www.wealthandfinance-news.com Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Nexxus Financial Resource Ventures: Best CFO & CPA Services Firm 2023 - San Francisco Bay Area
Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance International are excited to announce that the Ethical Finance Awards will be returning for the second time in 2023! We launched this programme to shine a light on the key players in the Finance industry who are committed to excellence not only in their day-to-day business practices, but also in ensuring that those practices are ethical, sustainable, and eco-friendly. Ethical Finance has been growing in popularity over recent years, as the public are now demanding more from their banks and financial providers than simply a good service. Today’s consumers are more conscious of social and environmental factors when making purchasing decisions, often prioritising the values of a company when choosing where to invest their money. This is reflected in a recent study by banking platform Mambu, which reported that over two-thirds of respondents want financial institutions to become greener in the future, and that almost half would consider switching providers if an alternative had a stronger commitment to sustainability. While Ethical Finance is still a relatively small industry, the sector continues to gather momentum as each year greener funds are launched and the number of banks with explicit ethical policies increases. This spike in market growth follows internationally recognised initiatives such as the 2015 Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which were both introduced to motivate countries to support ethical investment and sustainable finance schemes. Shifting to a more ethically driven Finance industry will not only benefit the planet but could also lead to huge economic advancement and create millions of new jobs, according to the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. Sofi Parry, Senior Editor AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility.
4. Nexxus Financial Resource Ventures: Best CFO & CPA Services Firm 2023 - San Francisco Bay Area 6. ROSHN Real Estate: Best Residential Community Real Estate Development Firm 2023 - Riyadh 8. Nathan, a Cadmus Company: Best Emerging Markets Actionable Economic Development Solutions Provider 2023 - USA 10. 1863™ Ventures: Leading Experts in New Majority Founder Empowerment 2023 11. KBC Asset Management: Best Sustainable Investment Company 2023 - Belgium 12. Allied Sustainability and Environmental Consultants Group Limited: Most Pioneering Sustainability & Environmental Consulting Firm 2023 - Hong Kong 13. VEDA KM International (CSRone): Most Pioneering CSR Support Enterprise 2023 - Taiwan 14. JUSTLY: Best Global Equity Crowdfunding Broker-Dealer 2023 - USA 15. Istituto per il Credito Sportivo: Most Impactful Sport & Culture Finance Organisation 2023 – Italy 16. Titanium Fund Management Company Ltd: Best ESG Fund Management 2023 - Finland 17. Bighous Ltd: Most Impactful Social Housing Solution Provider 2023 - UK 18. MOMentum Alternative Investment SA: Best Independent Investment Manager 2023 – Switzerland & Excellence Award in Sustainable Investing 2023 19. NextEnergy Capital: Best Renewable & Sustainable Impact Investment Company 2023 - UK 20. Eden Asset Management: Best Global Natural Resource Fund Manager 2023 - Western Australia 21. Birchstone Markets Ltd.: Most Empowering FX Risk Management & Treasury Services Provider 2023 - UK Contents
Nov22526 Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance Best CFO & CPA Services Firm 2023 - San Francisco Bay Area Nexxus was founded to serve the needs of small, privately held businesses. Through the provisioning of bookkeeping, accounting, tax strategy and tax preparation services, the team has been able to support companies to do what they do best, and expand by acquiring businesses in their sectors. Key to what the team offers is confidence that their business dealings are being handled well, and this depends on transparency at all times. When Kaiden Degas founded Nexxus, he knew that one of the keys to his success would be working ethically to support clients. “Ethical finance is holding a fiduciary standard for our clients, our communities and society,” he explains. “Our business is successful as our clients are successful and the feedback loop expands on itself for a greater life for all. Being ethical is being honest, forthright, transparent, morally aligned with values, and acting in integrity with those values. We embody these qualities as an organisation and I especially do as the leader of my organization.” The work that Nexxus undertakes is incredibly varied, with Kaiden and the team acting as accounting firm and commercial real estate firm rolled into one. “The services that we choose to specialise in are high pay off activities that are more rare to find in the market,” he tells us. “Many accounting firms focus on bread and butter services such as payroll processing, bookkeeping and tax preparation. We provide tax strategy and an overarching view of the family objectives and how they intertwine with business necessities and objectives before tax preparation so that business owners can anticipate their next moves.” This focus on the holistic approach showcases what sets Nexxus apart from the crowd. Theirs is not a business which offers to solve all of your problems, but one which targets long-term wealth and success. “We do not provide payroll processing because it is a time consuming activity that drains company resources and there is fierce competition and low profit margins,” Kaiden tells us. “By avoiding the path most followed and offering higher pay off activities such as selling commercial real estate investments and trustee service, we simultaneously bolster our brand and provide services that lead to long term wealth.” This unique way of working has not only created stability for Nexxus, but for clients as well. By collaborating with Nexxus, they can ensure a future which is brighter than most. “Owning the commercial real estate that a business operates in creates stability