Network for Sustainable Financial Markets to re-brand and focus on millennials

One of the original ESG think-tanks, NSFM announces plans to re-focus

A handful of market figures are trying to resuscitate the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets (NSFM) – one of the original ESG think-tanks – by redirecting its focus to millennials with “an interest in correcting dysfunctional financial markets, policies and related systemic risks”.

NSFM was founded by Raj Thamotheram, the former Head of Responsible Investment at USS, after the financial crisis, to bring financial professionals together with academics and other stakeholders interested in long-term investing. In recent years, the initiative has appeared dead in the water, overtaken by the many others to launch in the investment world. However, NSFM will now reinvent itself, rebranding as the NSFM Next Generation Initiative.

The new initiative will see long-standing board members Cary Krosinsky, Steve Viederman, Gordon Noble and Angelo Calvello step down after almost a decade. Instead, Martina Macpherson (ex Head of ESG Research & Analysis at S&P Global Ratings), Daniela Carosio (Italian sustainable investment specialist), Gabriel Thoumi (Director of Capital Markets at Climate Advisers) and CSR scholar Christoph Biehl will take the reins.The new version of NSFM will officially launch in 2019, and will be a more informal body: there is no longer a corporate structure or any legal framework for the initiative, and it currently has no website, working group process or clear funding stream.

“With the closing of the corporate structure, NSFM aims to increase efficiencies, provide more value-add to its network and goes back to its original roots of being an independent think tank, with limited biases and conflicts of interests,” it said in a statement.

“Following a consultation with NSFM member and other stakeholders, the newly-formed NSFM Next Generation Initiative aims to focus on millennials who are “authentic change agents” within the finance sector… However, they are often excluded from key decisions and deprived of opportunities impacting their own future.”

Macpherson added that 2019 will see the initiative launch “a catalogue” of partnerships, mentorship programmes and career opportunities.

Thamotheram, who stepped down from NSFM in 2013 and went on to found Preventable Surprises, said the “new direction” for the initiative would enable it to be “impactful”.