Adviser partners with DFM to launch ethical portfolios

Adviser partners with DFM to launch ethical portfolios

An Edinburgh-based advice firm has partnered with giant discretionary fund management firm Canaccord Genuity to create a range of ethical, sustainable and governance (ESG) portfolios for clients.

Cornerstone Asset Management outsources all of its investment management to DFMs, and Rebecca Kowalski, clients officer at the advice firm, believes ESG options will become more popular.

She said: “It isn’t the case that we have loads of clients banging the doors down looking for ESG, but we have some clients that use them, and we think that demand will only grow in future with millennial clients and greater media coverage.”  

The new ESG portfolios consist of three risk weightings, depending on client requirements, and are multi-asset portfolios. 

Cornerstone will carry out the risk assessments and the general financial planning, with the investment management and selection carried out by Canaccord Genuity.  

Ms Kowalski said: “We created these because we want [to give] our clients that are interested in ESG investments access to products that have the same level of due diligence that all other clients who do not use ESG have.”

David Esfandi, chief executive of Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Cornerstone Asset Management with this range of Responsible Futures portfolios, a real business differentiator - dealing with tomorrow’s issues today. 

"This is a combination of our experience and knowledge in the field of ESG investing with Cornerstone’s dedication to best client outcomes.

"Together, with this focus on Responsible Futures, we can build something we can all be proud of, engage clients and deliver ambitious investment outcomes.”

Patrick Thomas, head of ESG investing at Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management said the intention was to make the portfolio available to other advice firms in future.

He said: "I think there are more people out there who are interested in seeing their money invested into a theme, whether that be water, or environment, that makes a positive impact, rather than just in a fund that is pretty normal but doesn't invest in tobacco.

"The challenge for many years has been to invest in the way we want, but with lower volatility, we think we have selected managers now."