and security for the business and its owners for the future,” Kaiden explains. “The asset will appreciate over time creating tailwinds for success. Any debt on the property will be fixed and will be cheaper to pay over time as inflation erodes the value of money and prices increase thus revenue increases. By owning the property the business can avoid increasing rent prices. We offer trustee service to protect these assets and ensure that they will continue to serve our client’s descendants.” When people start their own businesses, they do so because they want their own independence, and independence for their children as well. By focusing in on the needs of the individual, Nexxus is able to guarantee fulfilment in every respect. “Clients like that we are accessible and responsive,” he explains. “Clients have been grateful for us helping them get caught up with their tax filing and payment obligations with the CDTFA, IRS and FTB. Where they have been ghosted or strung along by other accounting firms, we have stepped in to get them straightened out.” Since opening the firm’s doors, Kaiden has worked with many different clients, each of whom bring their own challenges and delights to the table. “One of my favourite clients is a hard working Puerto Rican who started working when he was 15 and is in the jewellery business now,” he tells us. “He has a family business with his son and other relatives and he’s such a loving and kind man. Now, he’s well into his 60’s, and he has always been motivated to make a life for his family and lead them into getting ahead. I love and respect people like this and he represents the majority of my clientele.” When people turn to Kaiden, they turn to someone who has worked in many industries, and is turning his lifetime of expertise onto the needs of his clients. For him, the lifetime of experience is something that everyone should have access to, but very few think they need. “Building long term relationships with my clients and helping them pay less in taxes and build their wealth is endlessly rewarding,” Kaiden says with a smile. “I’ll continue to do the best that I can and continue to learn and grow. My career is just starting out. Having started my business in 2018, I have a few decades to look forward to working!” Earning success in the Ethical Finance Awards is a major milestone for Kaiden, showing him that he is more than on the right path to securing success for the future. “Being recognized as the most ethical firm of the San Francisco Bay Area this early on is a huge success for me and an honour,” he tells us. “I am a man of integrity, I am building a company that is based on integrity and trust, and this award truly touches my heart to receive.” It’s an award which is well earned indeed. For numerous people throughout San Francisco, Nexxus is a lifeline which has transformed their lives. With such success under his belt so early on in this career, we cannot wait to see how Kaiden and the talented team at Nexxus continue to grow and develop in the weeks and months to come. Company: Nexxus Financial Resource Ventures Name: Kaiden Degas, CPA Email: [email protected] Web Address: http://www.nexxus-cpa.com/ Mar23182 When it comes to accountancy, SMEs often struggle to keep on top of the demands made of them. Nexxus Financial Resource Ventures was founded to provide trust so that businesses can focus on what they need to focus on, while having the support of a specialist in the field. Recognised as a leader in ethical finance, we caught up with Kaiden Degas, CPA to find out more.
Best Residential Community Real Estate Development Firm 2023 - Riyadh Through its various projects currently underway, ROSHN is building at an unprecedented scale, generating vibrant new communities in nine cities across four regions, including Riyadh, Jeddah, Al Kharj, Al Hofuf, Al Qatif, Makkah, and Abha. The Group plays a vital role in Saudi’s Vision 2030 program to provide new homes for Saudis across the Kingdom, supporting the achievement of Saudi 70% home ownership, addressing key housing demands, and creating thousands of new jobs. While advancing these goals, the Group retains a keen focus on impact investment, community inclusion, and sustainability, ensuring that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) considerations remain top of mind. With sustainability at its core, ROSHN drives innovation and raises the bar in terms of quality and standards, while exploring opportunities beyond residential real estate that will allow it to make a meaningful economic impact and contribute further to the wellbeing of the Saudi people. The company’s vast building developments will contribute significantly to national GDP and the expansion of local supply chains, while also providing attractive, market rate investment opportunities for its partners. ROSHN is dedicated to developing modern and aspirational communities for the people of Saudi Arabia. The Group’s integrated and vibrant developments represent a return to humancentric living that honours the rich heritage and culture of Saudi Arabia while making use of the latest technologies, partnering with the best in class to provide the highest quality products and services to its customers, and supporting fulfilling and healthy lifestyles. All developments feature pedestrian-friendly ‘living streets’ without perimeter walls and a rich array of amenities that encourage an open and fulfilling lifestyle, including retail and entertainment options, hospitals, medical centres, schools, mosques, and sports facilities. The Group’s flagship project, Riyadh’s SEDRA, has been delivered two years ahead of schedule and, when completed, will provide homes for 74,000 citizens. In total, ROSHN developments will have the capability to hold over 2.2 million residents once fully delivered. As the Kingdom’s leading real estate developer, ROSHN remains well aware that ethics and integrity must remain top of minds when advancing any notable project or development in the Kingdom. As the business is powered by the PIF, it retains strong links with both the government and private sector, making it a systemically important enabler of the Kingdom’s contracting and infrastructure sectors and, thus, a key example of how integrity need not be the price of progress. Driven by this commitment to integrity across all its work, ROSHN applies key sustainability and innovation practices across its developments: • ROSHN supports domestic and global efforts to reduce its impact on the environment. It is decreasing automotive dependency and encouraging environmentally friendly modes of transport by placing amenities close to residents’ front doors, providing shaded footpaths and cycle routes, and incorporating links to public transport. • The Group is setting new standards for sustainability in mainstream development by extending a sustainability agenda extends across the full spectrum of its activity, including energy and water usage, materials and waste management, transport and connectivity, and community wellbeing. • High-tech insulation, solar water heaters, and efficient air-conditioning enable ROSHN Apr23065 housing units to make energy savings of 18% compared to the mandated Saudi Building Code, while advanced plumbing fittings enable 17% saving on water usage. • ROSHN supports the Saudi Green Initiative by incorporating green spaces in its pedestriancentric communities: the Group will plant 1 million trees and 60 million shrubs across its projects by 2030. • Aiming to preserve the Kingdom’s precious water resource through a new approach to water usage, the developer collects and treats residential wastewater to be used for irrigation, utilizing a range of advanced water conservation technologies, including irrigation controllers and soil moisture sensors. • ROSHN’s environmental commitment goes beyond waste segregation, as the developer is installing waste management complexes across its developments. These complexes will ensure that recyclables will be processed again reproduced, that organic materials will be converted to compost and used in community landscaping, and that residuals will be used as fuel in waste-to-energy plants. • The application of its light mobility strategy, which refers to transport that does not use fossil fuels at the master planning level results in integrated communities that encourage walking and cycling, as well as new modes of transport such as e-scooters. The effect of this strategy extends beyond its communities through the mobility hubs that link to area transport networks. • ROSHN’s impact on the environment is reduced by its sustainable strategy for materials and waste. It aims to locally source construction materials, deploy re-used construction materials where possible, and divert waste from landfills by fostering a recycling culture for residential and construction waste. As Saudi Arabia’s most trusted multi-asset class real estate developer, ROSHN is consistently led by its unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for all Saudis. A giga project wholly owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), ROSHN is guided by a vast nationwide mandate to deliver quality housing at massive scale that will boost home ownership, transform the country’s urban landscape and deliver a new way of living. As the Group embark on these objectives, it remains a steadfast commitment to ethical and sustainable development, ensuring that it builds not only high-quality homes, but also enriches the urban fabric of Saudi Arabia.
Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance 7. • ROSHN is represented by a diverse and strategic workforce, attracting talent from a wide range of cultural, geographic, and educational backgrounds. Additionally, all ROSHN employees commit to the Group’s vision to enhance service quality for all the residents. Quite simply, ROSHN is a residentfocused company staffed by people committed to delivering a truly collaborative experience. • Through its recently launched YUHYEEK corporate social responsibility programme, the Group also invests in initiatives that address important community issues and improve the lives of citizens across the Kingdom, including the Zahra Association Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and its nationwide Home Renovation Programme. • ROSHN remains a leader in the field of sustainable technology. It is applying ‘smart city’ concepts throughout its developments, premised on a combination of software and enhanced connectivity, that enables a vast array of civic functions – from smart traffic management to energy conservation and internet-enabled waste collection. ROSHN is ideally positioned to make a significantly positive impact on the Kingdom’s society and beyond, and the Group will continue on its journey to ensuring a new, sustainable way of life for the people of Saudi Arabia. Contact: Michael Bailey Position: Executive Director – Community Management Company: ROSHN Real Estate Web Address: www.roshn.sa/en Michael Bailey, the Executive Director of Community Management in ROSHN
Nov22526 Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance Best Emerging Markets Actionable Economic Development Solutions Provider 2023 - USA When asked about Nathan’s mission, Sean Keogh would tell you about its enduring dedication to enhancing the quality of life for individuals, strengthening communities, and empowering public and private institutions to generate sustainable and meaningful impact on a wider scale. “Our unwavering commitment is advance the greater good, working collaboratively with our global clients and partners to drive tangible, transformative change” he says with a smile. Sean’s words reflect the profound sense of purpose that underlies Nathan’s work. When it comes to emerging markets, nurturing continuous and sustainable growth poses a significant challenge. By leveraging the power of development finance, Nathan fully recognizes this need and embraces it as a powerful catalyst for fostering stability, cultivating inclusion, and empowering individuals—all with a resolute commitment to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and upholding Environmental, Social, and Governance principles. In Bangladesh, for example, Nathan helped improve access to