HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter Round Table and City of London’s Green Finance Initiative Conference @ British Embassy, Rome, 10.02.2017

Two weeks ago, we had the honor to be invited to the British Embassy in Rome by Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador Jill Morris since, as the latter stated, we represent “the next generation of women on boards”. On this occasion our members participated to a round-table focusing on the Women in Finance Charter recently launched by the HM Treasury in London, at the presence of the Director-General for Financial Services Katherine Braddick and some of the most influential women in the Italian financial industry. The Women in Finance Charter was launched in March 2016 following the principles laid down by Virgin Money’s Jayne Anne Gadhia. It is an agreement between HM Treasury and signatory firms to work together in order to build a more balanced industry. The signatory firms include many of the bulge bracket investment banks (Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank etc.) among other big players in the financial landscape.The Charter aims primarily at increasing female representation in the executive pipeline and mid-tier level. To reach such a goal, firms can implement their own targets and strategies, but they must all incorporate two key principles: transparency and accountability.
Following the roundtable and a networking lunch, Women in Finance also attended a conference on another subject growing in importance, Green Finance, featuring many prominent speakers such as Sir Roger Gifford, Former Lord Mayor of London, James Politi from the Financial Times or Mari Siciliano from the ECA. The debate focused on the Green Bond Market and on how it could potentially grow in the next few years. This market was created 10 years ago (with the first Green Bond issued in 2007 by the European Investment Bank) and as relatively recent, it still faces several drawbacks including no common methodology for measurements of GAG emissions, no common principles to report, no priorities set by the public sector and, most importantly, no shared definition of what “Green” Finance actually is. A convergence between the different players is thus required in order to lay down strong and stable foundations for the future. At the moment, the focus is to expand this market, which remains, as Sir Roger Gifford puts it, “a drop in the ocean” compared to the overall bond market (about 0.01%). For this goal to be reached, a real shift in investment patterns is needed, both from public but also private investors.Embassy