It is clear that asset managers will need to train a large number of staff to meet the demand for sustainable investment and society’s ‘ESG’ expectations. This raises the question over whence they will source such training
- What training is currently available?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of this?
- What is missing and needs to be developed?
Aline Reichenberg Gustafsson, Willem Schramade and I started asking these questions about six months ago. Then, we evaluated all of the sustainable investment training courses that we could find in the market (see Training Directory here for everything that we found. Let me know (in comments below) if you’re aware of anything that we missed).
What we found
… that there are:
- Lots of general introductions to sustainable investment
- Lots of analysis of current market trends – at conferences
- Lots of in-house training – being undertaken on an ad hoc basis by sustainable investment analysts
- Lots of contextual training on sustainable investment standards / policy / regulatory developments etc.
- Lots that treats SRI/ESG as if it were a new investment discipline (which it clearly isn’t!)
We couldn’t find any training that treats sustainable investment as simply an extension of existing investment disciplines
… that considers sustainability to be just another structural investment trend (like the emergence of China as a manufacturing superpower, urbanisation, the development of e-commerce or social media)
… or that approaches sustainability issues as factors to be applied through fundamental valuation into sector weighting and stock selection decisions.
We also couldn’t find courses that helped specialist SRI/ESG analysts work more closely with ‘mainstream’ analysts and portfolio managers.
We couldn’t find them so, we built them:
- Sustainable investment integration – a 2 x 1/2 day course that equips ‘mainstream’ financial analysts with the motivations, technical skills and communications capabilities to apply sustainability factors to their valuation and investment process
- Financial analysis, modelling & valuation – a 7 session course that teaches ESG / Sustainable Investment professionals the fundamentals of investment analysis … and does using sustainability-related examples and with reference to the practical ‘day job’ priorities of sustainable investment analysts
Our differentiator; your differentiators
In our view: “The first rule of training investment analysts is: You do not train investment analysts.”
(If you respect their skills as analysts and motivate them, they will take pride in training themselves.)
Our training courses don’t aim to tell mainstream or ESG/SRI analysts lots of stuff that we know about and that they don’t.
Instead, we aim to help them extend what they do know into this new and evolving investment space and to help them work better with their colleagues and to hone their skills so that they can create their own competitive edge and market differentiators.
This – we think – is more practical, more commercial, more accessible and more interesting.