A recently published Department of Labor (DOL) Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) has left some retirement plan industry providers less certain of the future role of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing programs under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
But others are proceeding full steam ahead on promoting use of ESG investing, also known as socially responsible investing (SRI) or economically targeted investing (ETI). These supporters includes the College for Financial Planning (CFFP), which announced this week a new professional designation it will roll out in the fall—the Chartered SRI Counselor (CSRIC).
The new designation was designed in collaboration with US SIF and its Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. CFFP President Dirk Pantone says this group is the “logical partner in designing and implementing certification in such a fast-growing, complex area of investment planning.”
“US SIF is universally seen as the most trusted organization when it comes to sustainable and responsible investment,” Pantone says. “Its input and expertise has made it an invaluable partner.”
According to Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF, the new program provides “a blend of foundational knowledge and scenario learning to give advisers the tools to better serve clients interested in sustainable, responsible and impact investments.”
“We have found that this expertise allows advisers to fill the needs of a broader network of clients and strengthen client relationships,” Woll adds.
Course work for financial planners seeking the CSRIC designation will detail the history of sustainable and impact investing. It will present the range of responsible investing approaches and share comprehensive information on the environmental, social and governance factors that should be considered by responsible investors. The course will also explore trends in shareholder engagement, fiduciary duty and portfolio construction.
More information on the program is available here.