SDG Hive Sessions

Wednesday 6th December 2023, 09:00 - 16:30, DIFC Academy, Auditorium 2, Level 2
Thursday 7th December 2023, 09:00 - 16:30, DIFC Academy, Auditorium 2, Level 2

During COP28, our SDG Hive series provides a platform for high-impact discussions around select COP28 themes. The sessions build upon the SDG Hive from our annual Ethical Finance Global summit, and provide finance practitioners with the skills they need to address the climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

6th December, Wednesday

Financing the Just TransitionIn Partnership with S&P Global

» Transition Finance and Driving a Sustainable EconomyIn partnership with OMFIF, 09:30-10:45

This session will focus on the role of MDB’s, policymakers and the private sector in driving transition finance to support a sustainable global economy.

» The Energy Transition: Supply, Demand, and the Investor PerspectiveIn partnership with CarbonTracker & PRI, 11:15-12:30

Against the backdrop of an escalating climate crisis and the need to fund an accelerated energy transition, this session will showcase supply-side and demand-side themes, as well as consider them through an investor/stakeholder lens.

Climate LeadershipIn partnership with Chartered Banker Institute, DIFC Academy and CISI

» The Power of Leadership and Culture to Navigate Climate Change13:30-14:30

Organisational change begins with innovative and inspiring leadership. In this session, we will hear from leaders and educators who consistently inspire and innovate in tackling climate change and planning for the Just Transition.

Financing Nature

» The Climate-Nature Nexus: Aligning Capital Markets with Planetary BoundariesIn partnership with PlanetTracker, 14:30-15:00

Data and guiding principles are key tools in ensuring market alignment with global needs. Providers face unique challenges in creating industry-specific products with the flexibility to be internationally-applicable, adaptive to an ever changing litigation landscape, and reactive to new technologies.

» Nature and Biodiversity: Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture15:30-16:30

The consequences of climate change will first impact those least responsible. Practical solutions are needed to finance nature and biodiversity, accelerate sustainable agriculture, and define investable projects.

7th December, Thursday

SDG Investing: Innovation and Opportunity

» SDG Investing: Innovation and OpportunityIn partnership with MSCI, 09:30-10:45

As investment plays a critical role in financing a fairer future and meeting global climate goals, this session will explore the unique opportunities and challenges for asset managers in aligning investments with the UN SDGs.

Green Finance CentresIn Partnership with WAIFC and TheCityUK

» Empowering Financial Centres to Drive Sustainable FinanceIn partnership with WAIFC and TheCityUK, 11:15-12:15

As the design of COP is intentionally collaborative, this session focuses on the impacts of financial centres as catalysts for SDG alignment. Bridging public and private interests, financial centres are uniquely situated to have local and international impact.

Africa: Climate Resilience, Financial Inclusion, and Achieving the SDGs

» Financial Inclusion: Long Term Solutions to Addressing Climate Challenges13:15-14:15

The Just Transition can only be achieved if social and economic issues are addressed alongside environmental concerns. Financial inclusion not only fosters climate resilience, it creates opportunities for market development and economic growth. This session will explore the interplay between addressing climate change and financial inclusion.

» In Conversation with Satya TripathiIn partnership with GASP, 14:45-15:15

Climate resilience is a global challenge, requiring a collaborative, unified solution. Global partnerships create space and opportunity to share differing perspectives and build a better future together. In this session Satya Tripathi discusses best practice approaches, innovations, and challenges of finance flows.

» Bridging the Divide: Channelling Finance to Africa15:30-16:30

Investment in Africa is investment in the future. In this session, unique regional perspectives will offer global insights regarding investment opportunities and existing challenges in Africa.

Session 1: Financing the Just Transition

David Pitt-Watson
Global Steering Group, Scottish Green Finance Taskforce, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

David Pitt-Watson

Vice Chair, S&P Global Sustainable1

Dr Richard Matthison

Lord Mayor of the City of London

The Rt Hon. Michael Mainelli

OMFIF

Emma McGarthy

Policy & Risk Associate Director, Strategy, DFSA

Anita Wieja-Caruba

Global Head of ESG Capital Markets Strategy, S&P Global

Mona Naqvi

Head of Sustainability and ESG, Nigeria Soverign Investment Authority

Nana Maidugu

Founder & Director, CarbonTracker

Mark Campanale

Head of Sustainable Finance EMEA, ING Salman Siddiqui, Jupiter Asset Management

Robert Spruijt

Sustainability Manager, Phoenix Group 

William Wollerton

David Pitt-Watson

Global Steering Group, Scottish Green Finance Taskforce, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

David Pitt-Watson

David is a leading thinker and practitioner in responsible investment, and serves as a Member of GEFI’s Global Steering Group and Chair of the Scottish Green Finance Taskforce. Born and brought up in Scotland, he was co-founder, and CEO of Hermes Focus Funds & Equity Ownership Service. These became the largest responsible investment group of any fund manager in the world. Throughout his career he has been deeply involved in policy, particularly in the field of corporate governance and financial market regulation. He has led numerous initiatives to improve the performance of the financial system. At GEFI, David is the Chair of the Scottish Taskforce for Green and Sustainable Financial Services, for which GEFI is the secretariat.

Vice Chair, S&P Global Sustainable1

Dr Richard Matthison

Dr. Richard Mattison is Vice Chair of S&P Global Sustainable1 and Chief Executive Officer of S&P Global Trucost.

