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ESG Support: Tangible Impact Made Easy

11th Nov 2022

When a client engages JTC Private Office services, they often want help with one particular life project, such as a relocation or the acquisition of a luxury asset, such as a plane or a yacht. Sometimes they may need help with administration that is more complex and with getting better governance in place. Often family members and assets are cross-jurisdictional, and they need someone to pull everything together.

Within a year, our remit has usually expanded beyond what either side first anticipated and we are helping a family on multiple levels.

ESG for families and individuals

The topic of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) is being raised more and more. For some families it is something they have grown to become passionate about, for others it is the start of their journey, whilst for others, the reputational risk of not being seen to be doing something positive is the main driver.

Whatever the reasons, we work seamlessly with our ESG services team to create something that works for that individual.

Case study

The services we can provide in this area are tailored towards a client’s goals. Below we have given one client example to show how our award-winning ESG team can help:

This client has worked with JTC Private Office for some time. Some details have been altered to ensure client confidentiality.

Overview:

Family:
  • Husband and wife, senior executive and family business owners
  • Two young children (primary school)
Assets:
  • Private superyacht used exclusively in the Mediterranean
  • Large, newly constructed main residence in the UK
  • Ski chalet in France
  • Multiple high value cars
  • £100 million portfolio
Travel:
  • Multiple trips to Europe in summer, including time spent on yacht
  • Winter ski trips and time spent in Far East
  • Commercial long distance flights as well as charter aircraft, both for business and vacations

When a client such as this has expressed an interest in exploring their ESG options, how does JTC take the conversation further?

JTC’s Private Office team is close to the client and can provide the ESG team with a clear vision of the family, their assets and their goals. A member of JTC’s ESG team would then have a conversation with the family, often with their Private Office adviser as part of the meeting.

With the family noted above, the issue was twofold; they wanted to do something meaningful, and there was also a reputational risk relating to the wife’s employment and lifestyle. Many senior officials are under the spotlight for their actions, not just inside a business but outside as well. In this instance, the client’s friend who asked how the family was offsetting the purchase of some of their luxury assets and increased travel.

Does it have to mean something?

Not always. We encourage honesty. At the start we ask clients if this is something they really have a passion for or whether they just want to tick a box. Both are fine by us. Actions need to have a positive impact, but there is no point using time and energy on both sides in creating a highly tailored policy for a family if they are happy to follow a more institutional path, such as investing in vanilla ESG funds and projects that we can monitor.

ESG is a broad topic – how do you go about breaking it down for a family so it isn’t overwhelming?

JTC’s ESG team does not use unnecessary jargon – choices and actions need to be clear and outputs should be measurable and transparent.

We take time to understand the client and highlight tangible areas in which we can make an impact with minimal effort from them.

For clients who own businesses, we also offer a virtual Corporate Sustainability Officer (vCSO) service, which can help provide policies and procedures for a business to follow (this can also be tailored to families as a kind of ESG constitution or form part of a family constitution). The CSO then has regular check-ins with the business leaders to monitor the targets and provides reports, which can be used to demonstrate their credentials. This provides businesses with expertise they may not have in house and avoids the need to hire more direct staff.

Explain what data you needed for each asset and the materials required to produce a report detailing how to reduce/offset the family’s carbon footprint.

For each asset, we can calculate the carbon footprint then have this verified by an external carbon auditor in line with global standards. Carbon footprints can be offset by purchasing carbon credits from an approved provider, but we’d also encourage behaviour changes and other options that reduce the footprint.

This process is useful for aircrafts, yachts and property.

For aircraft, if personally owned, we work directly with the operator to analyse the data and the flight paths both of the family’s use and those of charter customers, again we can even go back to the build if the family wishes.

For yachts we can work with the surveyor and the team that built the vessel to gain knowledge of the materials and the construction work involved. This way we can launch the vessel from day one as carbon neutral. Thereafter we work with yacht managers to ensure all the work, the trips and hospitality can be actively managed and recorded.

What about the S and the G?

ESG isn’t all about the E – the S and G are also important. When it comes to social, clients that have philanthropic interests can have their charitable giving monitored and we can work with them and the various charities to obtain meaningful reports on how their donations make an impact. Some clients like to set up their own charitable trusts and foundations, and we can help with this and be on board with them to actively manage charitable giving. Others are happy to make donations into charitable funds or local organisations.

In terms of governance, this family above wanted us to work with them to create a family charter and create a framework to encapsulate family values so that wealth could be successfully managed and passed through the generations, enabling legacies to be built over time.

Importantly, we make sure that projects are scalable and investments that clients make in ESG related funds or others are verifiable and quantifiable. There is a lot on offer, and some is more credible than others. In some instances we may also involve our subsidiary company PerfORM, which provides Operational Due Diligence reporting and can get under the bonnet of an organisation to see that it really does what it says on the tin.

One of the main reasons clients engage the Private Office is to save themselves time. How do you get the data without causing the client more administration?

Clients’ personal and business utility bills can be sent straight from the providers to JTC. In terms of luxury assets, we can work directly with air operators and yacht managers to look at offsetting. We also work closely with client’s executive assistants to obtain the information we need on travel. This is all done behind the scenes with minimal disruption.

What type of reporting/updates did the family receive? How was this monitored/ reported?

We agree with the family how frequently they want to receive reports or have reviews. Often we produce a quarterly summary and have a check in to see how they are progressing. Here we analyse if there are areas we can improve. Then at the end of the year we provide a report based on their consumption and the offsets made, as well as evidence whether they have managed to achieve or surpass their social and governance goals.

How do we charge clients who would like a virtual Chief Sustainability officer service?

The virtual Chief Sustainability Officer (vCSO) is a bespoke service to meet a client’s long and short term needs. Typically our fees are fixed over set period of time with the scope to add further support whenever needed.

It is a relatively simple process to set up. Once we’re ready to proceed, we assign a dedicated sustainability specialist to oversee your account. With permission, they’ll contact any data sources. This may require approval from the family advisor or representative.

Get in touch

To learn more about JTC Private Office, JTC’s ESG services and perfORM, please click on the following links and get in touch.

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