Advisers seeking to embed sustainability into the client's fact-finding process can now use a specialised psychometric questionnaire to understand what clients want from their portfolios.
Speaking at Dynamic Planner’s virtual conference today (March 10), chief executive Ben Goss unveiled an "ambitious vision" for the industry and announced several developments that he said would help advisers support clients even better.
Among these developments will be a psychometric sustainability questionnaire for financial planners which, he said, "gets to the root of how people feel about sustainability when investing".
This is crucial, as it is becoming an imperative to reflect a client's sustainability preferences in their portfolio.
Goss said: "Advisers face two challenges: how to have a really good conversation with clients who are unlikely to be experts in this field, and how to objectively assess the different manager approaches and solutions."
Speaking of the development of the questionnaire, he said: "We’ve worked with our partners MSCI to provide whole-of-market objective environmental, social and governance analysis on UK funds".
To help advisers meet the brave new world that is emerging from the coronavirus crisis, Goss also said that, over the next four years, the company would be doubling its investment in Dynamic Planner.
While the events of the past year have been unexpected, he said, the changes that lockdown has paved the way for are "profound".
He told attendees: "Technology has been at the heart of keeping the financial world functioning these last 12 months, and as the country plots its way out of lockdown, we expect to be at the centre of that ongoing transformation.”
During his keynote speech, Goss also praised the transformation of the financial planning profession over the past 12 months, and claimed advisers and clients who more fully embrace technology will better weather the challenges to come.
He said: "Financial planning can be tough at the best of times, but without the face-to-face contact that clients were used to, it was even tougher. And as the pandemic grew, the nation’s concerns over health became a priority.
“But it wasn’t just health concerns that we faced, there was a major challenge to people’s invested wealth as well as their income.
"You, the advice industry rapidly transformed working practices to be there for your clients with reassurance and support."
He cited the exponential growth in clients completing risk profiling questionnaires remotely during 2020, while some advice firms have reported the ability to support up to three times as many clients per adviser by using facilities such as video calls and screen sharing.
"We now live in a hybrid world – where advisers and clients increasingly undertake their planning together on the same system, at the same time.
"Our vision is all about empowering firms to meet client expectations in this new hybrid world, and deliver truly engaging financial planning through a model where advisers have all the benefits of remote when you need them, and have everything you need for face-to face-client meetings", Goss concluded.