WORKING GROUP GENDER LENS INITIATIVE FOR SWITZERLAND

The Gender Lens Initiative for Switzerland (“GLIS”) is a working group set up by SFG in March 2021, at the initiative of the AlphaMundi Group Ltd and with the support of Gender Smart.

Tim Radjy, Vice-President of Sustainable Finance Geneva, commented: “The launch of this working group is the result of a seminal Gender Lens meeting convened in Geneva on 7 October 2020 by AlphaMundi and Gender Smart Investing. It is a groundbreaking initiative for the Swiss market that showcases Sustainable Finance Geneva’s role as a platform for innovation and partnerships.”  

Switzerland is a leading financial center on the world stage, a nexus for sustainable finance and development efforts and skillsets. Following its pioneering work in microfinance and impact investing, the country is now embracing the next frontier of financial innovation by positioning itself as a global hub for digital finance and gender lens investing.

Press release of March 8th, 2021

 

ACADEMIC RESEARCH COMMITTEE (ARCO) & INVESTMENT SOLUTIONS COMMITTEE (ISCO)

The GLIS formed an academic research committee (ARCO) of personalities from various universities, to help design and implement research related to gender lens investing, the gender balance of financial institutions, and women as capital owners and investors in Switzerland. 

ARCO members include :

Rajna Gibson Brandon

SFG / S&S Committee
Professor of Finance at GFRI-University of Geneva/ Vice-Director
Director and Member of the Board of the GIWM Foundation.

Rajna Gibson Brandon has been Professor of Finance at the University of Geneva since September 2008 and Director and Board Member of the Foundation Geneva Institute for Wealth Management (GIWM) since 2016. In 2009, she created the Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI) of the University of Geneva, which she still co-directs. She is also Honorary Professor of Finance at the University of Lausanne.

From 2000 to 2008, she was Professor of Finance at the University of Zurich and Professor of Finance at the University of Lausanne from 1991 to 2000. She was previously Assistant Professor of Finance at the HEC Group, France and “Visiting Scholar” at New York University and at the John Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She holds a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Geneva.

Rajna’s current research topics focus on financial asset valuation, risk management, sustainable finance, corporate governance and behavioural finance.

She has been a member of the Board of Directors of BNP Paribas Group, Paris since November 2018 and was a member of the Board of Directors of Swiss Re from June 2000 to April 2018; she was also a member of the Federal Banking Commission from 1997 to 2004.

Rajna Gibson Brandon

Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI) of the University of Geneva

VANINA FARBER

Vanina Farber is the elea Chair for Social Innovation at the IMD Business School in Lausanne.

She is an economist and political scientist specializing on social innovation, entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, with also almost twenty years of teaching, researching and consultancy experience, working with academic institutions, multinational corporations and international organizations.

Vanina is interested in studying and fostering the application of innovative, practical, sustainable and inclusive market-oriented approaches that aspire to change the world by eliminating the root causes of social ills. Her research focuses on scaling up social businesses and on innovations in inclusive value chains, especially last mile distribution.

Prior to coming to IMD, Vanina was Professor and Chair of Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Inclusion at Universidad del Pacífico, Peru, were she also was the Dean of the Graduate School of Business from 2014 to 2016.

Vanina Farber

IMD Business School in Lausanne

TAEUN KWON

Taeun Kwon is the Research Lead on Blended Finance at the Center for Sustainable Finance and Private Wealth at University of Zurich, where she is responsible for academic and practice-oriented research on the topic of innovative and blended finance and leads the research side of the Initiative for Blended Finance.

Her recent research topics include the effectiveness of the various instruments, across sectors such as water and education. Taeun is passionate about education and gender equality, which also led her to co-found Women in Sustainable Finance, a network organisation bringing together the topic of finance and gender equality. Before CSP, Taeun had launched her own ethical t-shirt brand employing single moms and immigrant women, worked in strategy consulting at Boston Consulting Group, brand consulting at TBWA\ and impact consulting at Impact Square.

She is an avid swimmer, newbie climber and terrible guitar player. Please email taeun.kwon@bf.uzh.ch to get in contact.

Taeun Kwon

University of Zurich

Jessica Espinoza

Jessica Espinoza is a Senior Investment Manager at DEG, the German Development Finance Institution (KfW Group) and the Chair of the 2X Challenge, a global initiative that has mobilized over $5 billion of gender lens investments since its launch at the G7 Summit in 2018.

Jessica is a PhD candidate at University of Siegen, researching the transformative potential of gender lens investing. Jessica has extensive experience sourcing, structuring and executing debt, mezzanine and equity deals in emerging markets with a strong focus on social impact. She serves on the Board of Directors of AlphaMundi Foundation and of the Mexican financial institution Mega as well as on the Advisory Board of several private equity funds. As a mentor for Endeavor, she supports high impact companies as they scale up.

