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May 15, 2022 | EP. 159

The Difference Between ESG and Socially Responsible Investing

Sonia Kowal, President at Zevin Asset Management

Sonia Kowal, today’s podcast guest, made the following statement in a LinkedIn article in 2021, “ESG research and integration is part of an investment process to try and improve investment returns. It is not necessarily tied to values, ethics, morality, or mission.” But Kowal, who has been President of Zevin Asset Management since 2009, knows that values and ethics were central to the development of socially responsible investing. Kowal talks to us about the mission of Zevin Asset Management, which is a 100% employee-owned, majority women-owned firm, and the legacy of the company’s founder, Robert Zevin, who was a pioneer in sustainable investing. A philosophy that is obviously working because the company has a 20-plus-year performance track record that has been tested over a variety of market conditions.

 

May 11, 2022 | EP. 158

Wanted by the SEC: Comments on Proposed GHG Emissions Rule

Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets

The Securities and Exchange Commission just proposed a draft rule that will require companies to report their GHG emissions, and is welcoming public comments on the draft (by May 20). This is a great opportunity for investors and their financial advisors to share their thoughts and concerns about corporate sustainability with the SEC. Today’s podcast guest is Steven Rothstein, Managing Director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, who is here to offer our listeners his perspective on how this proposed rule will support investors and their advisors in evaluating companies’ GHG emissions reporting.

May 8, 2022 | EP. 157

Why Small and Mid-sized Businesses Need to Nail Down SEC Compliance

Nidhi Chadda, Founder and CEO at Enzo Advisors, LLC

In today’s program we’re going to learn why small to midsize companies across all sectors need to nail down their SEC compliance frameworks or risk being left behind as major corporations  with bigger budgets and more staff take the advantage. Nidhi Chadda is the Founder and CEO of Enzo Advisors, a female-founded, minority-owned advisory firm that helps companies build best-in-class ESG business models. In our conversation Chadda leads listeners through the various stages of compliance. Chadda is a member of the Forbes Business Council with over 20 years of experience in the world of corporate finance. I’m very glad we’ve been able to get on her busy schedule for today’s conversation.

May 1, 2022 | EP. 156

Util Uses AI To Align Company Products & Services with the SDGs

Patrick Wood Uribe, CEO at Util

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set targets in 2015 for ending poverty and hunger, improving education, and protecting the environment at a global scale. Since then investors, asset managers and financial advisors have been working to identify the impact of publicly traded companies’ products and services on all 17 SDGs. My podcast guest today is Patrick Uribe, CEO of Util, the fintech company which recently launched a new sustainability analytics platform that allows users to explore and compare the SDG impacts of almost 50,000 listed companies as well as mutual funds and EFTs in order to screen investments and generate portfolio reports.

April 24, 2022 | EP. 155

Why Private Markets Need More Transparent ESG Data

Lorraine Spradley Wilson, Chief Impact Officer and Head of ESG at Novata

Novata is a technology platform that’s pioneering a unique approach to ESG measurement, data collection, benchmarking and reporting in the private markets. This public benefit corporation recently closed a $21 million Series A Funding Round supported by the consortium of leading institutions in social justice, financial data and private market advisory that created it. On today’s program I’m speaking with Lorraine Spradley Wilson, Chief Impact Officer and Head of ESG at Novata, about why 2022 is the year to pursue more transparent ESG data measurement and reporting in the private markets.

April 18, 2022 | EP. 154

Schroders on Seeing ESG Through a US Lens

Marina Severinovsky, Head of Sustainability, North America at Schroders

It’s time to progress the ESG conversation with US investors, according to Marina Severinovsky, the Head of Sustainability, North America at Schroders. Severinovsky is on the program today with an important message for our listeners – policy, regulation, corporate action, and investor interest are all aligning to support the expansion of ESG in the US. Listen in to find out Schroders’ take on why engaging US investors to benefit from these trends requires a shift towards aligning with their priorities on climate transition and social impact, and a more pragmatic and investment-led focus on mitigating risks and uncovering opportunities.

April 10, 2022 | EP. 153

Client Demand at Laird Norton Drives the “S” in ESG Integration

Ron Albahary, CFA and Chief Investment Officer at Laird Norton Wealth Management

In my conversation today, Ron Albahary, Laird Norton Wealth Management’s CIO tells the story of how their clients set the stage for the firm’s initiative to spotlight social issues. Laird Norton’s clients include multigenerational family offices, foundations, and nonprofits. Since 2021 Laird Norton has been partnering with Calvert Research and Management and Parametric to create investment solutions that meet their clients objectives for working with global leaders in responsible investment and portfolio customization. Albahary and I focus on two thematic portfolio strategies: Empowerment and Community Health and Wellness.

April 3, 2022 | EP. 152

A New Seamless Digital Platform To Generate Community & Revenue

Denise Hayman-Loa, CEO and Co-Founder, Carii, Inc and Connective Network

If you’re in financial services, you need to belong to the right digital communications platforms. But these platforms present a host of challenges, like lack of privacy and fragmentation across multiple tools. Let alone the fact that the business doesn’t own the data. All of these challenges limit your connectivity, efficiency, and control. My podcast guest today is Denise Hayman-Loa, Co-Founder of Carii & Connective.Network. After just seven years, the firm was awarded Best Digital Community Building Platform of 2022 by Acquisition International Magazine. Hayman-Loa worked for 29 years in Financial Services on client relationships, risk management and technology. So I’m excited to get her perspective on how businesses and organizations can use digital communication tools to enhance and amplify messaging for their clients.

March 27, 2022 | EP. 151

The Racial Justice Initiative Scores Russell 1000 Index Companies

Olivia Knight, Racial Justice Initiative Manager at As You Sow

In May 2020, the world witnessed the horrific death of George Floyd, shocking Americans into confronting the racial injustice experienced by Black Americans daily. This event forced a re-evaluation of our most fundamental beliefs about racial justice and institutions and became a catalyst for change. As You Sow, the nation’s leading non-profit in shareholder advocacy, created the Racial Justice Initiative, which provides a complete corporate profile on racial equity issues for companies in the Russell 1000 Index. My guest today is Olivia Knight, Racial Justice Initiative Manager at As You Sow. Knight explains how As You Sow uses the scorecard to  engage companies on policy changes and to file shareholder resolutions.

March 20, 2022 | EP. 150

Artesian Jumpstarts VC Funding for Female-led Startups

Vicky Lay, Partner and Head of Impact Investments at Artesian (Alternative Investments)

Here is some disturbing data from the Harvard Business Review. Startups with female only founders receive less than 3% of global VC funding. And female founders and employees own only 11% of total startup equity versus 89% for men. Also disturbing according to the study is that most investors believe that entrepreneurial talent is evenly distributed by  gender! So what’s happening to opportunity for women? My guest today, Vicky Lay is mission driven to change these percentages. She’s Partner and Head of Impact Investments at Artesian Alternative Investments. Artesian is a global alternative investment management firm specializing in public and private debt, venture capital, and impact investment strategies. Lay launched the $100 millon Artesian Female Leaders VC Fund on November 29, 2021.

March 13, 2022 | EP. 149

Dynamo Energy Hub: Bringing Top Clean Energy Innovators Together

Kristin Barbato, Founder & CEO at Build Edison and Co-Founder and President of Dynamo Energy Hub

In Q1 of 2020, Dynamo Energy Hub Co-Founders responded to the pandemic by pivoting their business model and expanding the digital programming component. How did they do it and did it work? Dynamo Co-Founder and President Kristin Barbato is on the program today to talk about this successful transformation. Barbato and I discuss their growth from 2 to 10 energy innovation networking communities (Dynamo Hubs) this year alone as well as how this expansion is influencing Build Edison’s, Barbato’s consulting company, work of scaling innovative cleantech companies.

March 6, 2022 | EP. 148

Close Group Consulting’s Report Gives Top 10 ESG Trends for 2022

Anuj Shah, Partner at Close Group Consulting

What should we be expecting in the ESG investment landscape during 2022? To answer that question I have Anuj Shah on the program today. I can’t think of anyone more qualified to discuss the top ESG Trends for 2022. Shah is a Partner at Close Group Consulting, which, since their founding in 2017, has worked on the design and implementation of ESG integration mandates for asset managers and owners with a combined AUM of $1.7tn. Tune in for our conversation about their recently published ESG Trends Report, The List.

February 27, 2022 | EP. 147

Envestnet Advisors Accelerate Use of Sustainable Investment Strategies

Brett Wayman, Senior Director, Sustainable Investing at Envestnet

Between 2015 and 2020 investor demand doubled the number of sustainable mutual funds and ETFs that are available in the U.S. The trend continued in 2021, with Envestnet reporting higher growth rates for asset flows into sustainability focused products. My guest on the program today is Brett Wayman, Senior Director of Sustainable Investing at Envestnet, and we talk about the dramatic increase of advisors on the platform who are using sustainable strategies. That’s 35,000 advisors (45%) working with 800,000 clients. And we discuss why more advisors need to understand why Sustainable Investing is so valuable to the advisor/client relationship.

