ESG Investing  

Aviva adds pre-sale ESG fund filter for advisers

Aviva adds pre-sale ESG fund filter for advisers
Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Aviva has added a new feature which allows advisers to filter funds on its platform according to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) preferences prior to investing in them.

Previously, advisers could only measure ESG criteria for funds their clients were already invested in.

Now, any fund on the Aviva Platform can be profiled without it already being in a client portfolio, meaning advisers can compare multiple funds’ ESG credentials side by side.

The platform provider hinted at the product development last month, following the launch of the post-sale version in November which attracted around 4,000 adviser users in the first few months. Since then, the provider claims this figure has “accelerated”.

“At the time of the launch of the ESG Profiling tool in November last year, we said that we would continue to enhance the scope of the service available to advisers,” said Roger Marsden, Aviva’s retail director.

“I’m delighted that we have delivered this next step, which has also taken into account the feedback we’ve received from advisers.”

The data used by the tool is provided by MSCI, falling into three broad categories:

  • Inclusion - i.e. how a fund performs in relation to renewable energy, sustainability, pollution prevention and human rights policies
  • Fund exclusions, such as gambling and adult entertainment
  • Comparison data showing how funds compare on metrics such as carbon intensity and board diversity

Aviva’s adviser platform hosts around 4,000 funds, all of which can now be shortlisted with comparable ESG metrics.

“We will continue to build the scope of the ESG profiling tool so that it includes more preferences as and when more data becomes available, as well as reporting functionality, which will enable advisers to provide detailed plans with clear evidence that portfolios are being selected in line with clients’ ESG priorities,” said Marsden.

The adviser platform is also interested in data integration developments, which it deems to be “key to adviser efficiency”.

Aviva currently releases transaction history through the Origo Hub. It is looking at client onboarding, and how to take data from an adviser’s system to speed up the onboarding process.

Alongside this, the platform is considering how it can allow clients to do certain things themselves, like certain transactions, following demand from advisers to allow clients to serve themselves.

The firm’s advised platform serves around 13,000 advisers. Around 15 per cent of these use Aviva as their primary platform and 11 per cent use it as their secondary, according to an Investment Trends survey carried out last year.

The platform netted sales of £1.4bn in the final quarter of last year - more than any other advised platform, per Fundscape data. It also topped the list for net sales throughout 2021, hitting £5.5bn.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com