Prior to joining DEG, Jessica was a Member of the Management Board at ProCredit Bank Nicaragua and part of the Group Funding team at ProCredit Holding. She managed the Africa Regional Office of MicroFinance Transparency in Ghana and led a flagship program to promote responsible finance across Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

Jessica Espinoza

University of Siegen in Germany

Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi

Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi is Professor of Finance at the University of Mannheim in Germany. Her research interests are in the fields of corporate governance, corporate finance, and asset management. A special focus of her research is on gender differences in financial markets.

Professor Niessen-Ruenzi’s research is published in top ranked academic journals (Journal of Financial Economics, Review of Financial Studies, Management Science) and is also regularly featured by the business press (New York Times, Wall Street Journal). She presents her work at leading international conferences and is a regular speaker on gender topics in the financial industry. Her research papers won several prizes, including best paper awards at the Academy of Management, Rothschild Caesarea IDC Conference and Society for the Advancement of Behavioural Economics.

She holds a PhD in Finance and has been a visiting scholar at several renowned institutions such as Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi is married and has twin daughters.

Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi

University of Mannheim

Anina Hille

Dr. Anina Hille teaches and does research in the areas of finance and diversity at the at the Institute for Financial Services (IFZ) at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences. Her main competences are in finance, the assessment of diversity & inclusion in general as well as for individual diversity dimensions such as gender, age or disabilities. Her interest lies in combining the topics of finance and diversity, this includes gender- and age finance as well as an emphasis on the S of ESG.

Anina looks back on a long career in financial industry, working for startups as well as large corporations such as Harcourt or Credit Suisse. She holds a PhD in finance on the topic of autocorrelation in hedge fund returns. At IFZ, beside of teaching these subjects at master-, bachelor and further education level, she manages various projects with regards to diversity & inclusion in cooperation with businesses, associations and the federal government. These include the diversity index, a toolbox where companies can measure and benchmark how diverse they are and thereby quantify this rather qualitative subject, Women’s Business, a project to enhance career chances of women, generation management, practice-oriented research with regards to the diversity dimension age and for example labor market study of hearing-impaired persons commissioned by the swiss association of the deaf.

In addition, she is co-founder and co-president of the “Companies and Returnships Network”, an association she founded together with reputable employers to bring mothers and fathers back to work and thereby offer employers access to a valuable, diverse and largely untapped talent pool.

Anina Hille

University of Lucern

The GLIS is in the process of forming an investment solutions committee (ISCO) of advisors from various financial industry segments to promote Gender Lens Investing standards and terms in investment products, and determine which products can be featured for educational purposes only as inspiring examples of GLI.

ISCO members include at this point :

Tim Radjy

Tim Radjy is Vice-President of SFG and Founder & Managing Partner of AlphaMundi Group SA, the Geneva-based impact investment fund manager he founded in 2008. He is also Chairman of the SocialAlpha Investment Fund (SAIF), Luxembourg, Treasurer of the AlphaMundi Foundation, Washington DC, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of AlphaJiri Fund, Mauritius.

AlphaMundi is a founding member of the GIIN network, TONIIC Europe, Swiss Sustainable Finance, a financial partner of SF, and a member of the Aspen Network, Gender Smart Investing and ColCapital.

Prior to that, Tim worked for UBS Wealth Management, where he helped create the bank’s first Philanthropy Services department advising UHNWI clients. He has spent time in Bolivia evaluating microfinance programs for the Swiss Development Agency, and has advised WWF International on major donor fundraising.

Tim holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Geneva and a Diploma in Private Banking from UBS. He is fluent in French, English and Spanish.

Tim Radjy

AlphaMundi Group in Geneva

Maria Affonseca Vogt

Maria has more than 17 years of experience in the Wealth Management industry. She started her career in São Paulo. In 2008, she moved to Luxembourg as Products Specialist with the mission to build up the Products Department for Banco Itaú Europa Luxembourg. In 2012, she moved to Switzerland, appointed as Global Head of Products & Portfolio Solutions for Itaú Private Bank, responsible to lead the development of the products and services architecture globally for the Bank.

Given her experience, Maria offers extensive knowledge of investment products full life cycle: sourcing, developing, structuring, and offering of investments solutions. 0rchestrating a complex web of multicultural stakeholders to come to the best possible solution, her vision is always driven by a holistic approach to the due diligence process, together with the understanding of sectors specifics within the value chain. She believes that sustainable and impact investment should be in the forefront of private capital allocation and cross sector collaboration, and that feminine energy can lead this change. Her latest pursue towards a sustainable and inclusive financial industry has led her to collaborate with Women in Sustainable Finance (WISF), a network that empower women to push for an inclusive financial industry.

