The second annual NYC Sustainable Investment Conference for Financial Advisors will be hosted by Gitterman Wealth Management (GWM) on October 19th at the Open Center in Manhattan.
Jeff Gitterman, the firm’s founder, saw an opportunity a couple years ago to accomplish two things he considers crucial to success for independent Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) during the next three years. The first is to acknowledge the importance of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics in the valuation of corporations, public and private market investment strategies. The second is to integrate the use of ESG metrics into the due diligence process for every public and private, capital market investment strategy he uses in a portfolio, regardless of the client’s long term risk profile.
“The competitive risk for RIAs and the entire advisory industry has traditionally developed from within”, says Gitterman “RIAs developed from brokerage firms, fee-based investing from commission-based, financial planning services versus product sales, client-centered versus product-centered engagement. These changes have also been slow to develop.
“Today the competition comes from outside our industry at a rapid pace, and consists of technology firms that collect the data and ESG metrics, package it in a way that is easily digestible and bypass the advisors, going direct to the end user investors. These investors are primarily millennials and women, who have made it clear in many studies that they want investment strategies that use ESG metrics.” (1)
“What’s missing in this approach is a comprehensive risk tolerance and asset allocation model”, according to Gitterman “so GWM uses tools like S-Ray (2) and metrics from Morningstar and Sustainalytics. (3) We incorporate fossil-free company metrics from As You Sow (4), as well as risk and allocation measurements that GWM has developed over two decades.”
SMART (Sustainability Metrics Applied to Risk Tolerance) Investing also takes advantage of the traditional portfolio construction processes that Gitterman accesses through partnership with investment industry powerhouses BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and Fidelity. The result is an ESG integration process that generates competitive returns and can be adjusted for risk tolerance depending on client preference.
As individual and institutional investors demand more sustainability-focused investment solutions across the financial services industry, RIA owners like Jeff Gitterman are well positioned to meet client demand and provide product and consulting services to other RIA firms.
“We have spent the last year”, explains Gitterman “responding to demand for an expanded list of products at lower cost, from ultra-high net worth individuals and institutional investors. We have also gotten the SMART Investing portfolios listed on several additional trading platforms.”
RIAs interested in checking out the conference agenda and network of sustainability-focused asset managers, research specialists and RIAs that populate the panels at the NYC Sustainable Investment Conference for Financial Advisors can visit the agenda and registration site here – http://www.gittermanwealth.com/2017-smart-investing-conference/.