This symposium has already taken place, but you can scroll down to the bottom of this page to download the slides used.
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"ACCELERATING OUR JOURNEY TOWARDS A GREEN ECONOMY, BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE"
If you haven't been to a Transparency Symposium before you can use the link below to read some testimonials:
When and where is the event?
What has inspired this symposium?
In general terms, our idea for this symposoum is to bring together the main financial services regulators, climate change campaign groups, progressively-minded market participants and subject-matter experts to discuss and debate the role that the financial services sector can play in helping to deal with climate change, and more specifically what might become climate catastrophe.
If you believe Sir David Attenborough’s recent comments at the UN climate change conference on Monday 3rd December to be credible, there really is quite a bit to worry about.
His message was:
“Right now we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: climate change. If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."
The stakes really couldn’t be any higher and many people within the TTF community are convinced the financial services sector as a whole could and should be doing much more than we are to help deal with the problem.
Of course, we are exposed to many grave challenges in the world right now. We are having to face up to serious political, social and economic challenges; none of them have easy solutions.
However, in the overall scheme of things, nothing; absolutely nothing is nearly as important as taking care of our planet.
Everything we have, everything we are and everything we might one day become is dependent on the wellbeing of a planet we are all fortunate enough to live on; a planet we are collectively harming; minute by minute.
According to many experts, we are getting perilously close to the point of no return; i.e. the point at which we become fated to harming our world so much that its wellbeing (and therefore ours on it) is irreconcilably jeopardised.
Any serious analysis of global warning results in one stark conclusion: unless mankind makes drastic changes to first halt and then reverse our awful impact on a planet as fragile as it once was immaculate, we are destined to climate catastrophe.
So, in plain and blunt English: unless there is a massive and authentic commitment to pretty drastic change we’re most probably going to wreck the one thing we shouldn’t take for granted; our world.
We don’t have a spare one.
The only possibility to reverse things is if all parts of the world economy in all parts of the world morph into a new, green form of themselves that is no longer toxic to the planet.
Unless we accelerate to a green economy before it’s too late then it will be…too late.
It isn’t rocket science; sadly, it’s becoming blindingly obvious to everybody; except of course those that are suffering such an extreme form of cognitive dissonance that they are in denial.
Fortunately, in relative terms there aren’t that many of them; but unfortunately they include the most powerful person in the world.
Every part of the world economy needs to adapt; and every part of the world’s economy has the potential to make a significant difference; none more so than the financial services sector.
There is no doubt that despite its many shortcomings can be enormously influential. The world’s capital markets have the potential to unlock the truly awesome power of money and use it to strategically overhaul the flows of capital.
We already know that the way money is utilised can have an enormous impact on the behaviour of individuals, organisations, markets, societies and countries.
We need money to go where it can do real good in the real economy; and to stop going to where it is doing harm.
However, that’s going to take an enormous change to the way the world’s financial ecosystem works. We need to think about many things very differently.
The good news is that in the UK at least, all our financial services regulators are gearing up to play a part in driving the reforms necessary. But we can do more than just follow the direction given to us by the regulators.
We, the financial services industry as a whole can share in the responsibility for leading the way.
Now is a time for leadership; and on that basis this is a going to be a very important symposium, because we are creating an opportunity for the Financial Conduct Authority, the Pensions Regulator, the Bank of England and the Financial Reporting Council to share with us what they are planning to do to help drive the change necessary.
We will also be addressed by subject matter experts who will “say it as they see it” and in so doing alert us to just how serious our planetary predicament has become.
The key question this symposium will be responding to is:
“What can we do to accelerate our journey towards a green economy, before it’s too late?”
We think the answer is “quite a bit, actually,” because we believe that there is significant scope to improve the way the financial services sector influences what happens in our world.
If you are on the same wavelength, please don't 'stand by', please 'stand up' - we need all the help we can get to galvanise support for radical and rapid reform before it is too late.
Clearly, there is going to be a great deal to discuss!
What's the format going to be?
To provide the maximum opportunity for all delegates to get fully involved we have structured the event around presentations with Q&A which will help create a useful forum for sharing thought leadership and exploring what more the financial services sector can do to help deal with the impending risk of climate catastrophe.
If all goes to plan there will be presentations by senior people from the relevant financial services regulators, talks by subject-matter experts and highly interested stakeholders; and of course ample scope for all delegates to participate in the discussion and debate.
Who shouldn't miss this symposium?
This symposium is going to bravely attempt to deal with questions of immense importance to everybody concerned about climate change; particularly those wanting to better understand the position the financial services regulators are taking on the issue, and whether they think the regulators could and should be doing more; and if so what exactly.