S&P Global Sustainable1 is the single source of intelligence on sustainability. Our comprehensive coverage across global markets combined with in-depth ESG intelligence provides financial institutions, corporations and governments with an unmatched level of clarity and confidence.

S&P Global Trucost assesses and prices risks relating to climate change, water, pollution and natural resource constraints, enabling companies and financial institutions to understand exposure to environmental factors, inform resilience and identify the transformative solutions of tomorrow.

Richard is an expert in sustainable finance and over 22 years he has advised various UN bodies, governments, financial intuitions, companies and NGOs on how to integrate ESG, climate change and natural capital analysis into their decision making. Richard was a member of the EU High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, providing key recommendations for Europe’s ground-breaking Sustainable Finance Action Plan. He has led numerous ground-breaking projects including creating the first portfolio carbon risk assessment for Henderson and the UK Environment Agency, launching the first carbon efficient index with S&P Dow Jones Indices, leading the first global assessment of corporate environmental externalities for the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, and developing the world’s first Environmental Profit and Loss account for PUMA.

Richard is a Board Member of the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance Data Council, a member of the Global Advisory Council of the Oxford Smith School Stranded Assets Programme, the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital, the TNFD Forum and the Hong Kong Green Finance Association. He is an Advisory Board Member for IUCN Finance for Nature initiative and the Capitals Coalition. Previously, Richard was a strategy consultant and began his career as a neuroscientist. He holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Edinburgh and is an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Lord Mayor of the City of London

The Rt Hon. Michael Mainelli

Michael co-founded Z/Yen in 1994, the City of London’s leading think-tank, to promote societal advance through better finance and technology after a career as a research scientist in aerospace & cartography then accountancy-firm partner and director of Ministry of Defence research. A qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin, Michael gained his PhD at London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor.   Michael’s clients include banks, exchanges, insurers, policy makers, governments, technology and scientific firms. Michael is Emeritus Professor & Trustee at Gresham College where he created the London Finance initiative asking “when would we know our financial system is working?”

Michael is a Liveryman, Worshipful Company of World Traders; Freeman, Watermen & Lightermen; and member of the Broad Street Ward Club (Chairman 2004-2005) and Lime Street Ward Club.

Michael is a signatory to the City of London Corporation Members’ Diversity Charter: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/about-the-city/how-we-make-decisions/Pages/corporate-governance.aspx.

OMFIF

Emma McGarthy

Emma is Head of the Sustainable Policy Institute. She is responsible for leading and managing the team to deliver the institute’s overall business objectives through a pipeline of reports, journal publications and events. Emma develops the strategy and editorial scope across these projects and supports senior engagement with central banks, regulators, financial services across the sustainable finance space.

Prior to joining OMFIF, Emma worked for several years as a conference producer, developing and running international conferences in the tech, legal and finance sectors, leading on content, research and building key industry relationships. Before this, she was a team leader for a local community development project based in Kenya.

Emma has a MSc in International Development from the University of Amsterdam, and a BSc in History and American Studies from Sussex University.

Policy & Risk Associate Director, Strategy, DFSA

Anita Wieja-Caruba

Anita Wieja-Caruba is an Associate Director at the DFSA and has been with the company for close to ten years. During this time, as part of its Strategy, Policy and Risk division, she has been instrumental in developing the DFSA’s sustainable finance and Environmental, Social and Governance strategy. As part of this work, she organised the DFSA-led Task Force on Sustainable Finance and represented the DFSA at various fora such as the Network on Greening the Financial Services, the UN’s Sustainable Insurance Forum, the UAE Working Group on Sustainable Finance and the Dubai Sustainable Finance Working Group.

She has also led projects on implementing various international standards in the DIFC, including the recovery and resolution framework and the Basel III reforms for the banking industry. In addition, she works on a range of regulatory subjects such as on investment funds, capital markets, benchmark reforms, client assets protection, derivatives and netting, insolvency law, and compliance framework.

Prior to joining the DFSA, Anita worked at the European Commission as advisor to Commissioner Michel Barnier on a package of financial reforms following the global financial crisis. She also worked as part of the Commission’s DG FISMA technical team on financial market infrastructures and derivatives reforms, securities financing transactions such as repo and securities lending. She represented the Commission at the FSB working group on Shadow Banking and the ECB working group on securities financing transactions.

Ms Wieja-Caruba qualified as a solicitor in the City of London (King & Wood Mallesons LLP, ex SJ Berwin), following which she worked at BNP Paribas CIB. She holds diplomas from BPP Law School (UK), University of Cambridge (UK), Harvard Law School (US), College of Europe (Belgium) and University of Silesia (Poland). She is fluent in English, French, Polish and Italian.

Global Head of ESG Capital Markets Strategy, S&P Global

Mona Naqvi

Mona is Global Head of ESG Capital Markets Strategy at S&P Global, responsible for the commercial rollout of S&P Global’s growing ESG product-suite. Prior to this, Mona was Head of the North American ESG Index business for S&P Dow Jones Indices, where she helped spearhead the launch of the flagship S&P 500® ESG Index and secured partnerships to establish a flourishing ecosystem of ETFs, mutual funds, and derivatives. Mona also served as Director for S&P Global Trucost, advising North America’s biggest institutional investors on aligning their portfolios with climate-related frameworks and goals.

