Bloomberg

ESG skills are a hot item in today’s CVs

(Bloomberg) – Banks are recruiting to compete for market share in sustainable debt, one of the fastest growing sectors of finance. Companies such as Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc and Barclays Plc have recruited people for global bond selling, research or sustainability this year as they build teams. Besides poaching talent, they harness the expertise of scientists, politicians and think tanks. “We are actively recruiting, we usually get over 100 CVs per position,” said Arthur Krebbers, Head of Corporate Sustainability at NatWest Markets Plc, whose expansion has This year, the staff rush shows the increase in debt linked to environmental, social or governance factors as an emerging asset class for banks. They’ve already collected an estimated fee of $ 1.8 billion so far this year from those clients, and that’s likely to soar in a market that has been multiplied by Bloomberg Intelligence five-fold to reach $ 11 trillion in 2025. . to navigate the push of global policymakers towards a low carbon future They earn even more fees by raising funds from fossil fuel customers, but are under pressure from activists and shareholders to do so. they leave these activities. The result is “a lot of bids” for those experienced in ESG, with total compensation easily reaching seven figures for top global executives, according to Chris Gower, managing director of executive recruiter Lawbrook Partners. Demand is especially on the rise in the United States, with skills that are hard to find compared to a more mature market in Europe or for equity capital activities, he said. including women. Now, as investors follow the participation of women on boards, this is an opportunity to step into the C-suite. Recent senior management appointments include: Céline Herweijer as Group Sustainability Director for HSBC, previously at PricewaterhouseCoopers Claire Coustar as Global Head of ESG for Fixed Income and Currencies, and Debbie Jones in as Global Head of ESG for Business Research at Deutsche Bank AG Marie Freier as Global Head of ESG Research for Barclays, previously at Sanford Bernstein Bank of America Corp. is another expansion with C-suite representation, as its vice-president Anne Finucane heads its global ESG committee. with more experience tend to have higher roles today, ”said Adeline Diab, head of ESG and thematic investing EMEA at Bloomberg Intelligence. “I remember male friends saying I was making a huge mistake in promoting ESG over M&A when we were graduating and now they think I was visionary and they want to be part of it.” Specialized knowledge lenders don’t just hire bankers. As sustainable finance evolves, banks are hiring experts including scientists, data scientists and researchers, said Delphine Queniart, who became global head of sustainable finance and solutions last year at BNP Paribas SA, l ‘one of the main underwriters of ESG debt. structuring syndication and sales, it is important that specialist sustainability knowledge is part of the entire issuance process, ”said Queniart. Barclays, for example, has more than doubled its sustainable capital markets team since its creation in 2019, and the bank has hired Freier this year to update its analysts on developments. These include constant new regulations, the beginnings of governments and businesses, and an array of types of debt, as well as greater activism on the part of investors trying to avoid paying a premium or getting paid. take it through greenwashing – where the environmental benefits are overstated – leading some funds to start dumping suspicious assets. This puts the banks under pressure to make sure that what they market is not distorted. “We don’t hire financial analysts from other companies, but rather subject matter experts from think tanks, NGOs and other fields, people who have built their careers around sustainability to do well. Of course, we bring that knowledge to the department, “said Freier, adding that banks risk losing business without integrating ESG. Scientist GreeniumHSBC Herweijer, former NASA fellow with a doctorate in climate modeling, and Tanguy Claquin of Crédit Agricole SA both fit the mold – If Claquin, who holds a doctorate in atmospheric physics, has benefited from the leadership of French banks in sustainable finance as the country has become the largest issuer of sovereign green bonds, he sees others catch up. in the banking sector – all banks take it seriously, ”said Claquin, head of sustainable banking at Crédit Agricole. there have been $ 377 billion in ESG debt contracts, already approaching the record high of 2020. The most important were the social ties of the European Union and the green debut of Italy, while the corporate side was dominated by sales of can maker Heineken Ardagh Metal Packaging Finance Plc and Spanish utility Iberdrola SA. attract young bankers – a Morgan Stanley report found 95% of millennials (born roughly 1981-1996) were interested in investing in sustainability in 2019. Yet expertise will count – a recent job posting for a vice president position at Citigroup required experience in sustainable debt capital markets and attracted around 80 applicants before being closed. “The growth we are seeing is at the level of partners and vice-presidents, where there is a large pool of talent with ESG expertise wishing to see their careers evolve in this direction.” said Philip Brown, Global Head of Sustainable Capital Markets at Citigroup. “You can’t have a top DCM franchise today and not engage in ESG.” Yet even with the concept of ESG having different meanings for different companies, figuring out what banks want is a challenge, according to recruiter Gower. Clients are looking for people who can add value for buyers because there is still a lag from what investors need, he said. “Every role we fill now has an ESG angle,” said Gower. “One thing, for sure, is that the banks don’t want to be late for the party. (Updates with corporate agreements.) 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