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Thursday, October 27, 2022

What Worries FAs About ESG?

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

As fundsters with ESG (environmental, social, governance) strategies try to woo financial advisors, a key factor could be demonstrating their ESG bonafides.

Lisa Travalgini
Fuse Research Network
Director of Editorial
On Tuesday, the folks at Fuse Research Network and WealthManagement.com released findings from a survey of 347 FAs. When asked about their "biggest concerns about ESG investing," the top answer (cited by 47 percent of respondents) was "too much marketing spin/greenwashing."

Worry about greenwashing beat out concerns about investment performance (cited by 34 percent of FAs), lack of client interest (cited by 31 percent of FAs), "regulatory uncertainty" (cited by 25 percent of FAs), and FAs' own lack of knowledge about ESG products (cited by 23 percent of FAs). The greenwashing concern was most common among FAs with regional B-Ds and bank trust departments, according to the Fuse team, while performance concerns were most common among RIAs and wirehouse FAs.

The Fuse team notes that the SEC is trying to codify ESG labeling.

"The focus on transparency and truth in labeling will be an important factor in overcoming advisors' lingering objectsion to ESG," the Fuse team writes. 

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