New course to help investors understand impact investing

Covid-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call about the importance of factoring environmental considerations into investment portfolios

Tree growing on stacks of coins on nature background. Saving, accounting and financial concept.

Global asset manager Candriam has tied up with the Dubai International Financial Centre to offer a free digital course on sustainable and responsible investing.

Accredited by the Dubai Legal Affairs Department, the certified course is provided by the Candriam Academy, the firm’s training platform, and is targeted at both retail and institutional investors.

It includes eight modules that teach retail investors about impact investing and will help them to identify companies that are following ESG standards by looking at their impact on the environment and position on social issues such as diversity and inclusion, labour standards and gender pay gaps.

“Besides the wider financial community, sustainable investing is a topic that has attracted considerable interest from university students, investment media as well as public and private sector workers who want to learn more about the impact of their organisations on the whole ecosystem,” said Chafic Jabbour, head of Mena at Candriam, which is a subsidiary of insurer New York Life.

The Covid-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call to many investors about the importance of factoring environmental considerations into their investment decisions.

Flows into ESG funds in Europe ballooned to €233 billion ($282.4bn) last year, up from €126bn in the prior year, according to Morningstar. Flows into US sustainable funds more than doubled to $51bn, from $21.4bn a year earlier.

Meanwhile, impact investing is expected to drive the next wave of growth in sustainable finance and investor engagement on sustainability issues will be more influential than regulation, according to a recently published report on sustainable finance trends in 2021 by investment manager UBS.

“Sustainability is no longer just a talking point, but also a catalyst for action,” Ralph Hamers, group chief executive of UBS, said in the report. “Investors and companies should seek to get ahead of this transformation if they wish to navigate 21st century risks and opportunities effectively.”

The Sustainable and Responsible Investment course can be accessed via the DIFC Academy's website.

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