Wealth Management

While ESG continues to face backlash on the political front, this is still a strong demand for sustainability from investors. For example, recent research from Ernst and Young (EY) found that sustainability experience at the board level in Europe has increased over the last six months as companies respond to investor demand. The latest EY Boardroom Monitor found that 32% of companies currently have board directors with professional experience or expertise in sustainability. While that figure may seem low, it’s a big jump from EY’s Boardroom Monitor in June, when only 19% of boards monitored listed sustainability expertise. The jump in experience corresponds with EY’s research that showed sustainability was a dealbreaker for investing for a majority of investors. Over fifty percent (51%) of investors said boardroom experience in sustainability has a ‘significant’ impact in terms of making a company an attractive investment. Twenty-two percent went further, saying it has a “highly significant” impact on a company’s investment case. Other findings from EY’s research revealed that sustainability experience is much more prevalent among female board members. While the current gender split in financial services boardrooms is 58% male and 42% female, 72% of board directors with experience in sustainability are female.


Finsum:According to research from Ernst and Young, sustainability experience in the board room jumped from 19% in June to 32% as companies respond to investor demand.

LPL recently announced that it nabbed two advisors from Securities America. Eric Fenton and Rodney Wangler, who operate as Fenton Wangler Financial, and are based in Vancouver, Washington, will link up with the JFC Advisor Network, which conducts brokerage and advisory business through LPL Financial. The duo managed a combined $300 million in advisory, brokerage, and retirement plan assets at Securities America. Fenton has been in the industry since 1989. He started with Mutual Service Corporation but has also been affiliated with The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Pruco Securities Corporation, Mony Securities Corporation, Carillon Investments, Sunset Financial Services, SII Investments, and Securities America. Wangler started his career in 1996 with Pruco Securities Corporation. He has also been registered with Mony Securities Corporation, Carillon Investments, Sunset Financial Services, SII Investments, and Securities America. In a statement, Fenton had this to say about the move, “LPL invests heavily in its innovative technology, which is critical to keep pace in this ever-changing environment. We recognized that we needed a platform such as LPL’s ClientWorks where everything is connected, making it easier to do business. Our clients will also appreciate Account View, where they can easily view reports and account information in one place.”


Finsum:A duo from Securities America made the move to LPL due to the firm’s investments in innovative technology, which make it easier to do business.

Recent developments in the wealth management space are expected to fuel the adoption of direct indexing by advisors over the next few years. We previously reported that direct indexing is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 12.3%, according to Cerulli Associates. In a separate survey by FTSE Russell in conjunction with Aite-Novarica, 80% of wealth and asset management firms expressed major interest in offering direct-indexing products to advisors, with 76% ranking the strategy as a top priority over the next year. Developments such as zero-commission trading and fractional shares are expected to help fuel the adoption of direct indexing among advisors. For instance, Charles Schwab and Fidelity both launched direct-indexing offerings last year with low investment minimums at $100,000 and $5,000, respectively. This could potentially bring these strategies into the mainstream. In addition, Fidelity's strategy incorporates fractional shares, while Altruist launched a direct-indexing product last April with a $2,000 minimum. Plus, according to an FTSE Russell spokesperson, “More large custodians and other players entering the space could fuel adoption among registered investment advisors.” Ninety percent of firms polled by FTSE Russell ranked RIAs as a major opportunity for the adoption and distribution of these strategies.


Finsum:Recent developments such as low investment minimums, fractional shares, and more players entering the space are expected to help fuel the adoption of direct indexing among advisors.

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