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Fitch Learning: Talent Supply for ESG Positions Outstripped by Demand


The supply of talent for ESG-related roles at all levels is currently being outstripped by demand – one of the key insights shared at the latest Fitch Learning Minds & Machines Forum.

Financial institutions are undergoing a re-mobilization of the workforce to contribute effectively to Sustainable Development Goals – driven in part, for example, by China’s move towards carbon neutrality and Singapore’s Green Plan 2030. Professionals, particularly at the entry-level and mid-level, along with new entrants such as graduates, are actively seeking to upskill or develop capabilities in ESG.

Yet, over half of the 400 Forum participants claimed in a poll to be “only just beginning” to prepare their ESG capabilities in Asia. A talent gap that may take slightly longer to resolve is leadership level expertise in the combination of finance and sustainability. A key issue will be the provision of structured professional development programs both built in-house as well as available on a more industry-wide basis.

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Today, ESG assets invested globally stand at USD53 trillion – an increase of USD15 trillion from the previous year and more than double the level of 5 years ago. The rate of growth is such that McKinsey and the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance forecast ESG assets to reach USD140.5 trillion by 2025.

Aside from the discussion on developing human capital in ESG, the forum also addressed topics such as investor trends and integrating ESG fully into the investment process; augmenting the industry culture, ethics, leadership and innovation through ESG; and the factors likely to hold the APAC region back in relation to embedding ESG.

The Fitch Learning Minds & Machines Forum is a global series of pioneering thought leadership events engaging business leaders in the exchange of collective insights and best practices. This latest event on “Minds & Machines: Embedding ESG into the investment management offering in Asia” took place on 15 September 2021 and included an audience of over 400 senior banking and learning & development executives of leading financial institutions from across Asia and Europe.

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