The wealth management and financial advice trade association says the new CPD-accredited online training is free for PIMFA members.
The Academy has been designed to provide advisers with an “immersive and engaging learning experience that supports them in making the most of the growing opportunities arising for their clients from ESG investments.”
PIMFA’s new ESG Academy also offers participants access to a library of ESG content.
The online course from PIMFA is split into three modules designed to provide advisers with a greater knowledge and understanding of ESG.
The course aims to educate advisers how to recognise and meet their clients’ demand for ESG investing and be able to explain clearly and succinctly what qualifies as an ESG investment and what does not.
Participants will also learn to use appropriate tools and portals to identify suitable ESG investment paths.
Demand for ESG (environmental, social and governance) investments recently hit record highs. Sustainable vehicles saw net subscriptions in the UK totalling £1.2bn in July. Globally, sustainable investment funds reached $1trn in Q2 2020.
PIMFA is not the only trade association to recently launch ESG courses.
The Chartered Financial Analyst’s UK arm launched what it believed was the first ESG investing qualification of its kind in the UK in December last year. Nearly 500 investment professionals signed up to take the qualification before its launch.
The Personal Finance Society said in July that it is working with the new International Association for Sustainable Economy (IASE) to create ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) qualifications for UK and International Standards.
The London-based IASE expects to offer a certification of professionalism in ESG knowledge via official online exams during the fourth quarter of 2020.
Liz Field, chief executive of PIMFA, said: “ESG is a term we are going to hear more and more frequently in the coming years. Increasingly, we are seeing client demand for these types of investments and it is clear that ESG factors are having a significant impact on company performance. There is an opportunity to be seized here, and those companies that ignore ESG, or commit a misstep, could incur significant economic costs and jeopardise their ability to earn long-term, sustainable profits, which in turn has an impact on investors.
“It is with these factors in mind that PIMFA, in partnership with Morningstar, has launched the ESG Academy.”
Anastasia Georgiou, director of client solutions, advisor segment, EMEA, Morningstar, said: “With emerging regulation and changing client preferences, there is an increasing imperative for advisers to have both the knowledge and the necessary skills to frame the conversation on ESG with clients, understand their preferences and provide advice on sustainable investments.
“The ESG Academy is a first meaningful step advisers can take in preparing for these changes”.