Three Strategies to Expand Your ESG Offerings

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

New offerings help financial firms keep pace with technology and serve generational client needs. Examples of this are environmental, social, governance (ESG), sustainable, or values-based investing. These offerings are quickly gaining traction and appeal among a certain type of clientele. They allow investors to design portfolio allocations around values and causes important to them, to deliver comparable performance and returns versus non-ESG offerings, and intentionally steer clear of companies that contradict specific criteria.

With a greater focus on corporate responsibility, preserving the environment, and other social issues, your firm may decide to offer ESG investing for the greater good or get left behind. But hasty adoption and promotion could just as quickly impair your firm’s credibility and clients’ trust. In the rapidly changing advisory profession, you must find new ways to swiftly meet your clients’ shifting needs while remaining strategic and authentic to your firm's values and goals.

It’s rarely worth jumping into change without a game plan. It comes down to execution and how you demonstrate your expertise and values to create loyalty and trust, especially around a new service offering that may seem complex, confusing, or unfamiliar to current or prospective clients.

When should your firm begin to leverage a new offering, if at all? Let’s talk about ESG investing and share three strategies to help your firm discuss and market a new product or service in an authentic, practical, and distinctive way.

1. Internalize it

The first step to incorporating ESG or any new technology, service, or concept into your practice is defining what it means to you and your clients so you can ultimately make the offering a sustainable value add. Your efforts will lack impact if you’re perfunctory or pursuing a trendy label for short-term gains. Take a step back and evaluate what the new offering means to you – so you aren’t one of the many firms that jumps into a new service without a clear strategy for engagement, communication, or points of difference.