Socially Responsible Investing: Segment to Pursue Advisors Who Care

Socially Responsible InvestingI recently attended MFEA’s Joint Digital & Distribution Summit in St. Petersburg, FL. While there were a number of interesting sessions, one in particular stood out to me: Growing Demand and Opportunities for Sustainable Investing. A very strong and diverse panel that included representatives from Nuveen Investments, Calvert Investment Distributors, Morningstar, TIAA-CREF, First Affirmative Financial Network, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch came together to discuss this topic. Here are some highlights and thoughts I wanted to share.

Socially Responsible Investing is Growing

First off, what is Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)? Whether you call it sustainable, responsible, or impact investing, it is a type of investing that considers environmental, social, and/or corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate competitive returns and positive impact. I knew that the popularity of this kind of investing was growing. Sitting in the audience at MFEA and hearing just how large this universe has become really drove this home.

SRI represents trillions of dollars invested globally, with most of that growth happening in just the past few years. For a long time, I think this market was brushed off as one dominated by fringe investors, or one in which investment performance was poor. It was refreshing to learn from evidence presented by the panel that these long-held beliefs are not the reality. Performance has largely been in line with the market over the long term. Most investors, especially those from younger generations, want their investments to reflect their own values. They want to make a positive impact with their investment decisions and think that they can do so without sacrificing returns. They just don’t know how…

Stay Ahead of the Curve with SalesPage

We are clearly seeing a shift in the market as younger investors gain affluence as well as influence on the direction of investment choice in the market. As more assets managers enter the SRI / ESG category and as the market gets more exposure, it will be extremely important to be ahead of the curve.

What are my recommendations for staying ahead? Know your advisor base and have the right tools in place that will allow you to effectively segment and pursue opportunities. SalesPage is one very powerful tool that allows our clients to focus their wholesaling efforts and ultimately market the right products to the right advisors.

With any niche in the market, it is important to be able to identify the right advisors, effectively market to them, and have your wholesaling force strategically target them. Segmentation and targeting will only become more important, complex, and refined. If you’d like to speak further about how SalesPage is helping our clients to segment advisors and pursue opportunities, I welcome the conversation!