February 24, 2022 | EP. 146

Starting March 28, 2022: The 21st Wall Street Green Summit

Peter Fusaro, Founder, The Wall Street Green Summit, Founder and Chairman at Global Change Associates

One of my favorite future-focused sustainable investing conferences starts on March 28. The Wall Street Green Summit has been attracting low-carbon economy entrepreneurs and sustainable finance professionals for 20 years. I’m always surprised and inspired by the roundup of the best and most thought provoking clean energy technologies innovations. And it’s a great opportunity to network with peers and consider investment opportunities. In today’s program I talk with founder Peter Fusaro about the 21st WSG Summit, including this year’s program Agenda and who’s on the speaker line up. We also discuss the difference between compliance and voluntary carbon markets.

February 20, 2022 | EP. 145

Arabesque’s New ESG Book Makes Company ESG Data Accessible & Comparable

Georg Kell, Chairman of the Board at Arabesque, Founding Director of the United Nations Global Compact

2,000 large global public companies with $100 trillion of assets under management are committed to meeting net-zero emissions targets agreed to at COP 26. But, a lack of corporate disclosure and ESG data consistency is limiting the amount of assets deployed to sustainable business activities, like managing climate risk for example. Arabesque, a global provider of ESG data, is leading the way in solving this dilemma. Today I’m talking with Georg Kell, Chairman of the Board at Arabesque, about their ESG Book, a new analytics platform that brings together a global alliance of stakeholders focused on shaping the future of ESG data. An exciting topic for our listeners because companies can make their ESG data more accessible, comparable, and transparent, and all of this at no cost!

February 14, 2022 | EP. 144

Amalgamated & Invesco Funds Lead in Social, Climate & Gender Equity

Cynthia Dalagelis, SVP Director of ESG Investments at Amalgamated Bank

Today’s program is about an unusual bank, so be prepared to expand your understanding of the role banks can play in growing sustainable investing. In fact, Amalgamated has been providing Socially Responsible banking and investment to the public for almost 100 years. It was founded by the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union Amalgamated for those traditionally excluded from the banking system. And as of 2021 Amalgamated has $57 billion in custody and investment assets under management. On the program today I’m talking with Cynthia Dalagelis, SVP and Director of ESG Investments at Amalgamated Bank, about their ESG Responsifunds partnership with Invesco to offer a suite of funds that are leaders in social equity, gender equality and climate change. And we also talk about how Amalgamated is working to address the world’s most urgent challenges and bring about systemic long term change.

February 6, 2022 | EP. 143

Climate Assessment Tools Drive Sustainable Business Development

Stacy Swann, CEO at Climate Finance Advisors, a certified B-Corporation

Anyone working in finance needs to stay current with what’s happening with climate finance and regulation because it affects the entire industry. And consolidation is happening within the climate reporting frameworks. Stacy Swann, the CEO of Climate Finance Advisors, my guest today, walks us through how banking and investment companies can use the data produced by climate assessment tools to better understand their own ESG data for company benchmarking and resilience planning as well as corporate governance, risk assessment, and sustainable business development.

January 30, 2022 | EP. 142

Solar Power’s Bright Future: Using Distributed Grid Technologies

Harald Overholm, Co-founder and CEO of Alight

Alight is the leading Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) provider for corporate solar power deployment in the Nordics. Founder and CEO Harald Overholm spent years in the U.S. studying the technology and funding of the solar industry and in 2022 is helping companies across Europe switch to solar power that’s 80% cheaper than it was a decade ago. Overholm believes entrepreneurs in the power sector and global capital markets can work together to grow solar from 3% of power capacity today to 50% globally during the next 3 to 4 decades. PPA capital financing and distributed grid technologies will facilitate this dramatic growth.

January 23, 2022 | EP. 141

Schwab Asset Management Launches First Proprietary ESG ETF

Malik Sievers, Head of ESG strategy at Schwab Asset Management

In November 2021 the Schwab Ariel ESG ETF began trading on the NYSE under the symbol SAEF. Malik Sievers, Head of ESG strategy at Schwab Asset Management talks about their first-ever proprietary ESG ETF and its collaboration with Ariel Investments, LLC, the fund’s sub-adviser and a pioneer in ESG and value-based investing. The ETF market is growing rapidly in the U.S, with almost $3.9 trillion invested as of June 2021. Sievers and I talk about opportunities in 2022 to launch additional proprietary ESG funds as well as the 20-year partnership between Schwab Asset Management and Ariel Investments that promotes financial literacy across middle-class Black American communities.