We're expecting it to be a very stimulating, engaging and thought-provoking session of very special importance to
Climate change campaign groups
Responsible Investing specialists
Impact Investing specialists
Those with a keen interest in the purposefulness of finance
Consumer groups and individual consumers
Policy-makers and regulatory bodies
Asset Managers and Investment Consultants
Members of the Financial Conduct Authority
Members of the Competition & Markets Authority
Members of the Work and Pensions Committee
Members of the Bank of England
Members of the Financial Reporting Council
Financial Services Trade Bodies and Professional Associations
What's the Programme?
The programme will evolve continuously as the details comes into focus.
The latest iteration is as follows:
Registration, refreshments and networking.
Welcome to the symposium by Stuart O’Brien, Head of ESG at Sacker & Partners LLP
Andy Agathangelou to introduce the Transparency Task Force and set the scene for the event, explaining its importance and how it fits into the TTF’s overall strategy for driving change.
Presentation #1, delivered by Genevieve Marjoribanks, Head of Department, Cross-Cutting Policy at the Financial Conduct Authority.
Genevieve will be explaining what the FCA are doing to help drive reforms through their Discussion Paper on Climate Change and Green Finance. The session includes Q&A.
Presentation #2, by the Bank of England/Prudential Regulatory Authority; explaining what they are doing to help drive reforms through their Climate Hub. The session includes Q&A.
Presentation #3, by Jen Sisson, Senior Investor Engagement Manager, the Financial Reporting Council.
Jen will be explaining that the FRC will shortly be launching a consultation on a revised UK stewardship Code. The revisions include clearer expectations of different players in the investment chain, extending the scope of the code to include ESG integration in investment, monitoring and engagement and a new reporting regime designed to increase transparency and support the market for stewardship.
Presentation of the Transparency Trophy. Who will be the latest winner of this prestigious prize? It is awarded at each of our transparency symposia to an individual that is encouraging pro-transparency reform and improvements in market conduct.
Transparency Trophy winners are important people because of the way they are helping to lead the way forward.
Lunch and networking.
Presentation #4, by Neil Esslemont, Head of Industry Regulation, The Pensions Regulator; explaining what they are doing to help drive reforms through their 21st Century Trusteeship Programme and more. The session includes Q&A.
Presentation #5, by Stuart O’Brien, Head of ESG at Sacker & Partners LLP. Stuart will be talking about trustee legal duties and forthcoming regulatory developments. The session includes Q&A.
Presentation #6 by Andy Agathangelou outlining some ideas on how we may be able to harness the awesome power of the financial regulators to drive the change we want to see. The session incudes Q&A.
Refreshments and further networking.
The Power Panel; featuring several subject-matter experts who will be discussing what they think the Regulators should do to drive the reforms necessary to accelerate our journey towards a green economy, before it’s too late.
The session will feature:
President, Network for Sustainable Financial Markets
CEO, Callund Consulting; Chairman, The Climate Bonds Initiative
Director, SRI Services & Founder, The Fund EcoMarket
Dr. Jay Cullen,
Reader in Banking Law and Financial Regulation, University of Sheffield
Resource and Environment Board Member, Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
Asset Owners Disclosure Project, Investor Engagement Officer, ShareAction
Creator, Global Conduct Risk Paradigm, UN Group of Experts on Risk Management
Frank Van Lerven,
Economist, New Economics Foundation
The Great Big Open Debate; where all attendees, speakers and panellists will have the opportunity to share their thoughts on the key issues raised by the symposium and ponder on what actions should be taken as a result of it.
Further networking; with drinks and nibbles.
Key participants thus far
(Several others being added soon)
Stuart has 15 years’ experience advising employers and trustees on pensions law, with an emphasis on finance & investment issues.
He has a keen interest in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues, responsible and impact investing, with particular expertise advising clients in relation to fiduciary duties, policy and stewardship.
Stuart sits on the investment committee of the Association of Pension Lawyers and led their response to consultation ‘clarifying and strengthening investment duties’, he also spoke at the recent annual conference on fiduciary duties.
Head of Department, Cross-Cutting Policy,
Financial Conduct Authority
Genevieve Marjoribanks leads the Cross-Cutting Policy Department at the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. In this role she is responsible for Prudential Policy, Governance and Professionalism, and cross-cutting policy such as intergenerational disparities and climate change.
Her previous roles have included leading the FCA’s Analysis & Insight function with a focus on data enhancement, and leading FCA engagement on financial stability issues.
