Ahead of World Environment Day, Nadim Choudhury – our Head of Careers and Employability – explores three exciting career paths for those wanting to make a change in the world through sustainable finance.
Gone are the days when 'environment, social and governance’ (ESG) was a ‘nice-to-have’. Banks and financial services institutions are now fully committed to providing ESG products to their clients. This follows on from COP 26 last year, when hundreds of institutions agreed to finance over $130trn to reach this goal.
These changes will play a critical role in the UK’s goal to become a net-zero carbon contributor by 2050.
The role of investment banks will be critical in helping reach carbon neutral targets, especially as they will play an important role in formulating and selling green bonds. Over the coming years graduates entering the sector will have many opportunities to start entry level roles in ESG. There will be roles for:
- business development professionals,
- portfolio manager,
- investor relations specialists and more.
So, what kind of role would best suit you?
1. Green bonds and ESG analyst
Investment banks will be able to sell green bonds to investors and institutions to raise capital to meet these targets. As a result, we are likely to see the new roles advertised for ESG analysts.
As an ESG analyst, you could be expected to:
- perform analysis of green bonds issuances,
- take part in research on specific sectors and undertake in depth analysis,
- work with issuing green bonds
- make sure products are prepared on time and meet compliance and local regulatory standards.
Those with environmental science backgrounds, coupled with finance, would be in high demand.
2. ESG Portfolio Management
As financial services firms are encouraged to invest in sustainable and ethical funds, there will be an increased demand for portfolio managers who understand ESG products. Portfolio managers in Asset Management firms need to be on top of all the latest ESG trends and ensure they provide value to their clients, while remaining competitive.
ESG is now embedded in almost all asset management firms, as a critical strategy for growth. If you want to start your career in this field you will need to become familiar with the different regulations, products, and demand appetite from investors.
3. Sustainable Finance Consulting
Many financial services institutions and banks may lack the scientific understanding for underpinning green finance initiatives. So, the role of consultants who understand the science of climate change will become important in supporting investment decisions.
As a sustainable finance consultant, you must have strong knowledge of the different regulatory aspects within different regions. The leading professional services firms are more likely to hire entry level consultants who can specialise in providing advice to the banking and financial services sector.
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