Arabesque brings AI to the investment world

By Beverly Chandler, AlphaQ.world

Dr Yasin Rosowsky is Head of Artificial Intelligence Research at Arabesque, the ESG asset management firm that uses machine learning and big data to evaluate the performance and sustainability of listed companies.

Arabesque featured in an interview in AlphaQ with its founder and CEO, Omar Selim, back in 2015. At the time, he spoke about the firm’s proprietary technology Arabesque S-Ray, a tool that allows investors to monitor the sustainability performance of approximately 7,000 listed corporations worldwide.

By leveraging machine learning and big data, S-Ray’s technology systematically combines over 200 ESG metrics with news signals from over 50,000 sources across 15 languages enabling greater transparency into corporate behaviour and management.

“S-Ray takes the inspiration of its name from the impact the X-Ray had on medicine”, says Rosowsky. “It’s our way of looking beneath the surface of a company, and analysing its non-financial information.”

Arabesque S-Ray is the first tool of its kind to rate companies on the normative principles of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative established by the late UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2000 with Georg Kell, who is now Arabesque’s Chairman.

One of the main features of S-Ray is that the tool works in almost real time, updating scores and incorporating news-based information through over 30,000 media articles daily.

“Our mission as a firm has always been to mainstream sustainable investment, so we took a decision two years ago to make our S-Ray technology available to the market.  We opened it up,” Rosowsky says. “We now provide the scores to other institutional investors and managers who want aggregated, streamlined ESG data at the touch of a button, and to corporations who want to integrate sustainability information into their decision-making processes.”

The firm licenses its S-Ray data scores to a wide range of clients across the global financial landscape, including State Street, BNY Mellon, the Japanese Government Pension Fund and FactSet.

 “The integration of sustainability across all of our investment processes is in part aimed at minimising tail risk events,” Rosowsky says. “It’s not necessarily a generator of short term price behaviour, but can be a good indicator of issues within a company and long-term risk-adjusted returns. Some of the biggest corporate scandals in recent years have been picked up by S-Ray, therefore eliminating those companies automatically from our investment universe.”

Another key component of Arabesque’s flagship Systematic strategy is a sophisticated portfolio optimisation method where 1,600 signals per stock are analysed to determine its strength, together with market momentum. A risk management system is built in, which allocates between cash and equity to balance exposure to fluctuations in the market.
“The quantitative, rules-based strategy looks at momentum, with our technology able to extract a good indication of where the trends lie. The risk management system helps us to minimise drawdowns,” he says.

The long-only Arabesque Systematic, a UCITS fund, has returned +10.22 per cent per annum since inception in 2014, and has been awarded a 5-star Morningstar Rating. Last year, the firm also launched Arabesque Systematic USA, a 40 Act fund that applies the same investment strategy to listed US equities.

The last couple of years have seen Arabesque working on building a new artificial intelligence (AI) engine, with the aim of launching a new fund based on that engine.

“At its core, it is a massively distributed network, which connects many different data sources with algorithmic models and machine learning algorithms. Its focus is to answer a single question: ‘should we invest in this stock or not?’ We ask our engine to look at the vast array of complex relationships exhibited within the financial markets and come up with investment decisions.”

The network has over a billion nodes, and engrained within each node are fundamental data, market data, analysts’ reports, and price information. All nodes are connected and are constantly processing.

“It’s computing in six different data centres around Europe to come up with the investment decisions,” Rosowsky explains. “Currently, this represents 1,000 machines working concurrently but we have capacity for 10,000 plus due to its seamlessly scalable architecture.”

“This is new,” Rosowsky says. “It is an evolving and adapting system. Our long-term goal is general AI.”

Narrow AI is the type of machine learning algorithms that solve a very specific problem, but general AI is what many people first think of when you say ‘artificial intelligence’, with computers approaching human intelligence.

