The discussion extended to the “client placement needs and objectives” section of the directories, which stipulates that “courtiers must give their clients the opportunity to express their placement needs and objectives in terms that are meaningful. for them ”. This may include “investment in terms of criteria [ESG] or other personal preferences ”.
The OCRCVM did not include ESG criteria in the first version of the guidelines, but it was added after a series of comments, recalled panelist Jennifer Schwartz, vice president and head of compliance at AGF Placements.
“In addition to this criterion, we really say to customers:“ What do you want to get by investing your money? What do you want to do with your money? And how do you want to align it with your personal values? »», Estime-t-elle.
For example, a customer might say, “I want to invest in minority -owned companies or, on an environmental level, in electric vehicles,” Jennifer Schwartz exemplifies. “Personal values are no longer just part of the conversation. All of these elements are brought together as part of the KYC practice – balancing personal values [des clients] and financial goals. Now, it’s a complete conversation. »
However, panelist Carol Smith, a consultant at Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network, ensures that, in her experience, clients “rarely approach” the subject of ESG. “It’s always an educational opportunity for me to talk to clients and explain to them the ESG investment and the options that exist,” she reports.
Carol Smith warns consultants against imposing their values on clients.
“We document the information on the products we recommend to customers – and that’s something that good advisors probably do anyway. In the end, it is very important for us to ensure that the values we have as individuals, [qu’elles] are our values, ”she comments.
Jennifer Schwartz believes having more value -based conversations can lead consultants to a more holistic understanding of their clients.
“The more these conversations take place and the more education takes place, and the more you really explain what this means for a client, the more customers can have really important conversations about the way that [leurs] personal values have an impact on [leurs] other goals, ”she says.
Ian Robertson, portfolio manager, director and vice president of Odlum Brown, was also part of the panel. The latter was hosted by Katie Keir, editor of research and special projects for Investment Executive et Advisor’s Edge.