Jonathan Kvasnik, ChFC has been a financial advisor for over 30 years, but 7 years ago many of his clients grew more interested in the environment and Jon wanted to be a part of creating a solution. He got into beekeeping and suddenly had the eye opening experience of the interaction between humans and the environment firsthand. This connection deepened his beliefs that we could be doing a little more to create change but also how to use investing as a tool to create meaningful impact.
Beekeeping also created an opportunity for clients of his to shift investments into ESG funds, every year, Jon would give each client a small jar of his honey, and there sparks a curiosity around how the honey was made, sharing ideas on how bees connect to the environment, societies and even governance bring clients to say, “I like this idea and I didn’t think I could put money into issues that I care about, so how can I make this work?”
For many clients, starting a conversation around do they want ESG is not an impactful lens to apply for investing, but having conversations framed around what they cared about and what they were interested in was far more impactful and helpful in guiding investment decisions with their portfolio. In fact, Jon’s alignment of values with portfolios allowed them to enhance and reinforce what clients already were doing.
With the massive growth in data around ESG investing, he’s able to find investments that align with his clients' values. Jon explains it as “If there’s a certain bank and they’re not doing the governance the way we like it, maybe they’re opening fake accounts or behaving in fraudulent ways, I can search for 50 other banks, and all we have to do is look at the data and find out if one of them is equal in their performance, but smarter in the way that their culture works and their governance.” Jon finds himself helping to create personalized portfolios with his clients by leaning on good ESG data and a strong understanding of what his clients find most important to their investment alignment.
Listen to the full episode, as Jon and Gabe discuss:
- Prospecting new clients using a small jar of homemade honey
- Building better conversations around ESG investing by talking about client’s gardens and how they’re looking for new steps to engage with bettering the world
- Using ESG data to find investment opportunities without the need to compromise on returns
- Understanding client preferences and thresholds for company actions and how to utilize tools to build the right portfolio for them
About YourStake Your Story:
YourStake aims to provide advisors with everything they need to understand ESG issues, analyze portfolios, and report to clients. We want to equip you with the underlying data and analysis tools to navigate ESG. The YourStake, YourStory podcast is designed to amplify voices in the financial industry who are leading the charge for socially responsible investing practices.
Each episode, we are joined by experts in the field to hear their stories about what brought them into the industry, why they are passionate about ESG and values-based investing, and much more.