 “Many people are now embracing AI and entrusting it in their own lives, whether it is in transportation, security or infrastructure, or at home through something like Alexa or Google Home. And we are seeing the beginnings of this now in the investment world too.”



Un foro de ideas para mujeres del siglo XXI (A think tank for women in the 21st Century)

Nace el primer 'think tank' para impulsar el talento femenino en el ámbito económico: Woman Forward

Woman Forward, the first think tank for boosting the talent of women in the business born.

El Pais, 19 July 2018

 EVG PEXELS

EVG PEXELS

Este miércoles 18 de julio ha empezado a andar el primer think tank para impulsar el talento femenino en el ámbito económico, como lo denomina la presidenta y fundadora de la Fundación Woman Forward, Mirian Izquierdo. Los objetivos de este foro de pensamiento en el que participan cerca de una treintena de directivos son sensibilizar a los líderes empresariales de la necesidad de promover la presencia de la mujer en los puestos de máxima responsabilidad en las empresas españolas y así poder cumplir con la cuota del 30% que marca la Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV) para 2020.

Wednesday, July 18th, marked the inception of Woman Forward, a think tank for boosting the talents of women in business, with Mirian Izquierdo as President and Founder. The objective of this new think tank, in which about thirty executives participate, is to sensitize business leaders to the need for promoting women to top leadership positions in Spanish companies, and thus be able to comply with the 30% quota set for 2020 by the National Securities Market Commission, a Spanish government agency responsible for the financial regulation of the securities markets.

Para empezar, “los Principios para el Empoderamiento de las Mujeres están asociados al lema La igualdad es un negocio”, tal y como recuerda frecuentemente el director del Pacto Global de Naciones Unidas, Georg Kell. De hecho, España podría mejorar entre un 15% su PIB hasta 2025 con la incorporación paritaria del talento femenino, según las investigaciones de McKinsey, obteniendo 110.000 millones de euros adicionales hasta 2025, explica Ana Guzmán, consejera delegada de Aberdeen Management para el sur de Europa.

For starters, "The Principles for the Empowerment of Women go hand-in-hand with the slogan 'Equality Means Business", as often mentioned by Georg Kell, Founder of the United Nations Global Compact. In fact, Spain could improve its GDP by 15% until 2025 with the equal participation of female talent, according to studies by McKinesy, thus gaining an additional 110,000 million Euros until 2025, explains Ana Guzman, CEO of Aberdeen Management for Southern Europe.

The article is in Spanish

Government Pension Investment Fund of Japan (GPIF) Signs Agreement to Use Arabesque S-Ray®

PRNewsire.co.uk, 18 May 2018, NEWS PROVIDED BYArabesque 

LONDON, May 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Arabesque today announced an agreement to provide the world's largest pension fund, the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), with ESG data through its proprietary technology Arabesque S-Ray®.

     (Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/604920/Arabesque_Logo.jpg )

S-Ray® is an algorithm-based tool that analyses the sustainability performance of the world's largest listed corporations using self-learning quantitative models and data scores, and will be used for ESG measurement by GPIF.

The technology works by systematically combining over 500 ESG metrics with news signals from over 50,000 sources across 15 languages. It is the first tool of its kind to rate companies on the normative principles of the United Nations Global Compact: Human Rights, Labour Rights, the Environment, and Anti-Corruption (GC Score). Additionally, S-Ray® provides an industry-specific assessment of companies' performance on financially material sustainability criteria (ESG Score). Both scores are combined with a preferences filter that assesses a company's business involvements. 

With USD $1.4 trillion under management, GPIF is increasing its commitment to ESG investment having become a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in 2015.

Georg Kell, Chairman of Arabesque, said: "Driven by investor demand, technology and big data, ESG investing is gaining momentum globally, and particularly in Japan. We are delighted that the Government Pension Investment Fund will utilise Arabesque S-Ray®, our ESG data aggregator tool, to measure and analyse the impact of its portfolios going forward. GPIF is highly influential across the region and internationally, and their shift towards ESG integration will be noted by investors around the world."

