The news: Top banks and investment firms are hiring climate scientists and sustainability experts for top dollar, per Business Insider.
What’s happening? Banks and financial institutions are now looking to make good on their big commitments to combat climate change. Many are scouting non-traditional talent pools—like climate scientists and sustainability specialists—to bring in expertise.
What’s driving it?
1. Big promises
2. Shareholder pressures and generational demands
3. Stricter regulations
Will it work? ESG investing is poised for extraordinary growth, with an expected $9 trillion in new ESG AUM to arise between 2022 and 2025, and total AUM to surpass $50 trillion, per 2022 research from Bloomberg Intelligence.
These experts can influence business strategy at their firms, but they also should seize the opportunity to partner together and use their knowledge to create meaningful data collection practices and pathways to clean investing that all banks and FIs can implement.
Our take: Banks and FIs are not shying away from compensating these experts—some private equity firms are offering seven-figure salaries. Hopefully, financial services firms aren’t just hiring for optics to appease shareholders and to project an image of expertise within an extremely gray area. These well-compensated specialists need a seat at the decision-making table and must be empowered to make changes. If not, the banks and FIs are making a very costly and ill-intentioned PR move.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence’s Banking Innovation Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the banking industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.