Vice President, Asia Sustainable Finance | WWF
© WWF-Singapore

Position title:              Vice President, Asia Sustainable Finance  

Reports to:                  Head, Asia Sustainable Finance 

Date:                           November 2019 

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  key finance sector players including banks, investors, regulators, and stock exchanges, across six focus areas: '

1. 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. 

2. 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. 

3. 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. 

4. 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. 

5. 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. 

6. 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 Vice President will have a specific focus on strategy development and stakeholder  engagement in major Asian financial centres. 

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. 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.) 

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 

Communications 

  •  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 

 

III. Profile: 

 

Required Qualifications           

● Relevant educational qualifications, Master’s Degree preferred, in relevant field 

● Minimum 10 years working experience in the field of sustainable/development finance, 
corporate sustainability, or climate/environmental policy  

 

Required Skills and Competencies  

● Able to prioritize, work in a dynamic environment and operate under tight deadlines 

● Ability to work independently and proactively; 

● Excellent oral and written communication skills;   

● Adheres to WWF’s values, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging   
● 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