John Ruggie, Professor in Human Rights and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, said: "ESG investing is one of the fastest growing segments in the investment universe, as innovative investors have come to realize that concern for profits, people and the planet form an intricate and mutually reinforcing ecosystem. By using Arabesque S-Ray®, GPIF will put itself in a position to stay ahead of the pack." 

Notes to editors 

For more information on Arabesque S-Ray®, please visit http://www.arabesque.com/s-ray

Arabesque is regulated by the FCA in London.

SOURCE Arabesque

 

Stock Exchanges Around the World Ring the Bell for Gender Equality

we principles.org (Women Empowerment Principles)

(New York, 9 March 2015) – Stock exchanges from around the world joined UN WomenUN Global Compact and theSustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative to ring their opening or closing bells in support of gender equality and to highlight the pivotal role of the private sector in empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community.  

“From Bombay to New York, bells are ringing for gender equality,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact. “As an organizer of both the WEPs and the SSE initiative, the UN Global Compact is encouraged to see exchanges, companies, investors, Governments and the UN coming together to take on this critical issue of gender equality.  If we are to ensure women's full and effective participation, and equal opportunity at all levels of political, economic and public life, we need the full commitment and collaboration of all stakeholders.”

VW Boss Does a U-Turn on Diesel

by Sven Afhüppe and Stefan Menzel for Handelsblatt

The CEO of Volkswagen has become an unlikely voice for phasing out diesel subsidies. He suggested that the money be put toward green driving technologies instead, a proposal that met a mixed response.

 Matthias Müller, left, has a surprising message. Georg Kell, founder of the United Nations Global Compact and a VW adviser, listens. Source: Dominik Butzmann for Handelsblatt

Matthias Müller, left, has a surprising message. Georg Kell, founder of the United Nations Global Compact and a VW adviser, listens. Source: Dominik Butzmann for Handelsblatt

Some issues are sacrosanct for the German auto industry, and the subsidy on diesel fuel has traditionally been one of them. Volkswagen and its rivals have turned this €8 billion-tax break into a big selling point for diesel cars.

So it may seem surprising to hear calls for an end to that policy coming from the executive suite in Wolfsburg. But that’s exactly what Matthias Müller, Volkswagen’s CEO, suggested during an interview with Handelsblatt, saying the tax breaks should be gradually shifted toward environmentally friendly technologies.

“I’ve become convinced that we should question the sense and purpose of the diesel subsidies,” he said. “If the switch to environmentally friendly e-cars is to succeed, diesel combustion engines can’t continue to be subsidized the way they have been forever.”

Though Germany’s annual car tax is higher for diesel models, subsidies for diesel fuel generally offset those costs, since the tax on diesel is roughly 18 cents less per liter (68 cents per gallon) than on gasoline. Ending those subsidies would almost certainly reduce sales of diesel models, as well as revenues for VW and other carmakers.

My point is, how do we support the technological transition, the systemic change toward electromobility?

Particularly since 2015, when the Dieselgate affair came to light, diesel has lost its luster. Volkswagen ultimately admitted to installing illegal software on millions of diesel cars to beat emissions tests, and the company has since faced more than €20 billion of euros in fines and other costs.

Though diesel cars emit less carbon dioxide than petrol-powered models, they spew more nitrogen oxide, the toxic air pollutant at the center of the scandal over VW’s cheat devices. With a growing list of cities looking at local bans on diesel vehicles, customers are staying away: In November, diesel cars accounted for just over one-third of vehicle sales in Germany, compared to nearly 45 percent a year ago, according to government figures.

Mr. Müller told Handelsblatt that blanket bans would have serious consequences for Germany, and that politicians and carmakers should do everything possible to avoid them. The Volkswagen CEO instead endorsed a blue-sticker scheme for cars with acceptable levels of nitrogen oxide emissions. “Only those that are under [the limit] will be allowed to drive in cities in the future,” Mr. Müller said.

