The Socially Inspired Investor Guest Article

The Sustainable Finance Podcast: Sustainable Finance Knowledge for Financial Advisors

Paul Ellis

Each week, Paul Ellis discusses with his guest the details of how her or his participation in sustainable finance is disrupting “business as usual” in the investment and/or advisory industries.

I launched The Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) in May of 2018 based on the same choices I made as a mid-career financial advisor that doubled my practice revenue over five years by integrating sustainable and ESG investment strategies into client portfolios. Those choices also motivated me to write 49 sustainable finance leadership articles for FA Magazine over a four-year period, beginning in 2014 after I sold my practice.

My favorite podcast programs are conversations that reveal the personal passion of the subject matter expert guest for any one or more of the UN SDGs. I figure that since 191 UN member countries agreed in 2015 on the most important global issues facing humanity, we should keep the conversation alive and well. And my One for All Pledge is: Clean Water and Sanitation – SDG #6.

In 2018 I saw the SFP digital media platform as my next best opportunity to promote this once-in-a-generation business building opportunity for motivated RIAs and advisory practices. The timing was also perfect to support Paul Ellis Consulting’s co-sponsorship of the 2018 Sustainable Investing Conference at the United Nations, which focused on introducing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to members of the U.S. Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) industry.

We recently posted Episode 70 and the Sustainable Finance Podcast (SFP) subscriber base is over 5,000 across several distribution networks. I’m now seizing opportunities to write about SFP conversation topics for investment industry publications, joining and moderating ESG conference panels and having podcast conversations with senior UN officials and corporate CEOs. Public and private sector thought leaders are eager to tell their business critical and public policy ESG integration stories to the SFP investor and advisor audience.

I’m proud to say that 51% of SFP thought leader conversations are with women advisors, portfolio managers and sustainable finance analysts. And I believe that the gender composition of the financial services industry is gradually shifting in favor of women advisors to women clients as the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history gains momentum over the next decade.

The other major financial services industry trend I see rapidly growing and eventually becoming dominate is digital communications, marketing and service delivery. Financial advisors and asset managers in Europe will be paying a government regulated price for their carbon footprint by year-end 2020. And I expect that the same will be true in the U.S. and Asia before too long, as the Baby Boomer industry cohort transitions to retirement. I believe the Next-Gen industry cohorts will build core business models that provide commercial solutions to an environmental or social challenge and contribute measurable progress toward one or more of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”).


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