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Number of senior ESG roles in financial services jumps 50% in a year

Jack Payne | 13 July 2021

The boom in ESG investment products within financial services has been well-documented but what kind of hiring trends has this created?

Our latest research shows that the number of senior level Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) jobs in UK financial services businesses has jumped 50% from 460 to 690 in the past year*.

The number of junior ESG roles created in the financial services sector in the past year also increased at a significant rate, rising 60% from 118 new jobs created two years ago to 196 in the last 12 months.

 

What is causing this increase?

The jump in ESG roles is directly in response to increased regulatory, customer and investor pressure on financial institutions to provide more ESG-related investment products and integrate ESG into their broader decision-making.

Financial services businesses realise that if they don’t take ESG more seriously, they will miss out on the boom in sales from ESG related products and will face more scrutiny from regulators and clients alike. ESG is now simply considered as good corporate strategy, good business and good economics.

 

What are firms in the sector doing?

Deutsche Bank for example is looking to hire a “sizeable team in the double digits” to launch an ESG centre of excellence to work across all its business divisions.

Our research found that nine new ESG-specific roles at board level among financial services firms were filled in the past year, with 33 ESG-specific jobs in total at executive level in the sector.

Banks including Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and JP Morgan have created teams of bankers to focus on sustainable finance, as well as ESG and climate change more broadly.

Several asset managers have also been on an ESG-hiring spree, with many including the likes of BlackRock committed to fully integrating ESG criteria across their investment portfolios.

ESG is one of the main themes we’re seeing drive board room decision making at present. Unlike the global financial crisis where Financial Services was the problem, with ESG, financial services firms play an integral part of financing the solution.

ESG metrics and reporting are now becoming business imperatives due to increased scrutiny from investors and regulators. The need for expertise in this area is growing rapidly, as many firms are now placing greater emphasis on non-financial performance.

 

Jack Payne is a consultant at Interim Partner at NSCG's Financial and Professional Services practice. As market leaders in asset and wealth management change, we help accelerate performance through leadership & talent solutions. To learn more, please get in touch.

*Year to June 2021, senior roles include those at manager level and above.