Prior to joining the FCA, Genevieve held roles as a lawyer in Australia and the US, before moving into senior policy roles at the Australian Commonwealth Treasury and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
UK Financial Reporting Council's Investor Liaison,
Jen is the UK Financial Reporting Council’s Investor Liaison. Responsible for coordinating the FRC’s outreach with the global investor community.
Jen works across all areas of the regulators scope ensuring investor views are taken into account in standard setting and regulation. Currently, Jen is working on issues including the UK Stewardship Code and the Corporate Governance Code, as well as the Strategic Report and ongoing accounting, auditing and actuarial issues.
Jen is also a member of IFIAR’s Investor and Other Stakeholder Working Group and the ICMA AIMIC.
Prior to working at the FRC Jen was part of PwC’s global investor engagement team, responsible for research and outreach with the investment community on a broad range of accounting, reporting, regulatory, governance and ESG issues as well as acting as part of the secretariat for the Corporate Reporting Users Forum (CRUF).
Asset Owners Disclosure Project, Investor Engagement Officer, ShareAction
Peter Uhlenbruch is Investor Engagement Officer for the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), managed by the UK responsible investment research charity, ShareAction.
He is the lead author of the recently launched AODP ‘Winning Climate Strategies’ report, which explores the best practice landscape, identifies key barriers and offers suggestions for other asset owners, based on in-depth discussions with 22 global asset owners with leading climate strategies. He also helped develop AODP's recent assessment of the global insurance sector, which explores how insurers are performing on managing climate-related risks and opportunities based on a methodology aligned with the TCFD framework.
He also has a background in corporate governance research (including from a climate perspective), ESG research, and has taught corporate governance, CSR, and business ethics units at various universities in Australia.
Head of Industry Liaison, The Pensions Regulator
Neil and his team are responsible for engaging with employers, pension providers, payroll providers and other suppliers of pension related products, services and advice. Our aim is to help them fully understand the rules around workplace pensions, including their own or their client’s duty to automatically enrol eligible workers into a pension scheme - and the duties of pension scheme managers / trustees, in both public and private sector.
Neil has over 30 years’ experience in dealing with large companies in the private and public sectors. Neil has previously worked as a client director for BT and Siemens, and as a management consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Neil has a technology background in computer software engineering, gained after graduating from Exeter University with a Maths & Physics BSc.
Network for Sustainable Financial Markets
Martina is President, Network for Sustainable Financial Markets, leading a global network of sustainable finance and banking experts. She is a doctoral fellow at ICRMP UK, a visiting fellow at Henley Business School and a guest lecturer at University of Zurich. Martina teaches and trains industry professionals such as investors, corporates and regulators (e.g. the FCA) in sustainable finance, thematic, ESG and impact investing, responsible banking and insurance management. She sits on a variety of prestigious industry, media and academic working groups, boards and editorial panels to assess and report on the status of the market, policy, technology and product innovation.
In 2014, Martina founded her own ESG strategy consulting firm, SI Partners Ltd., an independent consulting firm specializing in Climate Risk and ESG / SDG advisory, research, products, investment content, and engagement services for the investment, banking and insurance industries.
Martina is a former chair of the NED board - and nowadays a mentor - at the Global Thinkers Forum (GTF). She also sits on UKSIF’s analyst committee board, Sedex’ Advisory Committee, is a member of WE – Women in ETF, and acted as an observer at ICMA – The Green Bond Principles. In addition, she is a member of the Institute of Directors, an affiliate member of ICSA: The Governance Institute and an alumni fellow of the German National Academic Foundation.
Martina has held a range of senior global research, product and business development roles for more than 17 years. She worked in ESG research, analytics and engagement roles at S&P Global, Hermes EOS, MSCI ESG Research, and within product strategy at Lloyds Banking Group/Insight Investment, RBS Asset Management, F&C (BMO) and Deutsche Bank.
She is a writer, (academic) lecturer and presenter on sustainable investment and green finance themes and contributes regularly to industry and academic publications. Her recent work includes contributions to the latest FCA consultation on climate change impacts on financial services, UNEP FI’s Responsible Banking Principles consultation, the EU Commission’s/ECMI’s Sustainable Finance working groups on ESG integration, asset allocation and benchmarking, and the Sustainable Stock Exchanges’ and City of London’s taskforce reports on green finance and social impact reporting. Martina also forms part of the IIF (Washington)’s working group on sustainable finance policy management, TCFD and regulatory oversight. She also closely collaborates with the European Banking Federation and other industry bodies. Most recently, she joined the Editorial Advisory Board of ESG Clarity, a content-led initiative by Last Word Media, a leading financial services / media platform.
Nick is CEO of Callund Consulting, founder and chairman of Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) and Radix, the think tank of the radical centre.
