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Dr Radek Stech drew on his research on sustainable finance, the law and stakeholders.

SFLS CEO advocates Sustainable Finance principles at 2018 European Securities Lending Forum

Dr Radek Stech was invited to take part in a high-level roundtable on the rapidly growing governance aspects of sustainable finance and securities lending, including securities litigation, which was held on 13 September 2018 in the City of London. The ESG panel was part of the European Securities Lending Forum organised annually by the Information Management Network (IMN), with the backing of the International Securities Lending Association (ISLA) and the World Pensions Council (WPC), the international association of pension and social security funds.

Drawing on his past and current research on sustainable finance, the law and stakeholders, Radek proposed the idea of a securities lending industry-wide environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles to be drafted and adopted in the coming months after consultation with key stakeholders, including investment banks, beneficial owners, regulators and legislators in the US, Canada, China, the UK, Norway, Switzerland and the European Union.

The panel, entitled “Dispelling Misconceptions Surrounding Securities Lending and ESG Compatibility” was chaired by M. Nicolas J. Firzli, Director-General, World Pensions Council (WPC), Advisory Board Member of the World Bank Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), and included Jessica Hynes, Head of Custody Consulting, Mercer Sentinel EMEA, Xavier Bouthors, Head of Securities Lending, NN Investment Partners, and Roelof Van Der Struik, Investment Manager, Treasury, PGGM Investments. It considered key ESG matters applicable to the industry, such as questions over sustainable finance definitions and training, empty voting, litigation for responsible securities lending, and different approaches to implementing the ESG agenda at the institutional level.

Reflecting on the conference, M. Nicolas J. Firzli highlighted the significance of the SFLS framework, which, “together with key industry stakeholders, can contribute positively to the definition of common governance and social standards empowering both beneficial owners and securities lenders”. Radek was delighted to have engaged proactively in an “important discussion with the leaders and drivers of the ESG agenda in the securities lending industry”, at a time of rapid growth for this important sector “situated at the strategic crossroads where financial economics and contract law meet”.

Date: 17 September 2018