Environmental activists involved in efforts to control urban air pollution have long been calling for an end to diesel subsidies. Berlin’s annual budget for investments in electromobility is about €1 billion ($1.18 billion), but the tax breaks for diesel cost the government eight times that amount every year, according to Maria Krautzberger, the president of Germany’s federal environment agency, UBA.

Despite those numbers, Ms. Krautzberger has been unable to get politicians on board, and even Chancellor Angela Merkel has rebuffed calls for an end to the policy. Mr. Müller is the first CEO of a German carmaker to suggest that the government consider doing exactly that.

Volkswagen, he said, would be able to withstand the hit on sales of diesel models without having to worry about the company’s survival. “The past two years have shown that we’re quite a financially resilient company,” Mr. Müller told Handelsblatt.

But the VW CEO is likely to face resistance from elsewhere in the industry. In recent months, his competitors have restated their long-term commitment to producing diesel cars, with BMW boss Harald Krüger vowing to continue making them.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said the technology is critical to helping meet climate protection targets, since they emit less CO2 than petrol-powered cars. The head of Germany’s automotive industry association, VDA, made a similar argument at the IAA motor show in September. “Modern diesel is indispensable to reaching carbon dioxide goals in Europe,” Matthias Wissmann said.

Starting in 2020, manufacturers will be required to pay penalties if the average CO2 output of the cars they sell in Europe exceeds 95 grams per kilometer. In VW’s case, every gram above that limit would cost the company €400 million.

 Matthias Müller became boss of VW days after the carmaker admitted to manipulating 11 million diesel cars worldwide. He previously led sports carmaker Porsche, part of VW Group.   Source: Dominik Butzmann for Handelsblatt

Matthias Müller became boss of VW days after the carmaker admitted to manipulating 11 million diesel cars worldwide. He previously led sports carmaker Porsche, part of VW Group. 

Source: Dominik Butzmann for Handelsblatt

The fact that electric cars produce zero direct CO2 emissions gives the automotive industry all the more reason to embrace electromobility. By 2025, it’s estimated that electric cars will represent about a quarter of all vehicle sales.

Yet despite the billions of euros that carmakers are investing in electric cars, there’s a critical lack of infrastructure to support them, such as charging stations. “My point is, how do we support the technological transition, the systemic change toward electromobility?” Mr. Müller asked. “Cutting diesel subsidies, and in exchange incentives for electric cars would be the right signal.”

As it looks to repair its brand, VW has done a good deal of soul-searching on the diesel issue. A year after its emissions-rigging scandal first came to light, the carmaker set up a Sustainability Council to advise it on matters such as climate protection.

Chairman Georg Kell told Handelsblatt that he was skeptical at first about VW’s commitment to learning the hard lessons from Dieselgate. “In the end, I decided to participate,” he said. “Because I view the work of the Sustainability Council as a huge chance to see Europe’s largest industrial company through the transformation toward a new, better time.”

Mr. Kell said VW has an opportunity to lead the charge on the diesel subsidy issue, though he acknowledged that the tax break wouldn’t vanish overnight. “I do ask myself, though, why diesel is still subsidized in most European countries and at the same time politicians wonder why electric vehicle sales aren’t progressing quickly enough,” he said.

Mr. Müller said both private and commercial customers have grown accustomed to those privileges. “There’s no question that tax-related subsidies have made it much easier to sell diesel cars in Germany,” he said. The VW CEO pointed to the need for a more intensive but less ideological dialogue with politicians on the issue.

“Today there’s a need for a high degree of cognitive flexibility,” Mr. Müller said. “Anyone who doesn’t have it will lose – in business and in politics.”

Auto industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer told news agency DPA he was impressed with Mr. Müller’s suggestion, saying he hadn’t expected such a proposal from the industry. “Finally, someone’s made the suggestion,” he said. Mr. Dudenhöffer, who heads the CAR center at Duisberg-Essen University, said he believed the proposal could give e-cars a much-needed boost.

