6133