finance for 1.2 million micro and small enterprises. They developed the country’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy and worked with financial institutions to develop new business models to serve micro, small, and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs). In Burma, the team supported the development of two credit guarantee facilities to increase access to finance for MSMEs, and helped design the US$50 million MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity that supports innovative ideas for bringing affordable financial products and services to rural Africa. Their work has incredible impact on those who need it most. “At Nathan, our top priority is to ensure that any financial solution we provide in emerging markets is economically sustainable” Sean explains, “we recognise that countries often rely on donor-funded grants, which can lead to a return to poverty when the funding ends. We therefore take a proactive approach by identifying the most viable strategies to ensure that the economies we work with are self-sustaining, socially and environmentally secure, and have the best opportunity for growth and prosperity.” Nathan’s steadfast commitment to long-term impact has yielded remarkable accomplishments that continue to resonate beyond project completion. Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach to communities in need, they tailor diverse and flexible solutions, from structured finance schemes for sustainable infrastructure to blended finance options. Designing these ways of working is not something achieved quickly, either. “Effective solutions depend on the client and geography, and we focus on critical areas such as climate and social challenges” Sean explains. “Recently, Nathan supported a Pacific Island nation by developing innovative climate finance solutions that alleviate budgetary stress, reduce debt, and provide access to efficient capital for climate change challenges.” One of the ways in which Nathan has been able to lead the way in terms of ethical finance is through the prioritisation of localisation. The team always turn to local stakeholders and project beneficiaries to ensure that they have the support they need at all times. “Our clients appreciate our approach, as it increased the chances of success and sustainability of their programs.” Innovation, therefore, is a core component of what Nathan has to offer communities around the world when it comes to developing ethical finance solutions. “We value learning from one another and the people we work with,” Sean explains. “We strive to think outside the box and stay at the front of innovation.” He goes on to say: “To stay ahead of the curve, we maintain close relationships and collaborate with innovative finance companies, impact investors, large institutional investors, social entrepreneurs, and key multilateral stakeholders and associations focused on addressing the world’s biggest problems.” Keeping on top of the direction of travel is no easy task, but one which the team have thrived on doing, thanks in no small part to the connections that they have built up over the years. 2023 has already been a major success for the team at Nathan, with great strides made in the provision of actionable solutions to emerging market economies all around the world, from the Pacific to Eastern Europe, and everywhere in between. “Our pipeline is chock-full of exciting projects that are helping to address key constraints through ethical finance solutions on four continents,” Sean says excitedly. “In the Pacific, we’re providing invaluable market analysis and climate accreditation to help businesses thrive. In Southeast Asia, we’re focused on supporting women’s economic empowerment and levelling the playing field. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, we’re working hard to facilitate free market access and spur growth. And that’s not all – we’re also advising on agriculture fund structuring in Africa and mobilising sustainable project finance in Latin America. We couldn’t be prouder of the work we’re doing, and we’re happy to be making such a positive impact in so many different parts of the world.” The continued success of Nathan is a credit to the team, and little wonder that so many have been able to thrive as a result of their hard work and dedication. We celebrate the team’s success and the positive impact that they have had on so many communities around the world. We can’t wait to see what they do next. *Nathan was acquired by Cadmus in February 2023. Read more about the news. Company: Nathan, a Cadmus Company Name: Sean Keogh, Vice President, Structured Finance and Investment Email: [email protected] Web Address: www.NathanInc.com | www.Cadmusgroup.com For the past 75 years, Nathan Associates, now Nathan, a Cadmus Company*, stood out as a highly regarded and sought-after leader delivering practical, long-lasting economic solutions around the world. Renowned for their sharp technical expertise and exemplary service in the realm of international development, it comes as no surprise that their remarkable work has garnered recognition at the Ethical Finance Awards 2023. We had the opportunity to speak with Sean Keogh, Vice President for Structured Finance and Investment, to delve deeper into their exceptional achievements.
10. Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance Leading Experts in New Majority Founder Empowerment 2023 In 2015, Professor Melissa Bradley, along with a group of her students, held an entrepreneurial summit. Its aim was to support emerging business owners from southeast Washington DC. The ripple effect of that summit, known as Project 500, provided 527 founders with help, advice, and access to the capital they needed to move their businesses forward. The project underlined the need for a means of supporting black and Latino business owners along their entrepreneurial journey. In 2019, 1863™ Ventures was born. Melissa tells us, “1863™ Ventures is a leader in providing culturally competent accelerator programmes, non-dilutive financing, and mentorship. By addressing the unique needs of this demographic, we help entrepreneurs to transform high-potential business ideas into profitable companies that generate jobs and wealth for their communities.” Emphasising direct engagement with black and brown entrepreneurs nationwide, 1863™ Ventures has named its clients the New Majority. Melissa says, “Entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly viable pathway for New Majority founders to build intergenerational wealth. Our goal is to facilitate this trend by reducing barriers and risks for these entrepreneurs.” Operating as a non-profit organisation offering learning programmes, 1863™ Ventures offers a variety of white-label programmes focusing on the fundamentals of building a scalable brand. Industry experts provide insight and expertise into key practices, systems, and processes. The company’s partners include household names such as Goldman Sachs, Fiverr, the NFL Players’ Association, Square, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Reserve Bar. In its secondary role as a portfolio manager supplying capital investments to emerging enterprises, 1863™ Ventures works with corporate brands, philanthropists, and venture capitalists. The company manages two investment portfolios with a third in the pipeline. Melissa explains, “Through 1863™ Ventures Fund I, we’ve invested over $2 million in non-dilutive financing to 17 companies across industries such as fintech, software, healthcare, fashion, food, and beauty. We started in Washington DC, and are steadfast in developing the local business ecosystem. For the last two years, we’ve been the administrator of investment rounds totalling over $3 million for the Inclusive Innovation Equity Impact Fund (IIEIF). The inaugural IIEIF investments funded 16 enterprises based in the District of Columbia. This addressed the variance in capital access for businesses that seldom receive early-stage funding through conventional financing.” 1863™ Ventures is conscientious in its promotion of equity and equality above all else, believing that all humans are equal in fundamental worth and moral status. The company is working to change the narrative that considers anyone other than white males as a minority. This is where the name New Majority came from. Melissa tells us, “People of colour, women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, veterans, and physically disabled business owners are entering the entrepreneurial space at a rate outpacing white men. Yet, research developed by 1863™ Ventures shows that it costs at least $250,000 more for a black founder to create the same business as their white peers. Universal opportunity is key. Our aim is to design and produce ecosystems nationwide that support and enable hard-working New Majority brands that have been historically overlooked and underserved.” This year, 1863™ Ventures is spreading its wings and going on tour. The company will be offering workshops, training, and mentorship in the form of a multi-day, mobile accelerator programme. Visiting destinations in the South, West, and Midwest regions of the US, the company will assess the needs of the New Majority to offer support on a wider scale. In Q4, 1863™ Ventures will launch a new investment portfolio aimed at allocating funding to New Majority-owned food and drink companies. For more information, visit the 1863™ Ventures website or contact the company helpline by text: +1 (202) 918-5274. Contact: Melissa Bradley, Founder and Managing Partner Company: 1863™ Ventures Web Address: 1863ventures.net Black-led business development company, 1863™ Ventures provides underestimated entrepreneurs with the programmes, financing, and mentorship they need to not only survive but thrive. Addressing the unique needs of a demographic largely ignored by mainstream finance and support programmes, 1863™ Ventures is on a mission to generate $100 billion of ‘New Majority’ wealth by 2030.
Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance 11. Mar23111 Best Sustainable Investment Company 2023 - Belgium Brussels-based company KBC Asset Management (KBC AM) is a pioneer in the world of sustainable investment. The company, a subsidiary of KBC, launched its first responsible investment fund in 1992. Since then, KBC AM has continued to refine its methodology as it brings new solutions to market. We find out more as we chat with KBC AM’s Head of Product Management Funds, Ellen Jult. -Leading the way in responsible investing, KBC AM is committed to helping its clients combine their financial goals with their concerns for the environment, society, and responsible corporate governance. As more of us become aware of the impact our investments can have on both people and the planet, the more we are drawn to making a positive contribution. Offering a selection of over 200 sustainable and responsible funds to its clients, KBC AM gives its clients the opportunity to invest in companies and countries that take their social and environmental responsibility seriously. Ellen says, “This allows us to contribute to a more sustainable society, and to help limit the adverse impact of business. Growing awareness of social, governance, and environmental issues has led to an interest in responsible investing products among both private and institutional investors.” Currently, KBC AM manages 32 billion euros in Responsible Investing (RI) funds. In Belgium, around 70% of the company’s gross sales in funds go to RI funds. In the other countries in which KBC AM operates, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria, RI funds are gaining traction too. KBC AM was the first Belgian financial institution to form its own responsible investing research unit. For over 30 years, the company has adapted its sustainability policies to changing insights to refine its products and cement its position in the market. Ellen explains recent changes: “Over the past five years, KBC AM has strengthened its policies by taking into account increasing insight into how using fossil fuels impacts the planet. Last year we implemented a new investment policy for responsible funds. It offers an appropriate response to the new European regulations putting us ahead of our main competitors.” With sustainability at the core of KBC AM’s business, it has become an integral part of corporate strategy. Ellen tells us about the four pillars of that strategy: “We put our clients at the heart of everything we do. We look to offer our clients a unique bank insurance experience. We focus on our group’s long-term development and aim to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. And we take our responsibility towards society and local economies very seriously. We’re convinced that our strategy – powered by our business culture and the contributions made by our people – is instrumental in earning, keeping, and growing trust day by day. It’s helped us to become ‘the reference’ in our core markets today.” By implementing a sustainability strategy that focuses on local communities and the economy, KBC AM is able to respond to societal needs and expectations in a balanced, relevant, and transparent manner. Making investing easy, personal, valuable, and reliable for its clients, the company stays true to its motto, ‘everyone invested, all the time.’ With a strong focus on digitisation, KBC AM removes roadblocks for retail investors by providing online investment tools, lowering investment thresholds and offering incentives such as a digital service to easily invest your spare change. For its wealth clients, KBC AM has developed a smart advisory search engine to complete in-depth daily analysis of portfolios against 108 underlying risk and return factors. Always striving for innovation, KBC AM is exploring various routes to improve its services and stay one step ahead of the competition. Ellen says, “We’re working on further simplifying our offerings to create smoother transitions for the investor. We’re looking into new opportunities to use AI in the management of our mutual funds. And we’re exploring the possibility of offering an investment fund based on green bonds. This will give our investors even more choice when they decide to contribute to the world of tomorrow.” Contact: Ellen Jult Company: KBC Asset Management Web Address: www.kbc.be
12. Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance Mar23198 Most Pioneering Sustainability & Environmental Consulting Firm 2023 - Hong Kong When it comes to making better ESG decisions, it’s worth turning to a team that has made it the beating heart of their business. The team at AEC Group have specialised in the development of rounded sustainability and environmental solutions that support the growth of organisations into something that will last for many years to come. The team’s triumph has come from a focus on offering one-stop, on-demand services in five business areas, including (a) Green and Wellness Building; (b) Acoustics, Audiovisual, Lighting and Theatre Planning; (c) Environmental Consultancy and Sustainable Design; (d) Green Finance, Sustainability Strategies, and ESG; and (e) Smart and Green Internet of Things (IoT). As more and more companies have seen the importance of ESG development, however, the AEC Group has had to expand its offerings. Now, they are developing new services providing advisory services on sustainable financing, investment management, capital raising, and real estate in the Asia Pacific area. The belief of creating a sustainable world is what sets AEC Group apart from the competition, as the team work tirelessly to contribute to a society where sustainability is the primary concern of citizens. The team’s professional and reliable environmental and sustainability consultation means that their clients are able to make essential decisions as effectively as possible. The team’s focus, therefore is on green bonds, green loans and ESG investment. Through exploring these options, investors can support green projects quickly and efficiently. As a green planner specialising in built environment and corporate sustainability, AEC Group integrates ESG opportunities and risks into business strategy to attract investors to finance projects with environmental benefits. The specialisation of the team’s work means that ACE Group can act as a one-stop green finance consultancy, providing services all the way from planning to completion. The aim of AEC Group is one which is not just financial, however. It’s also societal. The aim is to provide sustainability that doesn’t just support companies, but communities as well. As the environmental consultant of choice for clients and a respected name in the ESG industry, it’s easy to see why community success is so important. Having this societal impact showcases the achievement of sustainability goals most effectively. Looking forward, AEC Group is looking to strengthen its presence not only in the Asia Pacific Region, but in the Greater Bay area too. This will reinforce its position in green and low carbon industries, sustainability and the ESG market. Strategic collaboration will be crucial to this, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the partnership of AEC Group with CRREM. The teams hope to accelerate the real estate decarbonization journey in the Asia Pacific. As the global industry standard for in-use decarbonization, CRREM provides the real estate industry with transparent, sciencebased decarbonization pathways aligned with the Paris Climate Goals. AEC Group has always been a big name in the ESG industry, but its work over the last few years has seen it skyrocket to the very forefront of what is on offer. The success of the firm is something to be justly celebrated. We can’t wait to see what the team does next, in the light of this extraordinary achievement. Company: Allied Sustainability and Environmental Consultants Group Limited Name: Mr. Dennis Wu Email: [email protected] Web Address: https://www.asecg.com The role of ethical finance is one which many businesses explore, but few has focused on until recent years. Allied Sustainability and Environmental Consultants Group Limited (AEC Group) was the first listed sustainability and environmental consulting services provider in Hong Kong. Recognised for success in the Ethical Finance Awards, we took a closer look at the firm to find out more.
Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance 13. Most Pioneering CSR Support Enterprise 2023 - Taiwan Taiwan has become a big part of the global economy, but it is a part which is impacted immensely by the need to consider environmental shifts in how we live. With so many companies throughout the region, there was a need for a think-tank that could come up with ways of working in ways which were more sustainable. CSRone was the solution, analysing Taiwan’s overall disclosure information, comparing APAC’s Top 10 corporates’ sustainability performance, and releasing the annual research and global trends in ‘Trends of Sustainability in Taiwan and APAC’ every March. Throughout Asia-Pacific, this team is recognised as one of the most profound sources of sustainability intelligence. The team has numerous clients under its belt, including the top plastics corporation in Taiwan as well as international brands from the automobile, technology, financial and fashion industries. What unites all of these wide-reaching companies is the desire to accelerate the sustainability journey and ensure that the largest possible difference can be made as soon as possible. This work takes many different forms, with some companies requiring detailed business strategies, some requiring workshops or training and others assistance on impact measurement and Sustainable Development Goals. As no two businesses are the same, the CSRone team have made it their mission to ensure that a bespoke approach is applied at all times to secure the highest possible chance of success. ESG risks are changing how every sector works, and there is a need for more assertive action from all stakeholders as wuickly as possible. Ethical finance can sometimes be limited to the world of finance, but finance has an impact on the world at large as well. From a consultant Sustainability is a major challenge in every sector of the world economy, but the team at CSRone have made it their aim to proivde sustainability consultation to all companies, no matter what the size or scale. Established in 2013, they’ve achieved a lot over the last decade, including success in the Ethical Finance Awards. We dig a little deeper to find out more. like CSRone’s perspective, the team cannot simply focus on who has the money. They consider those who spent the money, and how the money is spent. For ESG purposes, having access to a comprehensive eco-system of sellers, buyers, loaners and the financing sector means that they can provide a sustainability process which is credible and allows for the timely implementation of global goals. It goes without saying that the last few years have seen a wakeup call for global leaders, and the future is one which must move more quickly than anybody might have anticipated. Organisations are underestimating the change that will be expected, and demanded, of them in the future and are acting too conservatively, risking stranded assets and obsolete business models as a result. 2023 will see the CSRone team curating and disseminating development data to monitor progress toward the overall goals of the business, working to reduce the gaps in the availability of core data that will inform continued evidence-based policymaking and reforms. The detailed knowledge the team have been able to develop over the last few years are what has allowed them to achieve such success! For the CSRone team, the work is only just beginning, but the impact that they have had already is immeasurably high. Within, and beyond, the world of ethical finance, this is an organisation which has been able to generate astonishing levels of success. We can’t wait to see what they do next! Company: VEDA KM International (CSRone) Name: Chien-Yu, Chen Email: [email protected] Web Address: https://csrone.com/
14. Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance Best Global Equity Crowdfunding Broker-Dealer 2023 - USA Investors today want to be sure that their money not only multiplies, but embodies the power of ESG principles. The team at JUSTLY are broker-dealers who have access not only to a global crowdfunding platform, but investment banking services that democratizes investor access to private equity markets and companies that put ESG at the forefront of how they work. This visionary work has always been part of JUSTLY, with a clear desire to ensure that the team’s work has an impact not in 100 years, but in the here and now as well. The world moves at a faster pace than next year, or the year after that, so their decision-making is deeply connected with the impact that companies can have. Since opening their doors, the team have been in the IMPACT NOW! business, looking for companies that needed to raise money to start, scale, and grow and looking for investors that wanted to “do the right thing.” A key aspect of ensuring this success has come from working with an organisation called Proof, an independent, impact data intelligence platform. Partnering up with this impressive team that can analyse and generate reports about a company in a few weeks means that the JUSTLY team are able to make assessments that are based on internationally recognised standards such as SASB and the United Nations SDGs. These consistent metrics keep the team on track and on target for impactful success. Since opening their doors, the team have not just provided investment banking services, but they have created an eco-system of people, companies and organisations looking to make a difference today. Theirs is a world where doing the right thing is easier than ever before, with an onboarding process for companies that are looking for funding - with contacts for Legal Counsel, Escrow Providers, Technology Providers, Transfer Agents, and Payment Providers. The uniqueness of JUSTLY comes from the way in which it is both a crowdfunding platform and a provider of investment banking services. The use of impact metrics sets the team apart as something special indeed, as you can be assured that your money makes a real difference. Since opening their doors in 2022, the team have secured 40 deals through the platform, with over 100,000 retail investors and 20,000 institutional investors. As time goes on, the team are looking to secure their B Corp certification, and have already submitted the paperwork to make this happen in the near future. Those who have turned to JUSTLY have been justly impressed with what they offer. “JUSTLY has been very hands on during my fundraising journey,” says Adin Alai, CEO of 9Fiber. “[Portfolio Manager] Eugenio has been in daily communication with me and my team, educating us on the process and the prospective investors to ensure that I had a clear understanding as to the nature of the deal. He has been very accessible and accommodating as well as collaborative to respond to the changes in the economic landscape.” This closeness throughout the development process is not unique to 9Fiber and reflects the way in which JUSTLY not only provides financial support, but buys into the impact that their work can have on a larger scale. With such triumph behind them, we celebrate the team’s successes and look forward to seeing more people investing JUSTLY in the future! Company: JUSTLY Doing the right thing is a core part of ethical finance, and the team at JUSTLY have always put this at the heart of what they do. For them, sustainability, and proving this impressive track record, is crucial to their success. We take a closer look to see how the team has managed to achieve its current position in the Ethical Finance Awards 2023.
Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance 15. Mar23398 Most Impactful Sport & Culture Finance Organisation 2023 – Italy Since opening its doors over 60 years ago, Istituto per il Credito Sportivo (ICS) has managed to make enormous change through its official social mission of promoting Sustainable Development through Sport and Culture. Through financing the sectors of Italian Sport and Culture, the team have managed to have a positive social impact on communities and earn tremendous success in the Ethical Finance Awards 2023. We dig deeper to uncover more. The role of sport in any society is obvious, as it unites and brings people together for a common goal. Finding funding for these events, however, is incredibly difficult and often the most talented players can miss out on opportunities because there is no money available. ICS was established to provide financing to this vital sector, one that is often overlooked by the commercial banking system. For more than 60 years, ICS has reached out to the people of Italy. The team has provided loans for the construction of new sports or cultural facilities as well as restructuring, compliance and efficiency improvement of Sports facilities or Cultural infrastructures. For those who need a little more specialist financial help, ICS also provides Structured Finance for large infrastructural investment, short term loans for customers’ liquidity needs and advisory services on largescale plant engineering projects which also include analysis of the economic, social and environmental impact on communities. More often than not, the team work with local organisations such as Local Authorities, as well as Sports Federations, Sports Companies, Not-for-profit entities (Sports Associations, Cultural Foundations and Associations), Religious Bodies and Parishes and Universities to ensure that their work has the maximum possible impact on those who are on the ground and need it most. An analysis on the ICS outstanding credit portfolio, reported an estimated SROI (Social Return on Investment) equal to 2.93 that means an almost threefold social multiplier effect of ICS financing. In this way, it’s easy to see why ICS has been recognised for its ethical finance credentials. Often banking overlooks areas which are considered risky or unprofitable, but it is these areas which make a society whole. By focusing on sports and culture, with a socially oriented approach, ICS stands apart from many and provides a way forward which would not otherwise exist. For them, the official mission is to integrate sustainability and social impact into the logic of creating economic-financial value. The future seems bright for this incredible team, as they focus on their new service DELTA. DELTA is an IT tool, which allows ICS to evaluate ESG risks as well as social impact of all projects and clients to be financed. These are measured in terms of ESG scores and ratings while social impact is measure through the method of SROI. The platform works through an online questionnaire submitted to all clients and direct links to open source public statistics on environmental and social issues. The use of DELTA does not only allow the team to evaluate sustainability of projects presented by clients for financing, but to identify weaknesses in projects and eliminate them while rewarding the most sustainable ones thanks to an ESG risks adjusted pricing model. Moving forward, it’s clear that the training of clients in the use of DELTA will allow for greater governance, as well as more effective social results from the efforts of the ICS team. As a bank, finding ways of rewarding better sustainability performers and supporting the worst ones for improvement is a priority. Sustainable development is a noble aim, and the team are determined to keep their spot as the Bank for Sustainable Development through Sport and Culture. Company: Istituto per il Credito Sportivo Name: Andrea Benassi, Head of Sustainable Development and Studies Department and Head of Communication Department Email: email@example.com Web Address: https://www.creditosportivo.it/
16. Ethical Finance Awards 2023 Wealth & Finance Mar23527 Best ESG Fund Management 2023 - Finland ESG Management looks at the Environment, Social and Governance factors that guide the direction of a company. While every business claims to have these at the forefront of how they operate, too many have settled for the bare minimum of what is expected of them. For the team at Titanium in Finland, ESG is the basis on which they work, with a sophisticated approach that ensures that none of the factors is overlooked. This impressive fund management team is a Finnish group independent of banking groups, which focuses on mutual funds, investment and asset management services. Since opening their doors, the team have taken charge of assets worth €1.7 billion for various institutions, HNW individuals and retail clients. The reason that so many have turned to the team is because they can offer a smaller, more boutique service. The two equity funds that the team operate focus on growing earnings and dividends as you might expect, but the Titanium Dividend Growth ESG Fund focuses on investing in mainly developed markets where our main ESG goal is low carbon while the Titanium Emerging Markets Dividend Growth ESG fund focuses more on social issues. This range of support for various concerns has generated excellent results, effectively bridging the gap between talking about finding solutions and actually making them happen. It goes without saying that measuring the success of an ESG solution can be immensely challenging. While environmental matters offer the potential to measure success simply through reports and data changes, social issues are more arduous to analyse. This field is where Joni Leskinen specialises. “Here it is really important to see that this requires its own ESG study by portfolio managers and not relying so much on classic ESG ratings,” he says. “This approach actually guarantees that ESG integration into the whole investment decision process is much better.” With such a dynamic way of working, it’s easy to see how the team has been able to connect so effectively with clients. They offer a way into ESG investment which gives provable results. Of course, no process is perfect and the Titanium team are always looking for ways in which they can improve their operation. “One certain development area regarding ESG funds is reporting,” admits Joni. “I’m quite happy at the current level but the work is not done yet. We want to improve reporting more to a level which is as easy as possible to understand. The good ESG fund report helps sales as well.” Building this connection between company and clients has been a big part of Titanium’s success, and Joni and the team here expect to build on this over the next year. With big plans ahead for the future of the company, it’s little wonder that expectation is high indeed. We can’t wait to see what the team does next! Company: Titanium Fund Management Company Ltd Name: Joni Leskinen Email: [email protected] Web Address: http://www.titanium.fi/ When looking at investment, finding a team that cares about taking care of your money and investments is vital. Indeed, nothing is more important to the team from Titanium Fund Management Company. With success achieved in the Ethical Finance Awards 2023, we caught up with Joni Leskinen to find out more about how they have set new standards in the industry at large.www.wealthandfinance-news.com