Reactions were more mixed from politicians. Oliver Kirscher, deputy floor leader of the Green Party, said in a media interview that the next government should pursue Mr. Müller’s proposal. But the floor leader of the pro-business FDP party, Michael Theurer, criticized the blue-sticker scheme proposal, saying this opened up a whole new can of worms. He told Handelsblatt that VW was responsible for the Dieselgate scandal, which had proved costly for German car drivers.

Criticism also came from the industry, with one manager from a VW rival asking why the CEO had opened up a whole new set of problems. Such alarm in the sector is unsurprising as companies struggle to switch to e-car production. Carmakers are plunging billions into the transition to electric and some, including BMW and VW, have committed to generating up to a quarter of their sales with electric vehicles by 2025.

But this is a risky investment with ripples that go beyond carmakers as critical infrastructure is still lacking, from charging points to energy suppliers. Without this, the carmakers will not be able to achieve these sales targets. But if the government does switch the subsidy from diesel to electric, that would go a long way to helping.

The New Frontier in Sustainable Investing: Interview of Omar Selim

Interview by Leslie Norton for Barraon's

Omar Selim.jpg

Omar Selim founded Arabesque Asset Management to invest sustainably. He built the most comprehensive database to date—and he’s using it to beat the market.

Arabesque Asset Management is a relative newcomer to sustainable investing, but the young firm has made a big splash. Steered by Omar Selim, 54, who led the European firm’s 2013 buyout from Barclays (where he was a top banker), Arabesque manages $150 million, including two European quantitative funds that have outperformed their benchmarks. The board is a who’s who of the sustainable universe, including chairman Georg Kell, the founder of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and Barbara Krumsiek, the former CEO of socially responsible powerhouse Calvert Investments, as well as academics with specialties including finance, neuroscience, and computing.

 

 

Businesses Are Facing a New Reality. These Are the Ones That Are Succeeding..

By Peter Lacy for Fortune.com/Commentary - The Circular Economy

 Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images for UN Global Compact

Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images for UN Global Compact

Evidence is mounting to show that the frequency and ferocity of extreme weather events is intensifying on a global scale. From severe droughts to powerful storms, we are living in an increasingly changeable, uncertain, and unpredictable world.

Arabesque's Georg Kell: ESG is Not a Fad

 Picture (c) NordSIP

Picture (c) NordSIP

Stockholm (NordSIP) – The opening keynote speech at the ESG Integration Summit hosted in Stockholm by Nasdaq and Skytop Strategies on 29 August was given by Georg Kell, Chairman at London-based asset manager Arabesque and Founder of the UN Global Compact. He spoke about the journey of sustainability into the financial world, insisting in particular on its recent acceleration. Even if the progress may have seemed painstakingly slow for those on the front line, Kell finds that by stepping back one can see how incremental changes over time have led to real paradigm shifts.  The UN Global Compact, a United Nations initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, was officially announced 17 years ago. It took about 15 years for finance to take notice, but the trend turned dramatically about two years ago. According to Kell, “something suddenly clicked”. Data was made available and a correlation was established between good ESG and long-term financial performance. In 2015, Arabesque and Oxford University jointly published a study, “From the stockholder to the stakeholder” which highlighted how sustainability could improve financial returns. The interest for this paper was unprecedented. The financial community seems to have finally become receptive, but will ESG retain its attention beyond the next change in market trend?

For Kell, there are tree fundamental forces which explain why this new sustainability movement in finance is not just a temporary trend. The first one is technology. Technology has enabled an irreversible increase in transparency. It has never been easier and cheaper to gather and process data, which makes it more difficult to hide issues. Problems must be recognized for what they are and solutions therefore must be explored. The second one has to do with the discovery of boundaries on a planetary level. The need for the planet’s population to compose effectively with natural resources will not disappear; to the contrary, it is likely to increase. The third force Kell talks about is more complex: he mentions governance changes at a high level, “how human societies worldwide are increasingly empowered, challenging established institutions and our old way of life”. This change was enabled by network effects and the sharing of open source ideas.

“We have now reached a point where it is possible to create real catalytic synergies”, Kell proposes. Before, there was a clear separation between the role of governments, who were responsible for society’s well being and the preservation of common resources, and the role of business and corporations, whose goal was to purely maximize their economic profit for their shareholders, with a short-term time horizon. Now the boundaries between public and private interests are increasingly blurred. “The future success will lie in the ability to recognize the overlap,” says Kell.

ESG Meets Quantitative Analysis

Financial Advisor Magazine

"The job of Arabesque S-Ray is to move money from the bottom of the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) value chain to the top, by assessing the sustainability performance of over 4,000 companies worldwide. This will help investors to take action and require corporations to think about their future place in that value chain." That's Omar Selim, founder and CEO of Arabesque, talking about the firm's proprietary analytics tool that is now available to U.S. investors, along with investor shares of the Arabesque Systematic USA Fund.   

VW Leader on Accelerating in Midst of Crisis

Korea Joongang Daily/KIM JEE-HEE

 “It takes a crisis for big companies to change direction,” says Georg Kell, chairman of VW’s international Sustainability Council, which began in September. [PARK SANG-MOON]

“It takes a crisis for big companies to change direction,” says Georg Kell, chairman of VW’s international Sustainability Council, which began in September. [PARK SANG-MOON]

“Crisis is an accelerator for change,” says Georg Kell, chairman of Volkswagen’s two-month-old international Sustainability Council, set up to counter the automaker’s tainted reputation after its widespread emissions-rigging scandal.

When he sat down for an interview on Dec. 2 at the Conrad Hotel in Yeouido, southwestern Seoul, he seemed excited. “I personally really like crisis,” he said.

Volkswagen has undertaken radical moves such as dismissing 30,000 staff members and replacing them with IT engineers, aiming for a rapid shift to electrification and digitization of transportation. The carmaker also plans to build a battery plant in Germany, which would be a first in the country.

“It takes a crisis for big companies to change direction,” Kell said. “The CEO of Volkswagen actually put it quite nicely during one of the internal discussions. He said, ‘Look, we would have done this change probably anyway in five or six years’ times but because of the crisis we are now forced to accelerate. The more I think about it the better it is, because if we prepare the future then it actually makes sense to start earlier.’

“So it [the sustainability council] is a serious organization.” 

The council launched in September as an immediate reaction to recover from the automaker’s emissions scandal and to “critically and destructively engage with CEO leadership on the issues of climate change and related governance issues,” Kell says. Among nine experts invited to join, Kell was appointed to lead the group for his long career of pursuing sustainability management. 

He is the founding director of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, launched in 2000, and is now Vice Chairman of Arabesque Partners, an Anglo-German asset management firm that integrates environmental, social and governance data with investment strategies.

Every year since 2001, Kell has been named among the “100 Most Influential in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere Institute, an Arizona-based organization that defines, measures and promotes corporate ethics.

“Within the corporate world, over the last 20 years, step-by-step changes have been introduced. Many companies are still slow and very early in the learning curve but … more and more companies luckily realize that we have to move towards low carbon, resource efficiency is a good thing and that treating your workers well actually makes sense to build a positive brand, positive engagement,” Kell says.

Sustainability, in his terms, means a “business is fully conscious in how they impact the lives of people and the natural environment.” Until recently, businesses lacked sustainability, as there was little understanding of how the world is small and we are all connected, according to Kell.

“On average, companies which perform better on environment, social and governance outperform companies that are not doing very well [in those factors.],” Kell said. “This is a fundamental game changer because it means … those who are lagging will be punished indirectly by the market.”

As for Volkswagen, while it has long been a popular brand in Korea, its market share in the local import car market halved to 7.09 percent in October from 14.67 percent last year, while Audi also fell from 13.34 percent to 8.62 percent, according to data from Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association. 

