Defaqto launches ESG fund reviews for advisers

ESG

Defaqto has launched dedicated ESG Reviews, whiche are now available through its financial planning software, Defaqto Engage, and provide an easy way for advisers to access the data they need.

The demand for ESG investing has grown strongly over the last few years. As a result, advisers need access to ESG data and fund/DFM research and providers need to be able to communicate and share the information with advisers.

Defaqto ESG Reviews are created by Defaqto’s expert insight team in conjunction with the asset managers, through an interview process. The reviews provide an invaluable resource to assist advisers in assessing funds and DFM MPS from an ESG point of view.

Defaqto ESG Reviews for funds cover, among other things:

• The fund’s or DFM ESG policy and how well the fund or portfolio aligns to it
• Product involvement, if any, in certain controversial areas
• ESG integration as per the three levels described above
• Any adherence to the UN SDGs
• The asset management firm’s voting and engagement policies with corporates on ESG
• The company resources in terms of ESG behind the fund

Pan Andreas, Head of Insight and Consulting (funds and DFM) says: “ESG investing involves searching out and including companies based on desired ESG characteristics rather than the traditional ethical approach which worked on an exclusionary basis, removing firms with undesirable business activities. The new approach involves a systematic consideration of specified ESG issues throughout the entire investment process.

“With regulatory changes requiring advisers to take ESG principles into account as a part of their suitability assessment, there need to be tools that make this easier. That’s why we’ve created these ESG Reviews. The adviser has another tool at their disposal to help reduce the time it takes to collate this information and the providers have a uniform way of presenting the information. Defaqto ESG Reviews are an extension of our broader Fund Reviews and are just the start of things to come in terms of the tools we’ll make available to advisers in this area.”