Nick is a visiting fellow at Anglia Ruskin University and Cass Business School (City University).
Nick recently won The President’s Award for outstanding contribution to the Actuarial Profession and the Phiatus Award for an actuary who has made the most impressive charitable efforts. Nick’s book, Finance, Society and Sustainability was recently published by Palgrave Macmillan.
Julia is known for her longstanding experience in and passion for retail, sustainable, responsible and ethical investment. She now runs her own business, SRI Services, that specialises in raising the profile of this area. Much of this work focuses on Fund EcoMarket the open to all, whole of market, (fund manager sponsored) fund tool that brings together information on SRI, ESG and related funds.
Its primary purpose is to help financial services intermediaries to understand these funds options and help users match funds to diverse client aims. Her other work includes consultancy, events, media and responding to policy consultations.
Julia was recently re-elected to the UKSIF board director and is on the TTF advisory board.
Julia’s career in financial began at NPI in 1989. She later moved to Friends Provident where she worked for 12 years as SRI (Sustainable & Responsible Investment) Marketing Manager. She served on the UKSIF main board from 2002 – 09 where she chaired their highly successful retail sub-committee and helped set up Good Money Week. Her work was Highly Commended in the Corporation of London Sustainable City awards in 2015.
Dr. Jay Cullen,
Reader in Banking Law and Financial Regulation,
University of Sheffield
Jay is a Reader in Banking Law and Financial Regulation, Director of the Sheffield Institute of Corporate and Commercial Law (SICCL), and Adjunct Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Oslo Law Faculty.
Jay’s research focuses on the regulation of financial institutions, especially banks. He has also published widely on banking and climate change and the corporate governance of financial institutions. His work has been cited by, amongst others, the Bank of England, Financial Times and European Commission.
Jay has held visiting positions at Columbia University, and the University of Oslo.
He is an associated expert at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and Finance Watch, and an associate fellow of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute (SPERI).
Jay is also co-founder and co-Director of the Law and Money Initiative, a new collaboration between the Universities of Sheffield, Cornell and Manchester, which aims to improve understanding of the relationship between law and money through collaboration, education and scholarly research.
FRSA, GCRP and Chartered MSCI,
The Group of Experts on Risk Management in Regulatory Systems
Markus is a seasoned Risk specialist and Government advisor with 25 years’ experience in global financial markets, thereof almost 20 years in managing risk.
Executive director and Board member of a new UK challenger bank. Previously, as Interim CRO, instrumental in launching/ establishing a high-profile capital markets/ lending institution start-up for the UK government and playing a pivotal role in achieving its strong investment-grade ratings. Current member of a United Nations working party on risk & regulation; previously advising the World Bank, the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
Co-Founder and acting Chairman of the Culture & Conduct Group, Chairman (ex-officio) of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) FinTech Forum. Ambassador of the Transparency Task Force, member of its Banking team and contributor to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking. Mentor/ member at Google Campus.
Well regarded thought-leader and lecturer with some of the world’s best academic institutions and frequent appearances at Industry’s top speaking circles. Published author/ editor of several books, incl. on the Global financial crisis as well as other technical publications. Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).
Frank van Lerven,
New Economics Foundation
Frank is an Economist for one the UK’s leading think tanks the ‘New Economics Foundation’ (NEF). Specialising in monetary policy, banking, and developmental finance, Frank has been published in renowned academic journals and newspapers.
Frank currently leads NEF’s work on greening central banks and diversifying the UK’s banking system.
Before joining NEF, Frank worked at the United Nations Development Programme and then went on to help start-up two prominent European think tanks aimed at reforming monetary policy.
Head of Policy,
Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
Nick Spencer is an actuary and a sustainable investment strategist focused on integrating long-term environment, societal and governance influences into investment strategies and portfolios.
Before creating his own sustainable advisory boutique, Gordian Advice, Nick was the EMEA lead on Responsible Investing for Russell Investments & is a member of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) Resource & Environment Board.
Nick is a recognised industry thought-leader and recently co-authored an IFoA working party paper on climate change considerations for actuarial financial assumptions and the role of scenario analysis (https://www.actuaries.org.uk/documents/considerations-setting-financial-assumptions).
Andy Agathangelou FRSA,
Transparency Task Force
Andy will be Chairing the Symposium. His overall objective is to galvanise support for the idea that greater transparency in financial services can drive positive, transformational change for the benefit of all.
Andy formed the Transparency Task Force following a meeting he led at Senate House, University of London on 6th May 2015. The meeting was the about the trust deficit that is impacting financial services and how harnessing the transformational power of transparency can drive the change that is needed.