Before joining S&P, Mona led the North American presence of the 2° Investing Initiative, a prominent sustainable finance think tank, and served as an Advisor to the Obama Administration on climate policy, helping to execute the strategy around the Clean Power Plan. Prior to relocating to the US, Mona was a Junior Economist at the UK’s Bank of England and stood for public office in UK local elections as an Official Party Election Candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

Mona graduated Summa Cum Laude in Government and Economics from the London School of Economics (LSE) and has published extensively on sustainable finance topics. As the 2019 recipient of the FiNext Excellence in Finance Leadership Award, Women in Asset Management Awards’ 2021 Index Leader of the Year Award and 2021 Next Generation Leader of the Year, she is a recognized sustainable finance expert, industry educator, and a regular market commentator on ESG investing trends. Mona also serves on the Governance Council of the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), which aims to bring public health, safety, and wellbeing to the forefront of today’s ESG frameworks and standards.

Head of Sustainability and ESG, Nigeria Soverign Investment Authority

Nana Maidugu

Investment professional with experience in investment appraisal and project implementation. Passionate about climate action and sustainable development. Responsible for driving NSIA’s sustainability strategy & climate initiatives, as well as implementation of our ESG framework. Previous experience in Management Consulting (Project Management, Strategy Articulation, Policy Analysis, and Program Development for private and public sector entities). Vast experience in the delivery and implementation of key industrialization initiatives such as the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (NIPCAC).

Founder & Director, CarbonTracker

Mark Campanale

Mark is the founder of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a non-profit think tank with offices in the US and UK, having enjoyed a career in sustainable finance for 20 years. Carbon Tracker is best known for its work on ‘stranded assets’ and the ‘carbon bubble’ and providing transition analysis for the members of Climate Action 100+  These concepts are also used by the fossil fuel divestment movement; and for investors & regulators, in how to set decarbonisation pathways for the fossil fuel sector.

Prior to forming Carbon Tracker, Mark had twenty years experience in sustainable financial markets. Mark is a co-founder of some of the first responsible investment funds at Jupiter Asset Management, NPI, AMP Capital, and Henderson Global Investors. Mark has served on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development working group on capital markets leading up to the 1992 Earth Summit; was a Member of the Steering Committee of UNEP Financial Sector Initiative (1999-2003);  founder of the UK Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum (UKSIF), 1990-2006; and is now on the Advisory Board of GFANZ, the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero.  A member of the advisory council of the Moore Foundation’s Conservation & Markets Initiative.  He is an Advisor to Faith Invest; a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s sustainable finance programme; and in 2021 and winner of the CEREs/Trillum Capital Lifetime Achievement Award on Sustainable Finance.

Mark has a BA in Politics & Economic History and an M.Sc in Agricultural Economics.

Head of Sustainable Finance EMEA, ING Salman Siddiqui, Jupiter Asset Management

Robert Spruijt

Robert is heading the Sustainable Finance business for ING in the EMEA region. The Sustainable Finance team is covering sustainable lending, Sustainable Structured Finance, supports Debt Capital Markets on the Green/ Social & Sustainable Bonds structuring and supports the Sustainable Investments team.

Robert started his career in carbon trading and energy derivatives. Thereafter he moved into renewable energy financing, where together with a local team he set up the business in India and thereafter in the wider Asia- Pacific region. Robert joined ING in 2016 in the Energy Sector team and stepped into his current role in 2019.

Robert holds a MSc in Business Administration (Major: Finance & Investments) from the Rotterdam School of Management/Erasmus University and a BSc in Process Engineering from the Utrecht School of Technology.

Sustainability Manager, Phoenix Group 

William Wollerton

Will Wollerton works in the Climate Changes and Nature Team at Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. He has spent over 10 years working in financial services, most recently focused on the net zero transition at Lloyds Banking Group and now Phoenix Group. Will managed the development and publication of Phoenix Group’s Net Zero Transition Plan earlier this year and is working on driving wider system change to deliver net zero, specifically unlocking investment in climate solutions.

Session 2: Climate Leadership

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute UK

Simon Thompson

Director of Sustainability, ICAEW

Richard Spencer

President, CISI UAE National Advisory Committee

Peter Smith

Professor of Accounting, Georgetown University

Dr Jason Schloetzer

Chair, Global Steering Group

Dame Susan Rice

Dame Susan Rice, a Chartered Banker, chairs the Financial Services Culture Board and was founding chair of the Chartered Banker: Professional Standards Board. She also chairs Scottish Water, Business Stream and the Scottish Fiscal Commission, Scotland’s independent economic and fiscal forecaster.  In addition, she is Senior Independent Director of J Sainsbury, and of the North American Income Trust. The first woman to head a UK clearing bank, she was Chief Executive and Chairman of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc, then Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group.  She was previously a Non-Executive Director of the Bank of England and energy company SSE. She has helped develop approaches to social finance in the US and UK, led work on cultural and ethical standards for bankers, chaired Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group and now works with P-CAN. Previously, she was Senior Vice President at NatWest Bancorp in New York and, earlier in her career, a Dean at Yale and Colgate Universities in America and a published medical researcher. At GEFI, Susan oversees the activities as Chair of the Global Steering Group.

Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute UK

Simon Thompson

Simon Thompson was appointed Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute in 2007 after working for a number of international professional bodies and standard-setters.  He is a Fellow of the Institute and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.  

Simon is the author of Green & Sustainable Finance: Principles and Practice, published by Kogan Page. 

He chairs the UK’s Sustainable Finance Education Charter on behalf of the Department for Net Zero and Energy Security and is a Board member of the UK’s Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC). Simon is a former Vice President of the European Bank Training Network.  

Simon was awarded Honorary Doctorates by Bangor University (2022) and BPP University (2015) for his contribution to banking, business and education.  

Director of Sustainability, ICAEW

Richard Spencer

A visionary and collaborative leader with extensive experience in sustainability, social innovation and systems change. A background in investment banking, strategy consulting and sustainability. Skilled at building broad networks of business leaders, government officials and public bodies to create long-term approaches to sustainability. With experience of launching thought leadership programs, has brought together diverse stakeholders to challenge existing business models and set up financing and governance for new organisations to develop and incubate ideas.

Passionate about transforming the economy by embedding nature and society into business decision-making.

President, CISI UAE National Advisory Committee

Peter Smith

Peter is President of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment’s UAE National Advisory Committee, and a member of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority’s Capital Markets Advisory Council. Internationally, Peter is a member of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ Policy Development Committee. He represents the DFSA as a member of the steering body of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN), which brings together like-minded regulators to work on innovation in financial services.

Professor of Accounting, Georgetown University

Dr Jason Schloetzer

Professor Schloetzer earned his Ph.D. in Accounting at the University of Pittsburgh. He joined the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University as an Assistant Professor in 2008 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. Among other appointments, he has served as the Area Chair of the Department of Accounting and Business Law since 2021, the Faculty Director of the McDonough Senior Honors Thesis Program since 2023, and the Director of the AI, Analytics, and Future of Work Initiative from its founding in 2020 until becoming Area Chair in 2021. Before joining academia, Professor Schloetzer worked in the global telecommunications industry from 1997-2004.

Professor Schloetzer’s research interests include understanding how companies control and coordinate day-to-day operating activities. His diverse interdisciplinary collaborations have produced publications with scholars in accounting, operations, finance, management, and law. His research often relies on proprietary data, having collaborated on projects with firms in the technology, financial services, oil and gas, heavy vehicle manufacturing, industrial coatings, consumer products, and public relations sectors. His research has received two best paper awards and has twice been presented at the World Economic Forum. He has served as an Editor of the Journal of Management Accounting Research since 2018 and is on the editorial boards of The Accounting Review, Accounting, Organizations & Society, and Production and Operations Management. Since 2009, Professor Schloetzer has collaborated with The Conference Board’s Corporate Leadership Practice, contributing practitioner-oriented articles regarding current issues in corporate governance and CEO succession planning.

Professor Schloetzer has taught management accounting courses at all levels of the curriculum. In addition, he developed multiple courses for graduate and executive programs, including Performance as Value Creation, which focuses on measuring firm value; Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business, which explores the business risks associated with AI implementations; and Transforming Analytics Knowledge into Data-Immersed Action, which provides students a hands-on opportunity to examine the challenges associated with using machine learning to predict difficult-to-measure outcomes.

Session 3: Financing Nature

Director of Research, PlanetTracker

John Willis

Technical Lead for Data & Analytics, TNFD

James d’Ath

Director of Responsible Investment, Man Group

Imane Kabbaj

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Chief Operating Officer, Principal Global Investors

Kamal Bhatia

Global ESG and Sustainability Lead, Mercer

Cara Williams

Safe Haven Solutions

Mike Vermeij

Director of Research, PlanetTracker

John Willis

John has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry having worked in a variety of roles including research, portfolio management and trading. He has also had management roles on both the buy-side and sell-side. Prior to joining Planet Tracker, John held the position of Global Head of Research at Deutsche Asset Management and co-founded Sustainable Insight Capital Management, an asset manager of a range of equity funds for sustainability-conscious investors.

Technical Lead for Data & Analytics, TNFD

James d’Ath

James d’Ath has long been a proponent of sustainable finance, particularly from the perspective of investment. He has over twenty-five years’ experience in capital markets in roles encompassing asset management, research, product development and management. In 2016 James wanted to bridge the gap between appetite and engagement in sustainable investment so founded Sustainix, an independent advisory business to help financial institutions build greater engagement through initiative building and product development. He has worked in various guises to help develop research products which include, fundamental research, systematic asset-pricing models, multi-asset fund ranges, ESG portfolio tools, ESG ratings models and index work.

From 2019 his work has predominantly been nature related. He was commissioned by UNEP-FI to conduct the terminal review of the Natural Capital Finance Alliance Advancing Environmental Risk Management project which included the development of ENCORE and has been working with Global Canopy to create and facilitate a working group for the Aligned Accountability Project bringing together data and improving metrics on deforestation. James is working with the TNFD secretariat to support the members in technical work needed to deliver the TNFD framework. Separately he is also a contributor to the NGFS-INSPIRE study group on Biodiversity and financial stability. James has an MA in Philosophy from Edinburgh University and is currently studying part-time for a masters in Philosophy: Science and the Natural World from Exeter University.

Director of Responsible Investment, Man Group

Imane Kabbaj

Imane Kabbaj is the Director of Responsible Investment at Man Group. In her role, Imane is responsible for driving progress incorporating ESG concepts into Man Group’s responsible investment strategies, developing new ESG frameworks across asset classes, and ensuring the implementation of ESG regulations and best market practices across the relevant strategies.

Prior to joining Man Group, Imane was the Sustainable Investment Specialist at PineBridge Investments. She also held a variety of ESG and product-related roles at HSBC and London Stock Exchange Group.

Imane has a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Investor Relations.

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Omar is the Managing Director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI).

A Chartered Accountant by profession, he specialises in ethical/responsible finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services and has advised multiple governments and regulators as a leading advocate for sustainable and Islamic finance and specialises in ecosystem building. His background includes working with EY London where he qualified as a CA and was the former Head of Islamic finance.

Through his work he has established a number of initiatives including the Path to COP, finance for nature project and SDG Financial products platform with UNDP which promotes innovative financing structures for the SDGs, the Global Islamic Finance and UN SDGs Taskforce launched with UK Government and IsDB and the award winning interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration the world’s first shared values approach to finance between Islamic finance and the Church.

Omar received a BAcc from the University of Glasgow and holds select board advisory roles including the UK Islamic Finance Council and The Prince’s Trust Scotland.

Chief Operating Officer, Principal Global Investors

Kamal Bhatia

Kamal Bhatia is chief operating officer for Principal Global Investors, the global investment management business of Principal Financial Group. Bhatia has overall responsibility for the investment teams covering global equities and multi-asset strategies, operating platforms, and client advisory, along with U.S. and International distribution. He also serves as president of Principal Funds, a role he has held since joining Principal in 2019, covering U.S. Funds and International UCITS for retirement and wealth clients. Prior to joining Principal, Bhatia was CEO at OC Private Capital, a joint venture company between OppenheimerFunds and the Carlyle Group, where he focused on private credit investing. He is an industry veteran bringing significant experience in investment solutions, business strategy, client engagement, and product development across multiple global asset managers. Bhatia has worked at OppenheimerFunds, TIAA, Mellon Asset Management, and Citigroup in various leadership roles. He is a CFA charter holder and earned his bachelor’s from IIT, Kanpur (India), and master’s from Washington University in St. Louis. He serves on boards in the U.S. and Europe.

Global ESG and Sustainability Lead, Mercer

Cara Williams

Cara Williams, Senior Partner, is Global ESG and Sustainability Leader for Mercer. Located in London, Cara leads the program of work to articulate and amplify Mercer’s ESG value proposition and positioning, embed sustainability in the journey to a bright future, and drive highly-practical, relevant and value-added outcomes both internally and externally. Cara drives strategy for Mercer’s multinational and wealth management clients to deliver the best of Mercer’s broad Wealth solutions to assure positive financial outcomes for organizations, their employees and their clients. Cara presents regularly on global ESG, sustainability, diversity and investment trends.

With over 25 years of experience in the investment industry, Cara began at Mercer’s investment consulting business as Global COO in April 2005. Cara began her career in finance as a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in New York. Prior to working in the investment industry, she was responsible for budgets and logistics for US Army and NATO MWR deployments. Cara is an active mentor for external programs and internal colleagues supporting and promoting women and people of color in their careers. She is member of the Board of Directors of The German School of London.

Cara graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with a BA, and from The University of Hartford with an MBA in Finance.

Safe Haven Solutions

Mike Vermeij

Session 4: Investing in the SDGs

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Research Director MSCI Sustainability Institute, MSCI

Rumi Mahmood

Associate Director, DFSA

David Tait

Head of Sustainability Insights and Climate Strategy, abrdn

Eva Cairns

Head of Responsibility and EOS, Federated Hermes Limited

Leon Kamhi

Director & Co-founder, Global Ethical Finance Initiative

Omar Shaikh

Omar is the Managing Director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI).

A Chartered Accountant by profession, he specialises in ethical/responsible finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services and has advised multiple governments and regulators as a leading advocate for sustainable and Islamic finance and specialises in ecosystem building. His background includes working with EY London where he qualified as a CA and was the former Head of Islamic finance.

Through his work he has established a number of initiatives including the Path to COP, finance for nature project and SDG Financial products platform with UNDP which promotes innovative financing structures for the SDGs, the Global Islamic Finance and UN SDGs Taskforce launched with UK Government and IsDB and the award winning interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration the world’s first shared values approach to finance between Islamic finance and the Church.

Omar received a BAcc from the University of Glasgow and holds select board advisory roles including the UK Islamic Finance Council and The Prince’s Trust Scotland.

Research Director MSCI Sustainability Institute, MSCI

Rumi Mahmood

Rumi Mahmood is a member of the ESG Research team where his focus is primarily on analyzing funds. Previously, he was Head of Fund Research and Selection at JP Morgan – Nutmeg. Prior to that he worked at BNY Mellon in fund structuring and before that at Shell in Carbon capture and storage. Rumi received a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Manchester and holds the CFA certificate in ESG investing.

Associate Director, DFSA

David Tait

David Tait is an Associate Director of Supervision at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) where he has the responsibility for the fund management and asset management sectors. David previously worked at the UK Financial Conduct Authority where he supervised a range of sectors including investment platforms and wealth managers. He holds a practice-oriented Master’s degree in Financial Regulation from Henley Business School and is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments.

Head of Sustainability Insights and Climate Strategy, abrdn

Eva Cairns

Eva Cairns is the Head of Sustainability Insights and Climate Strategy within the Investments Vector Sustainability Group (‘IVSG’). She is responsible for leading abrdn’s Sustainability Insights team to establish abrdn’s views across our key sustainability themes, including abrdn’s climate strategy and approach to net zero. Eva has published a number of climate related papers and articles including ‘Investing in a changing climate’, our Net Zero Directed Investing strategy and she co-authored abrdn’s thought leading climate scenario analysis white paper.  She is also actively involved in climate industry initiatives to drive forward industry best practice. Before joining theIVSG, Eva worked at Standard Life Investments and managed a team of Business Analysts, focused on projects related to the investment process, risk and research. Eva joined Standard Life Investments in 2010 from Halcrow Group Ltd (now CH2M Hill), a global engineering consultancy, where she worked as an Economist focused on environmental and socio-economic impact assessment of energy and transport projects. Eva graduated with an MSc in Economics with Distinction from the University of Edinburgh where her dissertation focused on the social cost of carbon. She also obtained the Professional Risk Management (PRM) certification in 2014.

Head of Responsibility and EOS, Federated Hermes Limited

Leon Kamhi

Reporting to the CEO of Federated Hermes Limited, Leon has led the firm’s Responsibility Platform since 2014. In this role, Leon leads EOS, Federated Hermes’ stewardship service for institutional investors and all the firm’s advocacy, stewardship and ESG integration activities. This includes ensuring that investment teams across all asset classes are aware of and integrate ESG performance in investment decisions and that engagement is effectively incorporated alongside investment activities. Led by Leon, the Responsibility Office also feeds into, and challenges, the firm’s responsibility-related policies and delivery, including those relating to governance, the environment, and colleagues.

Previously, Leon was responsible for the development and delivery of EOS at Federated Hermes’ global corporate and public policy engagement programme from 2012-2014 and acted as its commercial director from 2009-2012. Prior to that, Leon worked within the Hermes UK Large Cap Focus Fund for seven years, where he was responsible for executing the fund’s engagement programmes. He also has 12 years of strategy consulting and operational industry experience.

Session 5: Green Finance Centres

Head, Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa, TheCityUK

Chika Muorah

Head of Strategy, Casablanca Finance City

Mourad Fathallah

Speaker, Financial Centre Frankfurt

Hubertus Väth

CEO of Rwanda Finance Limited, Kigali International Financial Centre

Nick Barigye

Chief Strategy, Innovation and Ventures Officer, DIFC

Christian Kunz

Head, Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa, TheCityUK

Chika Muorah

An international policy expert with experience of working in the Eurasia, Middle East and Africa regions, and skilled in building strong international working relationships, stakeholder engagement, and delivering positive outcomes.

Head of Strategy, Casablanca Finance City

Mourad Fathallah

Double Masters IT/Applied Maths & Finance. MBA graduate combining business acumen with innovative solutions.

Strong exposure to C-level topics. Experienced working with global & virtual teams. Good communication skills. Team player, result oriented, problem solver, servant leader.

Mourad is passionate about keeping up with the latest innovations in financial markets, green/sustainable finance & FinTechs and speaks at international conferences.

Key skills: Strategic thinking, decision-making, achieving results with people, can-do attitude, facing challenges with confidence, communicating effectively, creativity.

Speaker, Financial Centre Frankfurt

Hubertus Väth

Hubertus Väth is passionate about Frankfurt, being an Entrepreneur, Asia and Finance. He is a live long Member of Eintracht Frankfurt. He believes the Finance Industry makes the world go around and Entrepreneurs move the world forward. A fact junkie and serial entrepreneur, Hubertus has more than 30 years of experience, working in over 15 countries, as a leader in Marketing and Communications for the financial sector, culminating in 1996 with the founding of his agency, NewMark Finanzkommunikation.

Since 2008, he has travelled the world on behalf of Frankfurt Main Finance to promote the Financial Centre Frankfurt and create networks between international financial centres. He is a Co-Founder of the World Alliance of International Financial Centres. Hubertus is a highly sought-after speaker and moderator for conferences and events around the Globe. His expertise in capital markets, financial services, FinTech and Brexit make him an in-demand commentator and interview partner for the world’s leading journalists and publications.

CEO of Rwanda Finance Limited, Kigali International Financial Centre

Nick Barigye

Extensive strategic, operational and general management experience working as both policy analyst and senior management executive in various multi-national corporations for over 15 years.

Chief Strategy, Innovation and Ventures Officer, DIFC

Christian Kunz

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial center for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is a well-established platform for driving the future of finance and the development of regional economies.

With over 4000 companies, over 600 Fintech and Innovation firms, a community of over 31,000 employees and a market size of over USD 700 billion, DIFC is fully focused to drive the Future of Finance in line with its Strategy 2030 and vision.

In my capacity as Chief Strategy, Innovation and Ventures Officer of DIFC Authority, I am responsible to develop and continuously evolve the strategic agenda and initiatives of DIFC in line with the UAE’s commitment to innovation and development of future economies.

As part of this vision, I will be further developing DIFC’s core and future of finance proposition and leading a number of initiatives to move the innovation agenda towards a broader conversation about the future of finance.

