Having soon completed the Mst Sustainability Leadership at the CISL, I am now focusing on my dissertation whose title is ESG Ratings: An Investigation into their Perception by Fixed Income investment managers in the UK. In parallel, I have started looking into the second stage of my careers and how I could incorporate sustainability into my next role. I am also considering how I could make an impact at a more personal level through some kind of involvement in the world of child adoption in the UK.
To start with this last topic, I have explored the idea of becoming a trustee for a child adoption agency and spoken to quite a few people in the last few months. However, I now feel that it may be best to focus on something more impactful such as setting up a charity to support looked after children who have just reached 18 and passed their A-levels to go to university. This is not something which makes headlines or makes it into the top topics of conversation between parents who discuss their children’s impending university entry at dinner parties. However, unfortunately, only 6% of care leavers go to university. https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2017/nov/07/6-per-cent-care-leavers-university-deserve-better-chances . The answer I usually get when raising this topic is that “of course the government must support these children/young adults”. The truth is that although some financial support is provided by the government, it does not amount to huge sums and the financial burden of university fees can be very daunting for someone who does not have any family to fall back onto and has to work to finance one’s everyday life and studies. I shall pursue this avenue in the coming months.
The second area which I am currently exploring is, as explained above, how to incorporate sustainability into the second half of my career and drive change at my own level. My research project has provided me with deep insights into the world of ESG data and research. Furthermore, according to Tom Hale in his article “How Much Data Does The World Generate Every Minute?” published in 2017 “ninety percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. Our current output of data is roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes a day. As the world steadily becomes more connected with an ever-increasing number of electronic devices, that’s only set to grow over the coming years”.
The world of ESG data and research more specifically does not escape this trend with rapidly increasing amounts of data and research being generated in this field. However, although the ESG data and research industry has already witnessed a wave of consolidation in the past five years with probably more to come, the plethora of ESG data and research currently available can be rather daunting for the users of this data such as investment managers. Issues such as poor quality, lack of transparency, standardisation and hence comparability, independence, credibility and so on have been raised by a number of sustainable finance experts.
From a personal perspective, I feel that the second part of my career should be to focus on leveraging my 20-year experience in business development within the financial data and research sector and explore opportunities to promote the use of ESG ratings and research within the financial industry and contribute to the improvement of offerings. There is a huge lack of knowledge about ESG matters amongst relationship management and business development professionals with this industry. I have already made some inroads and feel that this would be for me the best way to make an impact.