Mirjam Staub-Bisang is Managing Director, Country Head of BlackRock Switzerland and a member of the EMEA Executive Committee as well as a Senior Advisor to BlackRock Sustainable Investing (BSI). She will be a Speaker at the Digital Finance Conference 2020, held on 27 & 28 May in Berlin. In this portrait she and the importance of her work as Senior Advisor Sustainable Investments for the world's largest asset manager will be introduced.
The climate crisis is coming – there can no longer be any scientific doubt about this. In 2019, parts of the earth experienced the warmest year since weather records began. Just one year earlier, large parts of Europe were hit by extreme heat and an extraordinary drought. Just recently, huge areas of Australia were burning – even before the traditional bush fire season began. Therefore, it is not surprising that the financial world is also reacting to climate change. Natural catastrophes and environmental consequences will be clearly visible at international trading markets, and the global insurance industry will also have to react. The consequential costs of increasingly frequent environmental catastrophes and extreme weather anomalies cannot be seriously estimated today. However, they will not be small at all. Not only providers of financial products are taking action. Consumers and investors are also discovering their sense for ecology. The market for sustainable investment products is growing, as demand is constantly increasing noticeably.
Green investments in demand like never before – and BlackRock joins in
The market for ''green investments'' is a global trillion dollar business. The environmentally friendly investment products can compete with their conventional counterparts. This, too, is fuelling the steadily growing interest in them. An end of this growth in this sector is not in sight, even after evaluating the data of 2019. Just between 2016 and 2018 the market grew by 34 percent. Also BlackRock reacted and expanded its range of sustainability-oriented ETF products. This was not least due to the encouragement of CEO and Chairman Larry Fink. Time and again, he speaks out on the need for a sustainable change towards a responsible and ecologically sustainable business of all players involved. And he probably doesn't stop there with just his admonitory words. Through its market power, BlackRock has the potential to bring significant change in this field. As the largest asset manager with nearly 15,000 employees in 30 countries, BlackRock manages over $6 trillion in assets. At the same time, BlackRock's subsidiary iShare controls nearly 40 percent of the ETF market. Last but not least, its widely diversified shareholdings – for example, BlackRock holds the equivalent of around 4 percent of the German DAX corporations – ensure an enormous influence.
There is hardly a more favourable position for initiating far-reaching, sustainable changes and thereby also involving the financial markets more strongly in the fight for the environment. In terms of personnel, BlackRock considers itself to be already well positioned in this regard.
A sustainability expert to have a decisive influence on BlackRock's course
Mirjam Staub-Bisang is an expert for sustainable investments, author and successful founder. Last November, the German-language Forbes dedicated a cover story to her, including a portrait of several pages. In addition to her management functions, Mirjam Staub-Bisang also works as Senior Advisor Sustainable Investing. The Zurich native seems to be the ideal person for this influential position within the Black Rock Group – not least because Switzerland is considered to be a significant market for the leading player in the industry. She also aims to help ensure that sustainable investments take on a new key role. Separating the litter from the wheat is likely to be crucial to the environmental success of these investment products. The graduated lawyer will soon report on this as well. We can be curious about the vision Mirjam Staub-Bisang is pursuing to actively involve the financial sector in the fight against climate change.
At the Digital Finance Conference 2020, Mirjam Staub-Bisang will speak about sustainable investments, current developments in the markets and about the determination of comprehensible criteria for sustainable portfolio composition.