ESG Conversations: Building Confidence to Talk to Private Clients About Sustainable Investments
Upskilling Private Banking Relationship Managers to identify and meet their UHNWI and Family Office clients’ needs in ESG investing.
This case study focuses on one of our global clients; a leading international banking and financial services organisation with employees across numerous offices worldwide.
As ESG investing enters the mainstream, our client’s relationship managers needed to quickly upskill so they could better discuss their clients’ requirements and make suitable recommendations. We were asked to provide a solution that enabled relationship managers to:
- Develop their competence and confidence to hold discovery meetings with clients to fully understand their motivation, principles and goals for ESG investing
- Formulate and confidently position the bank’s ESG solutions to match their clients’ requirements
- Foster more fruitful client conversations via:
- building the ESG investing narrative
- applying relationship manager questioning structures/sales methodologies
- anticipating and formulating effective responses to client ESG challenges
We validated our client’s requirement via stakeholder interviews with leaders of the UHNWI and Family Office investment team and those in the relationship manager roles. The data provided us with further insight into:
- the relationship manager role
- relationship mangers’ existing knowledge of the bank’s ESG products and any knowledge or skills gaps
- the current learning culture amongst relationship managers
This invaluable diagnostic work led us to design the below blended learning approach to suit the participants’ work schedules and appetite for learning.
Taking full advantage of our client’s content library, we curated the relevant technical learning assets and set up a pathway for participants to complete prior to attending the two workshops.
In-person Workshop x 2
At the start of each workshop, the participants took part in a short interactive quiz, designed to ensure they had learnt and understood the relevant technical knowledge from the online content.
Our instructor presented a variety of technical content to fill in the knowledge gaps highlighted by the quiz. Without this input, the participants would not get full benefit from the practise sessions.
Participants practised applying their knowledge and skills via 4 carefully constructed role plays (2 per workshop) depicting typical client scenarios including:
- Exploring the client’s motivations and needs for an ESG solution
- Establishing a business purpose and narrative around ESG
- Proposing and tailoring a general ESG solution, and handling objections
- Conducting an ESG portfolio review and positioning the Bank’s views positively
These practise sessions developed the participants’ skills in:
- ESG questioning structure and probing strategy to define an acceptable strategy
- Tailoring the ESG business purpose and narrative to each client type
- Recommending sustainability practices for UNHW clients running their own business
- Proposing, recommending and selling ESG solutions
- Confidently handling objections through developing sound product knowledge
- Conducting an ESG review and integrating ESG within the portfolio
- Positioning the Bank’s ESG views to clients
Participants were assessed during the roleplays against the above criteria. Our instructor prepared a personalised development plan for each relationship manager which identified:
- Quantitative and qualitative feedback
- Areas of strength
- Recommendations for ongoing development needs
Participants are expected to review this feedback with their line managers and determine ongoing coaching and development activity as required.
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