FECIF Secretary General
FECIF: leading the way in ESG advice
I am very pleased to announce that we are presently conducting unique research in the area of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) and Financial Education.
As the Federation (www.fecif.eu) is a pan-European trade association that represents around 300,000 advisers and intermediaries, this will provide the most wide-ranging and exhaustive data so far collected on such matters, from across the advisory community.
Comparisons at national, association and adviser level
The results will enable us to compare individual countries as well as provide conclusions and clarification across Europe as a whole.
In addition, our members (particularly the national associations and organisations) will be able to specifically see where their advisers stand against other European markets and advisers - assisting them in shaping their services to assist their members as effectively as possible.
The collated data will also help advisers and intermediaries see if there are any gaps in their work or processes in these areas. This is particularly important and relevant, as assessment of a client’s ESG needs and wishes will become a regulatory requirement across Europe only next year.
Multi-lingual but streamlined
The research is being conducted online and is multi-lingual, with survey questionnaires in Czech, French, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish; helping advisers across Europe to easily complete it, irrespective of nationality. Other languages can be added if demand exists.
The individual surveys have also been personalised; co-branded with the national association or organisation that we are working with on this unique research, in each country.
The questionnaire has also been very carefully constructed, such that it only takes 5 minutes to complete. Having been involved in its creation and completed it myself, I can confirm that this is absolutely the maximum commitment needed, ensuring a high level of engagement. However, the research data that is already being collected is highly impressive.
At the time of writing there has already been a very high-level of response.
The research looks into the present activities of advisers with regards to ESG, how often they consider such matters with clients, why, and when. It also assesses their views of investment companies and regulators, concerning “Sustainability” – and ascertains where they themselves need assistance to perform their role better.
Finally, but certainly not least, we collect their opinions with regards to clients’ interest, thoughts and approaches to this area.
Amongst other aspects, this section of the research helps to look at how much advisers already “educate” their clients (prospective and existing) in financial matters, how important they feel this is, and the level of knowledge (and recent improvement, if any) within the populace, concerning such issues.
Research window and results
The research commenced towards the end of July and the first collated data and conclusions are likely to be made available in early September, with more major information disclosed at FECIF’s ESG Webinar, which is scheduled for late September.
The English version of the questionnaire can be seen here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/fecif_survey_07-2020 .
If you are a financial adviser or intermediary based anywhere in Europe and haven’t yet completed it, please do access your own organisation’s version or else use the above link if more relevant. Your input is crucial, not least for your own understanding and assessment of these matters.
All respondents will, of course, receive a summary of the key data collected in order to assess progress against their peers, if they wish to do so.
Alternatively, responses can be made anonymously if individuals so choose (they do not have to input personal details, if they do not wish to).
Ultimately, this market-leading research should provide incredibly important data and information about two key areas; ESG and Financial Education are increasingly important for the investment and financial planning industry, the regulators, and consumers.
Paul Stanfield is Secretary General of FECIF and also Chief Executive of FEIFA ( www.feifa.eu ).