As 2021 opens up before us many firms in the investment industry are seeking insight and definition into what is now becoming an essential and central theme: how to express our ESG strategy?
It’s no longer acceptable to investors and staff for any firm to have a broad, generalist and vague statement on their ESG philosophy, albeit in good faith as they grapple with what ESG means to their firm and have only well-worn themes to replicate as their own.
It is becoming an issue for many firms, of how best to articulate their E, S, and G strategy in their activities and relationships with clients, their staff and the communities in which they operate.
This is happening not only at a corporate level but also for those investment services and products in which ESG is central. To be accused of greenwashing is as toxic a term as any in the recent history of the investment industry.
ESG focus is only getting bigger
ESG accountability has come a long way since Kofi Annan launched the UN Principles of Responsible Investment and the UN Global Compact of shared values and principles in 1999.
How Fin is playing our part
Fin has played a small part in shaping this global focus on ESG for a few years now, supporting a number of investment firms in shaping a compelling story about their ESG strategy, either as part of their corporate vision or within a product or service. Helping bring clarity and continuity through a compelling set of messages and creatives.
We’d like to share briefly some of these success stories. For reasons of client privacy we need to describe a number of these projects in generic terms. For others we’re proud to have that client’s name alongside our own.
Amundi Asset Management – telling their SRI promise
With a very public announcement from Amundi to have €1.4 trillion within ESG funds by 2021, Fin was commissioned to create and produce a video to tell the story of Amundi’s commitment to SRI.
Their ethos to build a better world is deeply embedded in the organisation’s philosophy and lies at the very heart of Amundi, being one of the four founding pillars of their parent group, Crédit Agricole, arising from its agricultural community foundations.
The video was initially created and produced in English but was adapted into multiple languages and shared with regional sales teams across Amundi’s geographical spread, ensuring their commitment to investment sustainability is clearly understood.
A global investment bank asks ‘What is our Sustainable Finance?’
We were asked to help define what sustainable finance means for the global investment banking arm of a large banking group.
What does the market look at, what are their investors’ and other stakeholders’ area of focus, and then how do they deal with that.
Looking at how to meet their two distinctive audiences’ needs of FIs and Corporate, in themselves struggling to understand their own ESG approach.
Apex Group’s ESG Ratings & Advisory service
We were briefed to create a campaign to raise awareness of Apex’s pioneering ESG Ratings & Advisory Service, with the aim to position Apex as a leader in ESG data to the private equity space.
Our deliverables were to develop a clear messaging proposition, the campaign creative format and content for execution across paid media and digital advertising, social media, UX and UI copy for key pages on the website, e-marketing assets, SEO optimisation, with consultancy on LinkedIn campaigns and AdWords.
Global asset management firm required an ESG asset-rating service sub-brand
We were briefed by one of the largest global asset management companies to establish a name for their new ESG asset-rating service to institutional investors.
We guided the client towards a range of distinctive themes around which we could build a broader proposition and creative platform.
Each name was evaluated against the values and offer of the rating service to develop a scoring system and ranking of relevancy.
Developing a creative theme for Fidelity Sustainable investing
We were tasked with developing a creative theme to promote Fidelity’s Sustainable Funds Family’ (SFF), something which could grow and evolve with the offer.
Our concept needed to represent the three pillars of the SFF framework, elevating the S and the G in ESG, focusing on diversity and collaboration at the expense of well-worn environmental cliches.
Rather than just jumping onto the moving ESG bandwagon, Fidelity wanted SFF to be perceived as a natural extension of what they have always been doing: making use of their superior research capabilities and their access ‘to influence corporate behaviours that will help build and protect investment returns’.
Restyling an ESG Benchmarking service for a leading global index provider
This index provider was launching a service to implement ESG benchmarking for asset owners, a 6-step process across definition, integration and stewardship. We were briefed to support in creating a new look and content across the deck, web, brochure, and a video.
Key to this branding was the development of a series of visual icons to represent and present each of the 6 steps. Using these icons consistently across the individual marketing pieces created unity across the collateral and the establishment of a sub-brand.
Our role was not limited to creating the visual presentation of all content but also in developing structure and copy for the marketing collateral to present the core attributes of the service.
Creating a launch campaign for STOXX ESG Indices
We were briefed to develop a campaign to promotes STOXX’s ESG-screened versions of more than 40 benchmarks.
We created a campaign concept to work across a range of digital and print ads, and designed and built an introductory video.
Creating a RSI proposition for an international investment advisory firm
For the relaunch of their responsible investment service, we were briefed to support this client in building out the proposition for the service, with two distinctive and separate audiences: advisers and investors.
Workshops with the head of the service and the wider team gave us a deep insight into the aims and activities of the service.
From which we created the visual identity and developed content across a range of literature, white papers, fact sheets, and the presentation deck.
These are just some of the clients we’ve been working with over the years. As the demand for ESG focused projects is growing, so does our experience. We are forever building on our wealth of knowledge in ESG, as it becomes an invaluable part of any company’s activities. Getting the right tone, standing out from your competitors, and addressing the key factors can be challenging, which is why our clients have come to us.
If you’re struggling to tell your ESG story, please get in touch for a chat.