CoronavirusAug 6 2020

Read it now: Flexible working here to stay & ESG minefield warning

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Read it now: Flexible working here to stay & ESG minefield warning

Covid-19 has brought about a sea-change in the way advice firms will work in the future.

According to a wide-ranging front-page story, produced by the entire newsdesk, some of the UK's largest advice firms are implementing flexible working and remote meetings for the post-Covid-19 world.

Socially distanced desks, hand sanitiser stations, one-way systems and personal protective equipment will also be in place at large companies, such as St James's Place, Quilter, Ascot Lloyd and Fairstone.

Providers are in "no rush" to return to the office, either, as spokespeople from Canada Life and Aviva have commented. While they are not intending to downsize or stop using their offices, the need for social distancing and flexibility has "presented an opportunity to re-imagine" how they work. 

While some smaller advice firms have already returned to their offices, others are trialling remote working to establish an optimal combination for staff and clients alike.

Elsewhere in Financial Adviser, the acquisitions hunt is continuing to accelerate, with advice firms still proving popular for large consolidators and providers looking to bolster their vertically-integrated propositions. 

Tim Harvey, director at adviser HR Independent, said he had seen an increase in the number of approaches he has received from prospective buyers over recent years.

"I'm now being approached three to four times a month", he told reporters Imogen Tew and Rachel Mortimer. 

And, while environmental, social and governance-led investment strategies have boomed in recent years, there is a "minefield" of ratings and due diligence to navigate, Morningstar research has warned. 

The issues with being able to rate a company's ethical credentials accurately were raised by the Boohoo announcement of a review into its supply chain, following revelations in the Sunday Times in June that workers making its clothes were being paid below minimum wage and suffered poor working conditions. 

To read all these articles and more, along with exclusive interviews, community stories, features and comment pieces, click here.

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Whether you're eating out to help out, having a staycation or braving overseas travel over the next few weeks, please take care. 

Simoney Kyriakou

Editor, Financial Adviser