When asked to assess how Korean companies are doing in sustainable management, he said, “Korean companies are actually, by global comparison, fairly strong on a number of issues, where they seem to be lagging behind is a little bit on the governance issue, which is a critical one in many countries.”

According to Kell, Korea is very strong in environment and resource efficiency thanks to highly developed tech industries. Social aspects are partly strong as there is “very high level of self-education and social cohesion.” Korea needs to develop in governance and information disclosure issues, he said.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr

Volkswagen pumps €20m into Sustainability Council and low-carbon aspirations

edie newsroom

The company’s recently established Sustainability Council elected founding director of the UN Global Compact Georg Kell to act as chair as Volskwagen set its agenda for future planning related to emissions reductions at the Council’s inaugural meeting on Monday (24 October).

Die ewig Unterschätzten - Performance von nachhaltigen Geldanlagen

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Investoren, die nachhaltige Anlagen links liegenlassen, begründen dies oft mit der Sorge, auf Rendite verzichten zu müssen. Die Fakten sprechen eine andere Sprache.

English translation of the first paragraph:

Investors who ignore sustainable investing often justify their actions with a concern that it might not yield returns. The facts clearly prove otherwise. Businesses increasingly pay attention to ESG issues and good governance. This is due partly to a genuine belief that these are important factors for success, and partly due to increasing outside pressure. Investors as well as the general public are becoming more aware of aspects other than financial figures or conventional reporting. Moreover, regulatory changes guide corporations toward more sustainable behavior.

'A Quiet Revolution' On Green Finance With China Taking The Lead

by Dina Medland, Forbes

Leadership stared us in the face via a video-link to China at a global conference on responsible investment held last week in Singapore,  ranked second recently in a list of global finance hubs.

Dr Ma Jun, Chief Economist at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), giving a Keynote Address on efforts at establishing a ‘green’ and sustainable financial system, quietly mentioned that China is moving towards mandatory disclosure of environmental information by companies.

Georg Kell, vice-chairman of Arabesque Partners, was founder and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, for 15 years. He spoke about the importance of listening to the needs of what he called Generation S – for ‘sustainability – the millennials, and listening to what they value. 

 

 

Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia and founder of UN Global Compact open Responsible Finance Summit

cpifinancial.net

 

Following the Governor of Bank Negara's address, Mr. Georg Kell, Vice Chairman of Arabesque Partners and Founder and former Executive Director of the UN Global Compact delivered a keynote address to an audience of more than 400 leaders from across the world. Drawing from his experience in developing an initiative to implement universal sustainability principles that now has more than 12,000 signatories in more than 170 countries, Mr. Kell spoke of the need for forge a more inclusive and global responsible finance industry.

Georg Kell named one of 2015's 100 Most Influential People In Business Ethics

Ethisphere

Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, announced on 7 January 2015 its annual 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics ranking. The honor recognizes not only those who have devoted their careers to furthering better business behavior but also those who understand the impact companies have on improving the world and have made efforts to increase the quality of life for humankind


Founding Executive Director of the UN Global Compact to deliver Keynote Address for Upcoming Responsible Finance Summit

Zawya Thomson Reuters

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - RFI Founation, organizer of the Responsible Finance Summit, is excited to announce that Georg kell, now Vice-Chairman of the world's first ESG quant fund, Arabesque Partners, and founding Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, will speak at the Summit hosted by  Bank Negara Malaysia.

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Georg Kell, Arabesque Partners, board vice-chairman

Financial Times

At our meeting in New York, Georg Kell hands me two new business cards. One is for the United Nations Global Compact, which Mr Kell founded in 2000 to promote corporate labour and human rights standards. Having just stepped down as executive director, he is now its senior policy adviser. The other announces that he is board vice-chairman at Arabesque Partners, a sustainability-focused investment firm. This card is made of decidedly thicker paper.