Responsible Investment Designations on the Rise for Advisors

A growing wave of Canadian financial advisors are specializing in the practice of responsible investment (RI), which refers to investments that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

More than 850 financial professionals have either earned an RI designation or are in line to earn one from the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), a Canadian non-profit organization that promotes education and awareness around RI.

The investment industry is entering a new era, said Dustyn Lanz, CEO of the RIA. Investors are increasingly conscious about the impacts of their investment decisions, and they want their advisors to be knowledgeable about how ESG risks could affect their portfolios, he said. Responsible investment is not a trend; its a paradigm shift.

The Responsible Investment Specialist (RIS) program, launched by the RIA in 2016, provides education about the Canadian retail market for responsible investment. Desjardins has committed to putting 500 of its representatives through the RIS program, while Vancity has enrolled more than 100 of its representatives.

Were very happy about our partnership with RIA, which allows us to provide our advisors and employees with the resources they need to expand their knowledge of RI, said Sbastien Valle, Director, Investment Solutions Development and Management, at Desjardins. Through this program, Desjardins agents and employees will be fully prepared to support our members and clients who want to make environmental, social and governance factors part of their investment strategy, added Mr. Valle.

As one of the first financial institutions in Canada to focus on responsible investing, Vancity has been a long-time supporter of the RIA and in particular the RIS program, said Steve Eng, Director at Vancity Investment Management. It has given our wealth professionals the opportunity to take their knowledge of responsible investing to the next level, and we look forward to growing our relationship with RIA in the years ahead.

Assiniboine, Kindred, Libro, Servus, and other credit unions are also putting their investment teams through the RIS program, as a growing number of their members are seeking to align their portfolios with their values.

RI fund companies NEI Investments, iA Clarington Investments, and others are also supporting the RIS program by training their staff and partnering with credit unions to promote education about responsible investing.

In addition to the RIS program, the RIA also offers the Responsible Investment Advisor Certification (RIAC) and Responsible Investment Professional Certification (RIPC) programs, which provide training in RI activities such as integrating ESG issues into financial models.

Learn more about RI training at riacanada.ca/training-certification.

About the Responsible Investment Association

The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is a national membership association dedicated to advancing responsible investment (RI) in Canada. RIA members include asset management firms, financial institutions, investment advisors, service providers and asset owners such as foundations, pension funds and universities who practice and support RI. To learn more about the RIA, please visit www.riacanada.ca.

Nick Buccheri, RIA Manager, Communications & Digital Media
Phone:
(416) 461-6042 x5
Email: [email protected]