January 16, 2022 | EP. 140

Berenberg’s Active Management Approach Drives ESG Integration

Rupini Deepa Rajagopalan, Head of ESG Office, Wealth and Asset Management, at Berenberg

My guest today, Dr. Rupini Deepa Rajagopalan, was tasked with launching the ESG office in 2018 at Berenberg Wealth and Asset Management. Berenberg is one of the oldest banks in the world, founded in 1590. As Head of ESG Office, Rupini has been working with its asset management teams to integrate ESG strategies throughout their client portfolios and its funds. We also talk about key takeaways from their 2021 ESG Survey (112 respondents, primarily from UK and Germany and included a mix of asset managers, family offices, charities and private investors) and particularly how the engagement process with companies reveals key ESG metrics that can be difficult to determine without rigorous active management.

January 9, 2022 | EP. 139

How Your Employees Can Avoid Being Hacked While Working Remotely

Penelope Bise, Chief Cybersecurity Expert at ImpactVest

A recent Gartner survey reports a huge increase in spending on information security and risk technology: from 6.4% in 2020 to 12.4% in 2021, with spending reaching $150 billion. Joining us today is Penelope Bise, Chief Cybersecurity Expert at ImpactVest. Bise has an important message, especially for smaller financial services firms, who are even more at risk from phishing by malicious hackers. She explains that increased remote work because of the Covid-19 pandemic is heightening the risk because when workers are remote they tend to be less careful of cybersecurity, and the “Black Hats” are getting more sophisticated. Listen in while Bise gives tips to make sure you build in the right kinds of security systems and your employees adhere to the best protocols when working globally and while using other devices, like mobile phones.

January 2, 2022 | EP. 138

Global Asset Owner Sustainability Survey Shows Dramatic ESG Growth

Tony Campos, Head of Sustainable Investment for the Americas at FTSE Russell

On the program today Campos, Head of Sustainable Investment for the Americas at FTSE Russell, gives key takeaways from the 2021 edition of the Global Asset Owner Sustainability Survey. This survey comprises institutional asset owners, most managing 10B+ in assets. In 2021, 84% of the respondents said they are implementing or evaluating sustainable investment considerations compared to 53% in 2018. In 2020, ESG asset allocation reached $35 trillion, and is expected to grow to $50 trillion by 2025. The two biggest drivers for institutional asset owners in 2021 were mitigating long term investment risk and avoiding reputational risk, particularly in the European and Asian markets. In the US, the biggest driver is better risk adjusted performance.

December 26, 2021 | EP. 137

Why the S in ESG Is Finally Being Recognized as a Key Performance Factor

Bonnie-Lyn de Bartok, Founder, CEO, Director of The S Factor Co.

Too often investors focus only on the E and the G in ESG investing: the environmental and governance factors. But what about the S factor, and why should investors and advisors care? Joining us today is Bonnie-Lyn de Bartok, Founder, CEO, Director of The S Factor Co., and she’s going to tell us why, and how machine learning and big data can help investors reduce risk and improve performance. I’ve known de Bartok for several years now, and to say that she’s a leader in sustainable finance is an understatement. Here are just some of her accomplishments in 2021: She won first place in UBS's Future of Finance Challenge; was selected a Global AIFINTECH100 Top 100 Innovator of the Year; is one of Canada’s Top Women in Fintech; and founded one of the Top 14 Social Impact Investing Startups in Canada.

December 19, 2021 | EP. 136

MSCI Goes Deep on Carbon Budget Analysis

Bruce Kahn, Executive Director and Climate Solutions Specialist at MSCI

MSCI has just come out with its new Climate Search and ESG Rating Tool that gives investors and advisors access to data on two of the most important climate issues: temperature rise and decarbonization targets. Bruce Kahn is Executive Director and Climate Solutions Specialist at MSCI and teaches Sustainable Finance at Columbia University. Kahn joins us today to explain how this new tool will measure whether a company will stay within its portion of the shared carbon budget, which has been established by the Paris Agreement and modeled by TCFD. The Climate Search and ESG Rating Tool is doing this for over 2,900 companies, giving investors a much more nuanced look at climate risk within their portfolios.

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Welcome!

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­­Join Paul as he interviews sustainable finance experts from top companies and global organizations like Trucost, United Nations Capital Development Fund, FTSE Russell, and Allianz Global Investors.

Listen to thought leaders like Amit Bouri, CEO at the Global Impact Investing Network; Mona Naqvi, Head of ESG Product Strategy, North America at S&P Dow Jones Indices; Peter Schechter, Co-Founder at Immigrant Food; and Rachel Gutter, President at International Well Building Institute.

Paul regularly consults with RIAs on ESG marketing and advisor education. He has written for Investments and Wealth Monitor, and co-convened the 2018 and 2019 Sustainable Investing Conferences at the United Nations.

 

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