My previous experience lies at the intersection of Financial Services, Technology and Innovation. I have been leading the Fintech and New (Digital) Business Building practice for McKinsey & Company in the Middle East.

Besides developing future of finance strategies, I have built-up several digital Fintech ventures following a venture building model applying Agile, Design Thinking and Lean Start-up principles. I have also led several digital and analytics transformations of large banks and insurance businesses across the Middle East and Europe.

I am here to shape the future of finance in the region to unleash the positive potential of it on individuals, businesses and the economy

Session 6: Africa: Climate Resilience, Financial Inclusion, and Achieving the SDGs

Managing Partner, Prosperar Development Consulting

Modupe Ladipo

Founder & CEO, RoebiGlobal

Dr Remi Abere

Net Zero Transition and Partnerships, HSBC

Naveen Raza

Secretary General, Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet

Satya Tripathi

Islamic Finance, Dubai Department for Economy and Tourism

Sohail Zubairi

CarbonTracker

Ben Scott

Managing Partner, Prosperar Development Consulting

Modupe Ladipo

Modupe Ladipo is a financial inclusion expert and financial sector development specialist, with over 25 years’ diverse experience in development, financial services and the food industry. She was the first Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA), and is one of the pioneers of financial inclusion in Nigeria.

She is the Managing Partner of Prosperar Development Consulting. She also holds the following non-executive positions – Chair of EFInA’s Board; Senior Adviser, Islamic Finance Council UK; and Legatum Institute Fellow.

Ms. Ladipo has extensive experience of providing strategic, fiscal, operational and thought leadership in complex and challenging environments. She is a dynamic, results-oriented leader with a strong track record of high performance in fast-paced organisations and a proven ability of setting up and successfully managing businesses. She has worked on assignments in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.

Founder & CEO, RoebiGlobal

Dr Remi Abere

As an accomplished Sustainability/CSR & ESG Consultant, Executive Coach & Trainer, and Strategy Advisor, I have over 25 years of experience leading strategic and operational projects for Fortune 100 corporations and NGOs. My expertise spans across IT, finance, communications, business development, marketing, and CSR.

Throughout my career, I have built a strong professional network and gained extensive experience in negotiating with top-level executives and government officials. I have a proven track record of conceptualizing bold international growth opportunities and developing far-reaching execution strategies.

I excel at managing cross-cultural projects and have successfully driven development initiatives from the concept phase to profitable businesses. My skills in consulting, presentation, and selling/influencing enable me to secure high-level buy-in for development initiatives, align core business processes with commercial objectives, and drive revenue growth.

After qualifying as a chartered accountant, I founded and grew several successful businesses, including a 200-employee data coding outsourcing venture, an Afrocentric clothing manufacturing and distribution operation, and an ISP.

Later, I led an NGO in collaboration with the World Bank and Central Bank of Nigeria, increasing financial inclusion among Nigerian women by 15%. I was then approached by IBM to establish their global corporate citizenship strategy in Africa and develop relationships with key stakeholders.

Currently, I am engaged in the field of executive education, collaborating with partners and direct clients globally to design and deliver executive education and professional development courses in Sustainability, ESG, CSR, Strategy, Leadership, and Management.

I am also Head of the Committee for Doctoral Conference at Warwick Business School and a Practice Fellow, in addition, I lead the ‘Climb with Remi – Challenge for Cause Initiative’ to create awareness of Nigerian societal challenges through community engagement.

Net Zero Transition and Partnerships, HSBC

Naveen Raza

Naveen is a banking professional with over 18 years of experience.  Her early career started in Islamic Finance with HSBC Amanah, since then she has worked in various roles at HSBC in the UK and UAE including Private Banking & Wealth Management, Strategy & Planning, Streamlining & Process Excellence.  She also has extensive experience in Project Managementand ESG.  Recently Naveen was the Head of Sustainability & Financial Inclusion for Wealth & Personal Banking HSBC EMEA.

She is now looking after Net Zero Transition & Partnerships in the HSBC MENAT Sustainability Centre of Excellence which includes working on customer’s transitions plans as well as developing HSBC’s external sustainability and philanthropic partnerships.

Secretary General, Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet

Satya Tripathi

Satya S. Tripathi is Secretary-General of the Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet. A development economist, lawyer and changemaker with over 40 years of varied experience, Mr. Tripathi is the Chancellor of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences – the world’s largest academic institution dedicated exclusively to indigenous people and cultures. He is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow on Innovative Finance at the World Agroforestry Centre. He has served with the UN for more than two decades in key positions across the planet and was most recently the UN Assistant Secretary-General, Head of New York Office at UN Environment and Secretary of the UN Environment Management Group. His other strategic engagements with the UN include: Head of Human Rights Investigations for the UN in post-war Bosnia (UNMIBH); Chair of the Committees on Laws, Treaties and Administrative matters for the UN-mediated Cyprus unification talks in 2004; UN Recovery Coordinator for Aceh and Nias where he facilitated international cooperation and funding of over US$ 7 billion for post-tsunami recovery efforts in support of the government and affected populations; and Executive Head of UNORCID, a UN System Office established by the UN Secretary General in 2011 to facilitate the implementation of a US$ 1 Billion REDD+ partnership between Indonesia, Norway and other stakeholders. Mr. Tripathi was instrumental in establishing the Tropical Landscapes Finance Facility (TLFF) in Indonesia in 2016 and the Sustainable India Finance Facility (SIFF) in 2017 to leverage ‘private finance for public good’ at mega-scale to achieve transformative social and environmental impact for millions of people in developing countries. He previously served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Forests.

