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New York Life Investments Launches Sustainable Investing Academy for Advisors

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Fifty-eight percent of investors in a recent survey conducted by New York Life Investments said their financial advisors play the biggest role in determining their investments, yet only 35% said they were aware of sustainable investing.

The survey also showed that when investors become informed about sustainable investing, 63% will choose sustainable strategies.

This leaves a lot of room for improvement, and New York Life Investments announced Wednesday that it was stepping in to fill the gap.

The firm announced the U.S. launch of Candriam Academy, a free-to-access, accredited training platform to help financial advisors and intermediaries better understand how to analyze, identify and evaluate sustainable investments.

The platform was developed by Candriam, a New York Life Investments boutique and global multi-specialist asset manager.

“Education is the bedrock of effective investment management, and our mission is to close the pronounced information gap in sustainable investing by providing high-quality, actionable tools and resources to help investors and advisors learn the essentials of ESG — especially as ESG funds have generated strong performance and record inflows during this most recent market environment,” Yie-Hsin Hung, chief executive of New York Life Investment Management, said in a statement.

According to the survey, which was conducted in the U.S. at the end of 2019 among some 600 men and women 25 and older, thirty-two percent of investors who reported they had worked with their advisors for less than five years had invested in an ESG fund, compared with just 9% who had worked with their advisors for 11 years or more.

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Fifty-three percent of survey participants identified themselves as “values driven,” and 84% of these expressed interest in discussing sustainable investing with their advisors. Their average was 48.5 years.

Candriam Academy, which rolled out in Europe in 2017, has nearly 4,000 members who have conducted more than 8,000 hours of accredited training across 15 countries, according to the announcement.

The U.S. academy comprises eight modules that offer participants a comprehensive overview of sustainable investing. Module 5, for example, focuses on how to measure sustainable impact; and Module 8 on how fiduciary duty interacts with sustainable investing.

At the completion of the academy, participants receive two continuing education credits.

“As sustainable investing becomes gradually more mainstream in the U.S., improving education is crucial to provide financial advisors, intermediaries and end investors the necessary tools and insight to understand and evaluate ESG strategies,” Naïm Abou-Jaoudé, chief executive of Candriam and chairman of New York Life Investments International, said in the statement.

— Check out The Case for ESG Funds During Volatile Times: Morningstar on ThinkAdvisor.