UCL Faculty of Laws


Online | Taking Stock of ESG Infomediaries So Far

26 October 2022, 5:30 pm–7:00 pm

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UCL Centre for Ethics and Law online webinar

Event Information

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UCL Laws

About the webinar

Over the last 20 years, the ESG movement has grown from a United Nations corporate social responsibility initiative into a global phenomenon representing more than US$10 trillion in companies fostering goals beyond that of shareholder value maximisation: from eradicating poverty and promoting better housing through to developing clean energy and sustainable infrastructure and deploying sustainable industrial processes passing by enhancing governance and shareholder alignment and strengthening compliance and risk mitigation.

While by now every major company is embarked on an ESG journey, some argue that ESG approaches are deeply flawed even if often well-meaning. Others argue that ESG analysis is still not part of mainstream investment analysis, partly due to the heavy investment intermediation from consultants, ratings agencies, index providers and fund managers. Rising scrutiny of how companies address ESG means that a robust approach is more critical than ever to achieve effective performance management in ESG.

The Webinar will discuss the following issues:

  • Which role information intermediaries (infomediaries) play in affecting ESG adoption by companies?
  • Do information intermediaries really assist us in understanding ESG performance in terms of being material for investors and material in substantive outcomes?
  • Whose needs do infomediaries serve?
  • What is the extent of infomediaries’ influence upon corporate behaviour and shareholders’ roles, and does the latter affect the former?
  • Is more standardization around ESG disclosures made by companies required?

Watch the video directly on our YouTube Channel or view it below

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/SKpEPwoTOV8

The Participants

Josephine Bush is a co-founder and CEO of Sustineri Strategy Ltd, a Sustainable and ESG Strategy advisory business supporting a range of businesses across sector on the build and execution of their sustainability strategies. Josephine sits on a number of listed Boards as a non-executive director in the environmental sector. She chairs the ESG committee for Foresight Sustainable Forestry Company Plc and Next Energy Solar Fund Plc and the Audit, Risk and ESG committee of Vulcan Energy Resources Ltd. Additionally, Josephine sits on the AIC working group for ESG and is a member of the investment committee of Gresham Houses’ British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund. Prior to her current role, Josephine was a partner at EY for 14 years pioneering the build of their renewables and sustainability practice both in the U.K. and globally. She sat on the UK&I a Power & Utilities Board and Governance Board for a number of years. Josephine is an influential advocate for collaboration amongst experts to solve the climate change challenge, promoting the youth voice in the process. She founded the not for profit Sustainability & You that seeks to raise levels of awareness amongst financial market participants of climate change, the issues and solutions. Josephine interviews experts in their field with a Sustainability & You young ambassador to explore the challenges and opportunities as we face into executing on net zero initiatives. Josephine is a qualified solicitor (with an MA Law, Cantab), chartered tax advisor and CFA ESG investing qualified. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society.

Ben Corris has over a decade of investment experience at Schroders. As a keen practitioner of ESG integration since 2015, he developed both quantimental and systematic sustainable investment strategies. He joined the ESG team at Schroders in October 2022 and is responsible for developing the propriety and differentiated ESG analytical framework. Ben holds a PhD in Atmospheric Science from The University of Manchester and a MPhys [Hons] in Physics with Astrophysics from UMIST. He is a CFA Charterholder.

Iris H.-Y. Chiu is Professor of Corporate Law and Financial Regulation at University College London. She has published on directors’ duties, shareholder stewardship and corporate governance, as well as regulatory theories and governance in the financial sector. She is Executive Editor of the European Business Law Review and Co-Series Editor of the Palgrave Macmillan Corporate and Financial Law Series, and a Director of the UCL Centre for Ethics and Law. Iris holds a PhD from the University of Leicester and an LLM from the University of Cambridge.

Matteo Gargantini is Assistant Professor of Business Law at the University of Genoa. Previously, he worked at the University of Utrecht, at the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law and at Consob, the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission. He is a member of the Consultative Working Group of the ESMA Corporate Finance Standing Committee. Matteo obtained a PhD in Law and Economics from the University of Siena.

Francisco de la Peña Fernández-Garnelo is Vice President at Trailstone Group, a global energy and technology portfolio company of private equity firm Riverstone Holdings. He is also an Associate Lecturer at UCL Laws and an Advisory Board Member of the UCL Centre for Ethics and Law. Having practised law with Clifford Chance and the UK Government Legal Services, Francisco has also served as Commercial Director at LGO Energy plc, Counsel at Sonnedix Solar and Vice President at Amaltheia Capital. Francisco holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge, a PhD from King’s College London and an LLM from the London School of Economics. Francisco is a qualified English solicitor and Spanish abogado.

David Semmens sits as an external advisor on the Investment Committee at Wealthify (part of the Aviva Group) where he helped develop and oversee the firm’s ethical investment proposition as Head of Investment Strategy and CIO. He volunteers on the Investment Committee for one of Scotland's largest education charities and is an adjunct-lecturer delivering a postgraduate finance and investment course at Heriot Watt University. Since completing an M.Sc. in Economics at the University of Warwick, David has worked in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, New York, and Paris, running the gauntlet in fintech, banking, insurance and asset management for Wealthify, HSBC Asset Management, Euler Hermes and Standard Chartered Bank. David is also a CFA Charterholder with an Executive MBA from the University of Cambridge.

Michele Siri is professor of business law at the University of Genoa (Italy) and director of the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence EUSFIL, European Union Sustainable Finance and Law. Since 2017 he has held a Jean Monnet Chair on European Union Financial and Insurance Markets Regulation. Since 2018 he has been a member of the Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities, of which he was appointed as chairman in 2021. He is an academic member of the advisory committee of the Italian Financial Markets Authority (CONSOB). Michele is also an adjunct professor at the Luigi Bocconi University of Milan and the LLM program in EU Financial Regulation at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

Luke Sussams leads ESG Strategy for EMEA at Jefferies, an investment bank. Previously, Luke covered ESG at Kepler Cheuvreux, a mid-cap stock broker, and at the Carbon Tracker Initiative. Luke holds an MSc from Imperial College London and a BSc from Nottingham University.