During my time at university, an old stock ticker sat in the middle of the business building as a reminder of where finance used to be. In today’s world, global markets continue to be volatile, and understanding finance trends is crucial for any successful business person. What the MBA program at IMD has instilled into its candidates, is that sustainable finance and ESG integration is the future of finance. We had the opportunity for Annika Falkengren, Managing Partner of Lombard Odier, to come in and speak on what is next in the world of business.
Founded in 1796, Lombard Odier is one of the leading banks in Switzerland driving sustainability. With CHF316 billion of assets under management, the bank believes the CLIC Economy (Circular, Lean, Inclusive, and Clean) is where the world is going and where value can be derived from many different aspects. Annika Falkengren said one thing that really stuck with me: “be curious”. Annika reminded us that leadership is about being adaptable in a changing world, always challenging the status quo, and continuing to look for avenues to learn and explore. By investing and growing the CLIC Economy, curiosity is generating value for clients and driving change.
According to Bloomberg, ESG assets may hit US$53 trillion by 2025, representing 15% growth and a third of global assets under management. Coming from a finance background in Canada’s Energy sector, I never really felt the need to consider these topics. Nor did I understand the reasons why they are so important. My MBA experience and discussions with leaders like Annika have completely flipped my thinking. Now I’m so inspired to be part of sustainable finance.
What I continue to learn is that stepping up and solving today’s problems isn’t only about putting out fires. It’s also about risk mitigation and capturing the opportunities of tomorrow.