CFA UK’s launch of new qualification puts ESG at the heart of the investment process

Tuesday 14 May 2019

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The Certificate in ESG Investing is an important milestone for the Society

CFA UK has launched a new qualification in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing today. The Certificate in ESG Investing will be the first formal qualification available sector-wide to investment professionals in the UK, and is already in its pilot stage, with 170 candidates from approximately 50 investment firms sitting for the exam in September. It will be open more widely to all candidates from December, said Will Goodhart, chief executive of CFA UK.

“[The certificate] is intended to be a threshold competency exam to provide people with a sufficient understanding of what ESG investing is, [so] they can engage with it effectively for their clients,” he said. He pointed out that there is an increasing need for understanding of analysis and valuations, as well as stewardship concerns, and more technical portfolio construction considerations around ESG.

The launch of the qualification is timely. There has been a surge of interest in ESG issues by investment professionals, and it is hoped the certificate will help meet the sector’s need for further education in the space. 

“We thought that it was really important to provide our members with a qualification which would help them think about how to incorporate ESG factors into their investment decision-making,” said Daniel Murray, CFA, chairman of the board of CFA UK.

Murray pointed out that there had been a notable shift in demographics, with clients increasingly expecting ESG considerations to be taken into account by their providers. 

“Our members were increasingly hearing from their clients about the need to draw ESG factors into their investment decisions. That becomes important from a business perspective,” he said. 

The new qualification is recognised by the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and was launched at the CFA Institute Annual Conference in London.

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