ESG investing index funds topped $1,258 billion at the end of September, cementing ESG stock selection into more than just a passing fad.
Taking note, digital banking and wealth management Avaloq launched a new offering today to help banks build ESG portfolios for their clients. The tool not only helps banks take advantage of but also facilitates compliance with the EU’s upcoming MiFID II amendment.
Avaloq’s ESG investment solution includes third party data streams and extra functionality to help wealth managers build portfolios tailored to their individual clients. Some of the tools integrated into the new solution include standardized scorecards, green benchmarks, exclusions, norms-based screening such as the UN Global Compact or the OECD Guidelines, and thematic investments.
The ESG market is expected to grow even more rapidly as investors begin to focus on addressing climate change, environmental damage, social inequality, and discrimination. Also promoting growth is the update to MiFID II which will require wealth managers to account for a client’s ESG preferences when deciding suitable investments.
While Avaloq’s tool will help with MiFID II compliance, it will also assist banks and wealth managers in addressing the lack of standards when it comes to ESG preferences. “One challenge for providers is that there are no rules defined by regulators or standard setters for how the ESG preferences should be collected – it is considered an area of competition between investment companies,” explained Martin Greweldinger, Avaloq Group Chief Product Officer. “As such, we believe that banks and wealth managers that can offer the most comprehensive ESG service will be the ones that see stronger market growth.”
Today’s launch is the latest aspect of Avaloq’s green agenda, which also includes sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources, reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 9% in 2019 compared to 2018, and receiving a Climate Neutral Company label.
The new ESG investment solution will be available “starting next year.”
Founded in 1991, Switzerland-based Avaloq agreed to be acquired by NEC Corporation last month. The transaction, which is valued at more than $2.2 billion, is anticipated to close in April of 2021.