That meeting set off a chain of events that led directly to the creation of our collaborative, campaigning community which is built on the idea that 'Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant'.
Since 6th May 2015 he has recruited, organised and mobilised over 300 volunteers around the world into 18 Teams:
- Team GTI (Global Transparency Index)
- The Market Integrity Team
- The Costs & Charges Team
- The Foreign Exchange Team
- Team EMEA
- The Pensions Team
- The Fintech Team
- The Communications Team
- The Banking Team
- The Financial Planning Team
- The Anti-Scams Team
- Team PISCES (Purpose; Impact Investing; Sustainability; Corporate Social Responsibility; Environment, Social & Governance; Socially-Responsible Investing)
- Asset Management Team
- The Financial Stability Team
- Team APAC
- Team Americas
- The Investment Consulting & Fiduciary Management Team
- The Governance, Compliance, Risk, Legal & Regulatory Team
Our 18 Teams are the 'engine room' of the Transparency Task Force's work. Each Team is focused on a particular set of opacity-related challenges whereby subject-matter experts work together on a completely voluntary basis to develop and implement strategies to overcome those challenges.
Andy is also:
Please click on the PDF icon below to download the slides that were used at the event.
The Great Divide
You can read the speech by Andrew G. Haldane, FAcSS (the Bank of England's Chief Economist and Executive Director of Monetary Analysis and Statistics) that he gave on 18th May 2016 at the New City Agenda Annual dinner.
The speech is entitled The Great Divide and it is a first class explanation of why the trust deficit really matters and why it makes sense to try to do something about it.
Please click on the green button to access it; if you're not convinced of its relevance to our initiative, here's part of it:
..."The most important and compelling message the Bank received at the Open Forum came in the first session. The Bank had conducted some polling of perceptions of the financial sector – for example, by asking people what one word best described the future of financial markets. Among the Bank’s usual contacts, including those in the financial sector, the most used word was “regulated”. Many of us will have heard that message from financial insiders concerned about the perils of over-zealous regulators.
For me, the more revealing responses came from the general public, from the customers, rather than the producers, of financial services. The word most used by them when describing financial markets was a rather different one: it was “corrupt”. Not far behind were words like “manipulated”, “self-serving”, “destructive” and “greedy”. I am sure many of you have heard those messages too. They are certainly ones I have encountered frequently on my visits around the country."...
Please click the green button below to access the full speech. If you need to read another piece first, here it is:
..."At least until recently many economists like me, when faced with this evidence, might have shrugged our shoulders. Social capital had no real role in our models of economic growth, unlike physical capital and human capital. Trust did not butter our parsnips and nor did it enter our production functions.
Recently, however, that orthodoxy has changed and the importance of trust has become clearer.
Evidence has emerged, both micro and macro, to suggest trust may play a crucial role in value creation. At the micro level, there is now ample evidence the degree of trust or social capital within a company contributes positively to its value creation capacity.
At the macro level, there is now a strong body of evidence, looking across a large range of countries and over long periods of time, that high levels of trust and co-operation are associated with higher economic growth.
Put differently, a lack of trust jeopardises one of finance’s key societal functions – higher growth.
Those social capital effects appear to be particularly potent when it comes to financial decisions. Evidence suggests that a lack of trust leads people to retreat from the stock market and banks and to move towards cash holdings and informal sources of credit, such as payday lenders and loan sharks. That jeopardises the second key benefit of finance to society – improved risk-sharing by households and companies.
So a lack of trust in finance potentially hobbles both economic growth and financial stability.
That lack of trust is the mirror-image of the perception gap between the financial sector and wider society, the Great Divide.
The Great Divide matters because it signals a pronounced and protracted erosion of social capital. It puts finance on notice for losing its social licence. And, unaddressed, that jeopardises future wealth and well-being."...
Please click on the green button to access the full speech. If you're not yet convinced you should, here's a final snippet:
..." As a survey in 2013 of financial professionals found, rather remarkably, that over half believed their competitors engaged in illegal or unethical behaviour. A smaller, but still high, fraction of 24% believed their own company engaged in such practices. Similar percentages believed their industry did not fulfil its fiduciary function of putting clients’ interests first.
The significance of these findings is not the precise percentages, as striking as these are.
More fundamentally, it is because of what they reveal about finance’s perception of itself, the mirror it holds to the social identity of finance."...
Click onto the button below to access the full speech; you'll be glad you did, it's profoundly thought-provoking for anybody interested in the future of the financial services industry:
If you are not already on the right page and want to read about our major international project to help rebuild trustworthiness and confidence in financial services, click on the orange button below: