The Money Management Institute (MMI) announced today a joint initiative with Morningstar called The MMI/Morningstar Sustainable Investing Initiative, aimed at educating advisors about sustainable investing and how to better incorporate it into their practices.
“Clients are clearly interested in discussing ESG with their financial advisors," said Jon Hale, Morningstar’s Head of Sustainability Research. "But the majority of advisors need more professional education and practical insights on incorporating sustainable investing into their practices to feel comfortable having those conversations."
The program will center on educational resources, workshops, forums and thought leadership intended to help advisors build knowledge to engage their clients, and hopefully be more comfortable in recommending sustainable investments.
To complement the new courses, MMI will offer access to offerings from the CFA Institute, Investment Management Consultants Association, Principles for Responsible Investment Academy, and US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. MMI also will work with Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business to offer a Sustainable Investment Professional Certification program.
Morningstar will act as lead sponsor and, according to MMI’s President and CEO, Craig Pfeiffer, “will contribute important data, analysis and insight, and will co-host with MMI a wide array of planned events.”
However, Morningstar is not the only bright-line name to back the initiative. Pfeiffer also announced that Calvert Research and Management (an Eaton Vance affiliate), Merrill Lynch and FlexShares Exchange Traded Funds at Northern Trust Asset Management—all industry leaders in the sustainable investing space—have committed to supporting the program both by underwriting the launch and contributing to developing the curriculum going forward.
“Responsible investors deserve strong performance, high-quality ESG research, shareholder engagement, and clear impact reporting," said John Streur, president of Calvert Research and Management. "This program will teach them how to get what their clients deserve.”
This project is the latest stage of MMI’s efforts to build out its Continuous Learning Center, which is dedicated to assisting advisors with professional development.