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How ‘architects of wealth’ are amplifying the centrality of sustainability for business and investment resilience in the new normal

In this episode of SCMP Conversations: The Next Normal, moderator Eugene Tang, business editor for South China Morning Post, talked to Omar Shokur, Asia Chief Executive and Singapore branch manager of Indosuez Wealth Management. Their focus was on how architects of wealth are centering sustainability in the conversation about business and investment resilience in a post-COVID world.

Having taken over his position as Asia’s CEO right before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Omar offers a unique perspective on this crisis. In particular, he has noticed a reassessment of sustainability in the wealth management and financial industry.

The industry has been on track towards becoming more sustainable for the past few years, but it seems that COVID-19 has accelerated the movement. Omar’s own company, Indosuez Wealth Management, has been striving towards ESG compliance for several years. They have not been able to become ESG-compliant overnight, but over the years, they have tried to steadily increase their sustainability.

The big change that COVID has caused is their clients’ interests. Whereas before the pandemic, IWM would have to convince their clients of the importance of ESG compliance. They tried to make their platform more sustainable while meeting their clients’ needs.

Now, their clients’ interests are naturally aligned with Indosuez Wealth Management’s goals. More and more people within the financial industry are focusing on ESG adoption, including IWM’s clients.

With the alignment between their clients’ interests and their sustainability goals, IWS has been able to center ESG-compliance in their conversations on financial resilience.

While environmental consciousness has increased, the other reason that sustainability is at the forefront of clients’ minds is resilience. Environmentally sustainable business practices are an investment in long-term success.

Many industries are coming to realize that by polluting and harming the environment, they are damaging their own business. For businesses to continue profiting and succeeding, they have to have resources to use, consumers to buy, and a world to work in.

Many of IWM’s clients are coming to the same realization. Though some industries have not yet embraced ESG practices, the financial sector is starting to comply with those criteria.

Omar Shokur is an experienced wealth management professional, and he expects to see a further embracing of ESG criteria in the coming years.

Check out the full conversation between Eugene Tang and Omar Shokur below:

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Razlan Manjaji

He reads to be informed, and he informs to be read. Head of Global Events for the South China Morning Post.