Aligning family values with impactful and responsible investing/wealth transfer is no easy task and an ESG strategy needs to be formulated for each family.

Johannesburg-born Bronson Friedman, who is the MD of Legacy Family Wealth, is making pioneering strides in the world of sustainable finance, serving a niche requirement for ESG-aligned wealth planning and preservation.

With a BCom in Financial Management, Bronson joined one of the largest international financial advisers in the Johannesburg region and continued studying to become a certified financial planner (CFP).

“I was there for 2,5 years [at the IFA] cutting my teeth and then went on to join a large investment holding company in Bryanston. I bought equity in that business in 2018 and 2020 and then eventually bought out the partners in one of the subsidiary companies which became Legacy Family Wealth,” he explains.

Bronson was keenly aware that clients were increasingly looking to align their wealth with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles.

“We are very aware of the need to drive ESG strategies internally as a business as well as with the solutions that we pass onto our clients. In saying that it is still a relatively new development within the South African market so we have developed a 9 step approach to integrate ESG principles into wealth and estate planning for our clients,” he says.

These nine-steps are:

  1. Clearly defining clients’ ESG values and objectives.
  2. Evaluating current investments for ESG alignment.
  3. Using ESG screening criteria for investment decisions.
  4. Exploring ESG-focused investment options, such as mutual funds or ETFs.
  5. Engaging in shareholder advocacy to influence corporate behaviour.
  6. Reviewing and adapting estate planning strategies with ESG considerations.
  7. Considering impact investing for measurable positive impact.
  8. Staying informed about ESG developments and monitor investment performance.
  9. Educating beneficiaries about ESG principles and the strategy implemented.

Aligning family values with impactful and responsible investing/wealth transfer is no easy task and an ESG strategy needs to be formulated for each family.

This spans a family values assessment to identify key priorities; creating an ethical will; developing a philanthropic strategy; and encouraging family engagement in ESG initiatives and shareholder advocacy, among others..

With all this effort going into the investment process, it is critical that impact is measured. This is done through a multi-metrics approach, which encompasses financial, social, environmental, reporting and certification as well as stakeholder engagement.

Of course, all wealth planning must ensure that governance structures and mechanisms are in place.

“To ensure ESG commitments are upheld over multiple generations we recommend a family charter or constitution, and ESG committee, regular ESG education, impact measurement and reporting, ESG integration in family office policies, succession planning with ESG in mind, external advisors and audits, as well as regular family meetings,” Bronson says.

These measures help establish a robust governance structure for maintaining ESG commitments and promoting sustainable wealth management across generations.

Bronson also has some key parting advice for encouraging engagement in ESG from younger generations.

  • Connect to personal values: Highlight how pro-ESG aligns with their values, emphasise positive impacts on issues they care about and provide real-world examples for relatability.
  • Educate accessibly: Simplify ESG concepts using clear language; use multimedia for engaging content delivery; and provide resources explaining financial benefits.
  • Encourage active participation: Involve them in decision-making processes; create hands-on experiences like impact investing projects; and showcase the generational impact of pro-ESG choices.

In this way, families can grow their fortunes, and cultivate a more sustainable future for generations to come.



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