Islamic Finance, Dubai Department for Economy and Tourism

Sohail Zubairi

Sohail Zubairi is the Islamic finance specialist having command over banking, capital market, asset and wealth management, takaful and waqf areas of Islamic finance. He is AAOIFI Certified Sharia Advisor and Auditor (CSAA) and IICRA qualified Islamic Certified Arbitrator and Expert (ICAE). He is the head of DSFWG’s Subgroup on Islamic Finance.

Zubairi is the former Founding CEO of the internationally recognized and award winning ‘Dar Al Sharia Islamic Finance Consultancy’, established by him in 2007 as the subsidiary of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB). Under Zubairi’s leadership, Dar Al Sharia won over 2 dozen international awards for being the best Islamic finance consultancy and advisory firm – notably the most coveted Dubai Global Islamic Economy Summit Award 2016 and Dubai Chamber’s first Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Award 2016 besides twin IFN Awards for the best consultancy and advisory firm for 8 years in a row (2009-2016).

Zubairi holds over 4 decades of rare combined conventional and Islamic banking and finance experience at senior executive and CEO positions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Zubairi authors articles on Islamic finance and regularly conducts training workshop within and outside UAE besides participating in conferences and forums.

CarbonTracker

Ben Scott

Ben joined Carbon Tracker in 2022 focusing on the Automotive sector.

Prior to Carbon Tracker, Ben worked at MUFG Bank in London providing financial and industry analysis on the automotive sector to help manage the bank’s credit exposure and risk appetite. He has also worked directly within the automotive industry at Aston Martin Lagonda. Ben started his career at IHS Markit where he led the E-Mobility research service, focusing on decarbonisation and emissions legislation.

Ben holds a degree in Physics from the University of Leeds.

More on the SDG Hive

The Project

The Hive is a global programme convening stakeholders around the aim of driving private capital towards achieving the SDGs.

Read more

Event Timeline during COP28


Our high profile events that built momentum at COP28

Climate's Impact: The Rise and Fall of Economies and Nations

During COP28, we explored the work of two famed economists and philosophers in light of the climate crisis. During COP28 on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of December in Dubai, GEFI hosted a series of evening lectures on Scottish Enlightenment economist Adam Smith and famed Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun, tackling their views on profit and purpose, their understanding of the rise and fall of empires, and their approaches to solving collective problems.

The series built upon our work Glasgow’s COP26, where we hosted a similar series focused on Adam Smith, and published our Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series, which explored how his theories could be applied to contemporary economic challenges such as the climate crisis.

Get more information

The time for gradual changes is over: we need to finance our survival. Wildfires have raged across Europe for a second successive summer. Across the world, pressure is being put on scare water, agricultural land and endangered species.

With the global stocktake taking place during COP28, we developed our COP28 Climate Finance Summit in consultation with the COP28 team, bringing together leading bankers, asset managers, regulators, multilaterals and more to understand how we can finance survival.

Get more information

Unlocking Positive Systemic Change: Identifying Leverage Points for Sustainable Transformation

During COP28, we explored the work of two famed economists and philosophers in light of the climate crisis. During COP28 on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of December in Dubai, GEFI hosted a series of evening lectures on Scottish Enlightenment economist Adam Smith and famed Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun, tackling their views on profit and purpose, their understanding of the rise and fall of empires, and their approaches to solving collective problems.

The series built upon our work Glasgow’s COP26, where we hosted a similar series focused on Adam Smith, and published our Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series, which explored how his theories could be applied to contemporary economic challenges such as the climate crisis.

Get more information

As COP28 came to Dubai, all eyes will were on the Islamic finance industry. Interest-free, Shariah compliant finance remains a largely untapped pool of capital for sustainability. This event explored how the two value-driven forms of finance can be aligned through new standards and improved practices.

Get more information

The Relationship between Profit and Purpose

During COP28, we explored the work of two famed economists and philosophers in light of the climate crisis. During COP28 on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of December in Dubai, GEFI hosted a series of evening lectures on Scottish Enlightenment economist Adam Smith and famed Arab social theorist Ibn Khaldun, tackling their views on profit and purpose, their understanding of the rise and fall of empires, and their approaches to solving collective problems.

The series built upon our work Glasgow’s COP26, where we hosted a similar series focused on Adam Smith, and published our Wealth of Nations in the 21st Century essay series, which explored how his theories could be applied to contemporary economic challenges such as the climate crisis.

Get more information

During COP28, our SDG Hive series provided a platform for high-impact discussions around select COP28 themes. The sessions built upon the SDG Hive from our annual Ethical Finance Global summit, and provided finance practitioners with the skills they need to address the climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Get more information

During COP28, our SDG Hive series provided a platform for high-impact discussions around select COP28 themes. The sessions built upon the SDG Hive from our annual Ethical Finance Global summit, and provided finance practitioners with the skills they need to address the climate crisis and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Get more information

"Finance is the key that can unlock climate action and we are committed to supporting and facilitating the ongoing review of international financial institutions to scale up public financing, leverage private finance and improve access."

Dr Sultan Al Jaber
COP28 UAE President-Designate