Position title: Senior Vice President, Asia Sustainable Finance
Reports to: Director, Asia Sustainable Finance
Date: Mar 2021
I. Mission of the WWF Asia Sustainable Finance Team:
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is one of the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organizations with a global network of 6000 experts working across the areas most critical to global sustainable development, including food systems, climate and energy, and freshwater, forests and oceans, active in more than 100 countries. Our approach is deeply rooted in science and our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which people and nature thrive. WWF has identified the finance sector as a key driver of global economic activity with which we must engage to successfully deliver on our long-term conservation mission.
Positioned at the cutting-edge of sustainable finance internationally, our global sustainable finance team of 80 experts - including 30 in Asia - is dedicated to supporting the finance sector to transition to sustainable and resilient economy via working with key finance sector players including banks, investors, regulators, and stock exchanges, across six focus areas:
Regulations and Guidelines: We provide recommendations and facilitate dialogue between regulatory authorities and financial institutions (FIs) to issue harmonized regulations and guidelines that raise the bar for sustainable finance at the national and regional level.
Standards: We help FIs understand what makes certain standards and certification schemes credible to help them ensure that their due diligence and verification processes assure robust sustainability practices.
Capacity Building: We empower FIs through capacity building on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues through industry-wide workshops and bilateral training sessions. Our trainings cover a range of sectors and thematic focus areas and help FIs to better assess and price risk, value companies, and develop new products.
Research & Tools: We conduct research, develop best practice guides, and benchmark FIs’ progress on ESG integration to ensure timely progress towards a resilient and sustainable financial system. We also help FIs to understand and implement cutting-edge tools so they can better understand, measure, and manage evolving ESG risks and opportunities.
Engagement: We help investors exert their influence and facilitate large scale, meaningful change by providing research and analysis that supports their engagement with portfolio companies over key ESG issues
Green Financial Solutions: We work with FIs to support the development of innovative green financial solutions based on science-based criteria that create measurable environmental and social impacts alongside competitive financial returns.
In Asia, we work across seven (7) ASEAN countries - Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – as well as in Japan and South Korea. We focus on sustainability issues related to soft commodities finance (e.g. agriculture, forestry, and seafood), in addition to cross-cutting issues such as climate and energy, water and biodiversity.
In this role, the Senior Vice President will have a specific focus on strategy development and stakeholder engagement in major Asian financial centres, in relation to responsible investment in particular.
II. Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Stakeholder engagement and relationship management (internal and external)
Seek out, establish and nurture strategic relationships with senior representatives of key finance sector stakeholders in the region and where relevant, globally, to secure future opportunities for collaboration and capacity building.
Understand the varying interests and priorities of different finance sector stakeholders, including investors (asset owners, asset managers), banks, stock exchanges, regulators, government ministries, etc. and adjust engagement strategy accordingly to maximize effectiveness
Where beneficial, forge internal and external partnerships and develop platforms that contribute to the goals of WWF’s global Finance practice
Work closely with other WWF national offices in the region to 1) deliver guidance on and co-execute country-specific financial sector engagement strategies and 2) ensure that Finance practice activities contribute to other WWF goals and strategies
Establish own reputation as an expert and WWF as a leading organization in sustainable finance in coverage countries
Influence and foster the development of the finance sector’s strategies, policies and/or regulations on sustainable finance
Identify and create opportunities for WWF to work with key banks, investors, and industry associations to develop their responsible lending and investing strategies, policies, ESG risk assessment tools, and appropriate monitoring and reporting frameworks (e.g. ISEAL certifications, climate risk assessment and alignment, geospatial tools, natural capital impact reporting, etc.)
Advocate for the issuance of sustainable finance guidelines and regulations with regulators and policymakers; directly support their development by providing input and recommendations to ensure their harmonization across the region and consistency with international best practice and standards (e.g. EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan, TCFD, NGFS, etc.), in line with WWF’s Greening Financial Regulations Initiative
ESG research and tools
Research and understand the risk transmission channels between ESG issues, business and financial performance and socio-economic development
Lead and manage research on topics including analysis of financial institutions’ performance on ESG integration/risk management and corporate sustainability disclosure and performance; based on findings, develop recommendations for finance sector and other relevant stakeholders
Author reports and develop tools to support capacity building, policy development and investor collective engagement
Represent WWF perspectives, present WWF research and tools, and demonstrate thought leadership on sustainable finance at international conferences and other events
Develop strategies and manage processes for communicating research findings and WWF positions to finance sector stakeholders through multiple channels, e.g. press releases for mainstream/trade media, op-eds/blogs, interviews, social media, etc.
Develop strategy for and oversee communications with other WWF national offices and other relevant internal stakeholders to identify and address potential conflicts in objectives, interests
Training and capacity building
Leverage deep technical expertise to oversee content development and organize and conduct capacity building workshops, webinars and other events for finance sector stakeholders on sustainable finance and ESG issues/trends
Work with WWF food systems, climate and energy, and freshwater, forests and oceans experts to distill insights and knowledge into guidance and recommendations for the finance sector
Serve as a sustainable finance expert within the WWF network; build capacity of wider WWF network on sustainable finance and ensure understanding of its contribution to their respective interests and priorities
Developing green and blue financial solutions
Develop and structure innovative financial solutions to mobilize additional capital to protect and restore nature and communities
Collaborate with financial institutions to pilot, implement and measure the impacts of green financial solutions
Internal strategy development, team management, fundraising, budgeting, and reporting
Stay on top of global developments in sustainable finance, assess effectiveness and relevance of sustainable banking/responsible investment team long term strategy, and propose new strategic activities and product innovations (i.e. ideas for new research, tools, green financial solutions)
Conceptualize and lead the writing of funding proposals that align WWF strategy and priorities with those of major donors to secure long-term funding for both the Singapore sustainable finance team and regional offices
Conduct monitoring, evaluating, budgeting and reporting of project performance against planned objectives and deliverables and milestones
Support the Director of Sustainable Finance to communicate the work of the sustainable finance team to our donor base so as to open up new opportunities for fundraising
Team leadership and management
Co-manage and coordinate the overall work stream on responsible investment within the Asia Sustainable Finance team and across countries of operation and oversee short-term work planning to ensure timely achievement of KPIs and other key deliverables within budget
As technical lead on responsible investment, develop the capabilities of other team members to ensure the consistently high quality of all work outputs
Represent the WWF Asia Sustainable Finance team at meetings with senior finance sector and government stakeholders and at international conferences
Hold decision-making authority when the Director, Asia Sustainable Finance is unavailable
Line manage Associates, Assistant Vice Presidents, and Vice Presidents
Relevant educational qualifications, Master’s Degree preferred, in relevant field
Minimum 10 years relevant working experience, ideally with 3+ years in responsible investment/ESG. Experience in the fields of sustainable/development finance, corporate sustainability, or climate/environmental policy will also be considered where relevant to private investment.
Required Skills and Competencies
Able to prioritize, work in a dynamic environment and operate under tight deadlines
Must be a team player but should have the ability to work independently and proactively;
Excellent oral and written communication skills; business proficiency in regional languages will be an asset
Adheres to WWF’s values, which are: Courage, Integrity, Respect and Collaboration
Must be able to travel internationally (up to 15%)
IV. Working Relationships:
Internal - Relevant departments within the WWF network
External – With financial institutions, regulators, stock exchanges, sustainable finance platforms and consultants
Interested candidates to send cover letter and CV in English to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Senior Vice President - Asia Sustainable Finance ”.