Social Issues RepresentativeChristopher Bray
Head of Environmental Risk Management, Barclays plc, UKChris has been leading Barclays environmental risk management team for over fifteen years, during which time a benchmarking study of European banks’ environmental risk management practices, by a leading asset manager, identified Barclays as a ‘race leader’. He led Barclays’ collaboration with ABN AMRO, Citi and WestLB in developing the Equator Principles environmental due diligence framework, which has become an industry standard in international project finance.
He is a former member of the Global Steering Committee of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative. Amongst other activities for UNEP FI during that time he led the development of a series of industry sector environmental credit risk briefings. Chris is a member of the Barclays team which is helping steer the work of the Banking Environment Initiative. He chairs the ‘Soft Commodities’ Compact Implementation Group. Barclays has been a supporter of the London Accord, submitting a research paper, coordinated by Chris entitled, ‘Credit Risk Impacts of a Changing Climate’. Chris represented Barclays when the bank was one of only three overseas banks invited to address the China Banking Regulatory Commission conference ‘Training for Risk Management and Emission Reduction Lending’.
He lectures regularly at Strathclyde University Business School on environmental risk issues, and has presented at events hosted by the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
Chris is a banker by training having fulfilled roles in departments as diverse as electronic banking, credit cards and corporate banking, and fulfilling responsibilities as varied as strategic planning, development capital raising and project management.
He holds a degree in Agricultural and Forest Sciences from Oxford University, and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Financial Services.
North America RepresentativeHui Wen Chen
Vice President in Corporate Sustainability, Citi, USAHui Wen Chan is a Vice President in Corporate Sustainability at Citi. She supports sustainable finance and other cross-functional initiatives that drive environmental and social impact with clients and other key stakeholders. Hui is also currently the UNEP FI North America Banking Committee Representative. She was previously Senior Program Manager of Corporate Citizenship at Citi and Impact Analytics and Planning Officer at the Citi Foundation.
Hui has prior work experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Before joining Citi, she advised clients across a variety of industries at Sagent Advisors, Inc. and Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman Group). She also served as a Program Officer for the William J. Clinton Foundation’s pediatric HIV/AIDS program in Beijing, China, and was a Harvard Business School Leadership Fellow and Associate Director at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, focused on strategic planning and business development. am currently UNEP FI North America Banking Committee Representative
Hui is based in New York City. She received a A.B. in Economics from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Positive Impact RepresentativeDenis Childs
Head of Positive Impact Finance and Environmental and Social Advisory, Sociéte Générale, CIB, FranceDenis Childs began his career at the Société Générale Group in 1978. In 1981, he moved to Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) to develop the Export Credit Department as a leader of the industry. In 1993, he created and headed the bank’s worldwide Commodity (oil and gas, metals, soft commodities) and Trade Finance Business line. Project Finance was later added to his responsibilities (mining, then on oil, gas and power). During this period, he also created a finance company to bring finance to farmers in Mexico and a management company to run a commodity finance debt fund.
At the end of 2008, he started a new challenge both heading the Emerging and Sustainable Development department of the CIB and headed the Group Project to integrate E&S concerns in the decision processes of the Bank (CIB, French and International retail). He now focuses on the development of “Positive Impact Finance” as a means to meet the UN SDGs.
As a board member of the UNEP FI Banking Commission he is acting as a focal point of the Positive Impact Working Group. He has created a “Green Structuration” team that among others successfully launched the first Société Générale “Positive Impact bond” and is currently working on innovative additive “Positive Impact finance” solutions.
Denis Childs holds a Masters in Law and an MBA in banking from Paris I and IV Universities.
Publication: “Positive Impact Finance: a challenge for industries and services, a preeminent role for the financial sector” (in “Responsible Investment Banking”-Springer 2015).
Africa/Middle East RepresentativeWendy Dobson
Head of Group Policy, Advocacy and Sustainability in Group Risk, Standard BankWendy Dobson is the Head of Group Policy Advocacy and Sustainability in Group Risk for Standard Bank. Prior to joining Standard Bank in 2009, Wendy held executive positions at the Department of Trade and Industry and the National Economic Development Labour Council (NEDLAC). She is an alumnus of the University of the Witwatersrand, with a BA Honours (Industrial Psychology), a Masters of Management Degree (Public and Development Management). Wendy recently completed a Masters of Arts (Applied Ethics for Professionals) focusing on the ethics of corporate lobbying. In her current role at Standard Bank, Wendy leads the bank’s approach to advocacy, stakeholder engagement, sustainability and shared value with the aim of building trust between the bank and its stakeholders. Her particular areas of interest are Business Ethics, Business and Society, Corporate Citizenship, and the political role of corporations in emerging markets.
Global Head of Energy & Carbon Efficiency Finance, ING Wholesale Banking, Netherlands
Stephen has over 30 years of international banking experience and his work in the Americas, Asia and Europe has included senior positions in structured finance, client coverage and risk management. Currently based in Amsterdam he has been Global Head of Energy & Carbon Efficiency Finance at ING since 2006, when he was asked to establish the team to meet the growing demand from ING’s clients for specialist carbon market-based finance resulting from the UNFCCC’s Kyoto Protocol and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The team’s early success was recognised by several market awards, notably for introducing project finance debt structures to the carbon market. In recent years the scope of this business has broadened to cover the provision of advice and debt finance for investments in energy efficiency measures and the wider range of climate finance opportunities under the UN SDG’s and the Paris Agreement.
In addition to his UNEP FI role, Stephen’s other external commitments include: Board member of the Climate Markets & Investment Association (CMIA) and chair of CMIA’s climate finance forum; Steering Group member of the Investor Confidence Project Europe (ICP Europe), an initiative of the Environmental Defense Fund to provide a markets-based solution to accelerate investment into energy efficiency measures; and representing ING in the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG), a working group jointly convened by the European Commission (DG Energy) and UNEP FI to address the barriers to large-scale investment in energy efficiency in Europe.
Latin America RepresentativeDenise Hills
Head of Sustainability and Inclusive Business, Itaú Unibanco, BrazilDenise has 28 years of experience in the financial market, more specifically on investment, financial planning, wealth management and innovation. She is the head of the Sustainability and Inclusive Business, which includes Microcredit and Women Entrepreneurs programs, at Itaú Unibanco. She is president of the Brazilian Global Compact Netwok and co-chair of the Steering Committee’s United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative. Also part of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development and Member of the Sustainability Commission of Brazilian Federation of Banks.
Climate Change RepresentativeMadeleine Ronquest
Head of Environmental and Social Risk Management, FirstRand Group, South Africa Madeleine Ronquest is the Head of Environmental and Social Risk Management in the FirstRand Group and her portfolio includes Environmental and social risk management, Climate Resilience, Green Finance and positive impact banking and investment. She has been with the Group for 15 years.
Her professional background includes environmental science, risk management and environmental law. Her role is to ensure that FirstRand is positioned as one of the business leaders in climate change, natural capital management, positive impact banking, responsible investment and sustainable development finance. It is imperative that the Group plays a pertinent role in leading South Africa into a low carbon economy and that it has a verifiable positive impact on the economy, the environment and society.
She is an eternal student and an international speaker and has taken leadership roles in the Global Steering Committee and other board committees of UNEPFI (United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative), the South African Advisory Committee on Environment and Society (National Business Initiative), the NBI Advisory Committee on Green Finance, and the Sustainable Finance Forum of the South African Banking Association (BASA).
Europe RepresentativeJames Vaccaro
Director of Corporate Strategy, Triodos Bank NV, NetherlandsJames is a specialist in social and environmental finance having been at Triodos Bank since 1998. James has advised on bond issues and share offers for leading social enterprises and charities. He has managed equity investments in a range of early stage businesses in the organic food, recycling and environmental technology sectors. In 2005, James started Triodos Bank’s investment activity in the UK and was Managing Director of Investment Management, incorporating corporate finance advisory services and fund management. James was also the Managing Director of Triodos Renewables plc from 2005-2012. He has been a director of many green and sustainable businesses and has served on the board of UKSIF and was treasurer of a local community development association. James was a member of the Investment & Contract Readiness Fund Advisory Panel and the UK Advisory Board to the G8 Social Investment Taskforce. He now leads the development of strategy across the Triodos Bank group internationally and he is a founding trustee of the Finance Innovation Lab.
Asia Pacific RepresentativeNamita Vikas
Group President and Global Head, Climate Strategy and Responsible Banking, YES BANK LTD, IndiaNamita Vikas is a distinguished Indian business leader with over 27 years of expertise in Climate Finance and Business Sustainability. Under the visionary guidance of Mr. Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK LTD, Namita leads the green finance, climate strategy, and environmental sustainability verticals, at India’s 5th largest private sector Bank. Her astute guidance has led YES BANK to emerge as a global front-runner in climate finance.
Her well-rounded global experience also spans specializations in triple bottom-line accounting, ESG performance, and CSR. She is also involved in climate action and advocacy efforts in India and at the global stage.
A prominent speaker at influential national and international platforms such as the UN General Assembly and G20 amongst others, Namita has been associated with key global institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation and the United Nations, through her active role in mainstreaming climate action and green economics, globally.
Namita serves on the Board of YES FOUNDATION, and guides its overall strategy. She also serves as the Steering Committee Chair of the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA), holds advisory board positions for Asia Venture Philanthropy Network, World Resource Institute – India GHG Program, and the Indian Centre for CSR (ICCSR), and serves on the Governing Council of the UN Global Compact Network in India. In the past she has successfully held leadership positions with Marico, Microsoft Corporation and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
For her exemplary efforts at integrating sustainability into business strategy and aligning it towards achieving global SDGs, Namita was awarded the WBCSD Leading Women Award by The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in March 2017.