Clients drive innovation for better responsible savings solutions
For the past 15 years, BNP Paribas Wealth Management has integrated responsible funds into its investment portfolios, an offer that has been gradually developed and affirmed by the high net worth individuals that make up the bank’s clients. As proof, since 2011, the assets under management of these responsible funds have grown by 50% per year to reach 84.5 billions of euros at the end of 2021. We take a closer look at this boom in responsible savings, the result of a virtuous dynamic between BNP Paribas private bankers and their clients.
Responsible savings: A need expressed by clients
Clients are BNP Paribas Wealth Management’s primary partners in the development of responsible savings.
Requests from these individual investors have helped to identify four priorities:
Information, i.e understanding how they can prioritise actions through their choices of responsible investments as well as the nature and purpose of these investments. To meet this need, BNP Paribas Wealth Management created the innovative myImpact tool (see below).
Performance, in order to convince investors that the need for responsible solutions does not mean sacrificing financial profitability;
Transparency, to be able to rely on clear and verified indications of how responsible an asset is. This is the driving purpose behind the Clover rating methodology. Designed by BNP Paribas Wealth Management, this tool measures the level of sustainability of all financial products offered by the bank, whether responsible or not.
Quality of advice, with a qualified banker and a team of experts dedicated to serving the client.
Thanks to these innovative tools and the support of their advisers, BNP Paribas private banking clients are able to make their investment choices with full knowledge of the facts.
50 % of funds recommended by advisers to their private clients will be responsible
This is the target set by BNP Paribas Wealth Management for the end of 2021.
The investment jobs are moving towards greater environmental and social impact
In house, BNP Paribas Wealth Management's responsible transformation is based on four main areas:
1. Training teams
A culture of sustainability concerns all employees of Wealth Management and, first and foremost, the Private Bankers who directly advise clients. They are, of course, trained in responsible investment solutions - or in the process of being trained in certain countries - and all training will continue on an ongoing basis, every quarter, in order to be fully up to date on the latest developments.
2. Extra-financial criteria
The bank's approach is also intended to be qualitative. Asset targeting is now based on ESG criteria, Wealth Management’s proprietary Clover rating, which rates and classifies investment products according to their level of responsibility, based on 130 criteria, as well as the new European Sustainable Finance Regulation (SFDR).
3. Processing and accessibility of ESG data
Integrating all ESG data into the bank's IT tools so that all information is directly accessible to customers' applications is crucial and represents one of the major projects being undertaken in the coming years.
BNP Paribas Wealth Management's responsible finance strategy must be adapted to each country and respond to a variety of contexts, sensibilities and regulations. “Today, the ’responsible investment‘ team is supplemented on the ground by specialists, or ‘impact coordinators’, present in each country, to adapt needed impacts according to local realities,” details Éléonore Bedel. “We need to train all our employees on the challenges of the environmental and social impacts of our solutions and their long-term value creation, so they can be distributed everywhere. The key is that our bankers themselves are extremely comfortable talking about it to their clients, just as comfortable as they would feel talking about it in their private lives.”
MyImpact or the success of a platform co-created with our clients
3 questions for Valérie Toujas, myImpact project manager
It is an educational, digital questionnaire that informs and supports our customers in identifying their impact profile – in terms of responsible investments and/or philanthropy - if they chose to do so and in a clear, concise way. The aim of this tool is to answer the questions our clients are asking about responsible investment and/or philanthropy and thus help them to build their own responsible approach by defining their profile. Simple to use, the questionnaire contains 19 maximum questions. It enables clients to identify the areas in which they would like to have the greatest impact and to better understand the criteria and concepts that will enable them to choose the financial and/or philanthropic solutions that best match their convictions. 6,000 customers have already adopted the tool. Once the questionnaire has been completed, customers meet with their banker by making a personalised appointment. This is when we work together to develop an investment strategy that is in line with their preferences and priorities as expressed in myImpact.
The creation of myImpact is unprecedented in all respects: Designed internally, the tool was incubated within the Group in startup mode and co-created with our customers. Each development stage of the prototype has been approved by them to ensure that it truly matches their needs.
It was first deployed in France and then in Luxembourg, at a few branches. Given the success, we launched a larger scale deployment. In addition to training our teams, it was necessary, on the IT side, to develop and technically integrate the tool, in terms of IT and technology. Information transmitted by myImpact must also adapt to local contexts. Today, the myImpact site is already operational in Europe (France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, Italy and Spain) as well as the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore. Next countries ready for deployment: Germany, Monaco and Morocco. But the adventure has only just begun! We are already confident in the relevance of myImpact, which has also received several innovation awards in addition to being recognised by our clients and asset management partner companies. So, for myImpact there is nowhere to go but up!