Maria studied International Relations at PUC São Paulo, and holds a Masters in Wealth Management from INSPER. She has also earned a certificate on Business Sustainability Management and Supply Chain Management, both from University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Maria is a mother of two boys and loves the sea.

Maria Affonseca Vogt

Women In Sustainable Finance International

David Uzsoki

David Uzsoki works as a Sustainable Finance Lead and Senior Advisor in IISD’s Economic Law and Policy Program. He has several years of experience in providing solutions and thought leadership in various areas of sustainable finance. Sustainability has become one of the megatrends in finance that presents a unique opportunity to direct financial flows towards meeting the world’s sustainability challenges. He applies his financial industry experience to help financial market participants and other stakeholders navigate in this sustainability transition.

Among other topics, he has focused on gender lens investing and the mainstreaming of gender considerations in investment decisions, sustainable investing trends and innovation, second party opinions on green and sustainability bond frameworks, sustainable and nature-based infrastructure financing solutions, natural capital and biodiversity investing, climate risk assessment and stress-testing, the use of blockchain technology and other fintech solutions in sustainable investing. In addition, he has co-developed the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) methodology that uses system dynamics and project finance modelling to assess the environmental, social, and economic impact of infrastructure projects. 

Prior to joining IISD, he spent several years working with Morgan Stanley in wealth management. As a client advisor, he was responsible for running the daily operations of a busy wealth management desk, providing advisory, trading and custody services to family offices, asset managers and high net worth individuals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in international finance. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

David Uzsoki

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

David Uzsoki

David Uzsoki works as a Sustainable Finance Lead and Senior Advisor in IISD’s Economic Law and Policy Program. He has several years of experience in providing solutions and thought leadership in various areas of sustainable finance. Sustainability has become one of the megatrends in finance that presents a unique opportunity to direct financial flows towards meeting the world’s sustainability challenges. He applies his financial industry experience to help financial market participants and other stakeholders navigate in this sustainability transition.

Among other topics, he has focused on gender lens investing and the mainstreaming of gender considerations in investment decisions, sustainable investing trends and innovation, second party opinions on green and sustainability bond frameworks, sustainable and nature-based infrastructure financing solutions, natural capital and biodiversity investing, climate risk assessment and stress-testing, the use of blockchain technology and other fintech solutions in sustainable investing. In addition, he has co-developed the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) methodology that uses system dynamics and project finance modelling to assess the environmental, social, and economic impact of infrastructure projects. 

Prior to joining IISD, he spent several years working with Morgan Stanley in wealth management. As a client advisor, he was responsible for running the daily operations of a busy wealth management desk, providing advisory, trading and custody services to family offices, asset managers and high net worth individuals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in international finance. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Olga Miler

Olga is a global innovation expert, specializing in women and finance, sustainability, and gender-smart investing. She has been broadly recognized for her transformational achievements to change the financial services industry for women and gender equality with features in the global press such as Sky News, BBC News, CNBC, the Financial Times, Bloomberg and The Guardian and won numerous awards including ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year 2019’ by CityWealth Magazine and a place on the Senior Leaders in Fintech Powerlist by Innovate Finance.

Following her career at UBS she has co-founded her own start-up – SmartPurse – a fintech-ed-tech venture revolutionizing financial education. With her blog « Women & Money » for Watson-News Olga reached over 550,000 readers in Switzerland and this year writes the column « MoneyTalks ». She also serves as board member at the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and a fintech venture in Switzerland. Olga has two children and lives in Zürich.

Olga Miler

Co-founder of SmartPurse

David Uzsoki

David Uzsoki works as a Sustainable Finance Lead and Senior Advisor in IISD’s Economic Law and Policy Program. He has several years of experience in providing solutions and thought leadership in various areas of sustainable finance. Sustainability has become one of the megatrends in finance that presents a unique opportunity to direct financial flows towards meeting the world’s sustainability challenges. He applies his financial industry experience to help financial market participants and other stakeholders navigate in this sustainability transition.

Among other topics, he has focused on gender lens investing and the mainstreaming of gender considerations in investment decisions, sustainable investing trends and innovation, second party opinions on green and sustainability bond frameworks, sustainable and nature-based infrastructure financing solutions, natural capital and biodiversity investing, climate risk assessment and stress-testing, the use of blockchain technology and other fintech solutions in sustainable investing. In addition, he has co-developed the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) methodology that uses system dynamics and project finance modelling to assess the environmental, social, and economic impact of infrastructure projects. 

Prior to joining IISD, he spent several years working with Morgan Stanley in wealth management. As a client advisor, he was responsible for running the daily operations of a busy wealth management desk, providing advisory, trading and custody services to family offices, asset managers and high net worth individuals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in international finance. He is based in Geneva, Switzerland.

EVENTS

The GLIS will be present during the Building Bridges week. More information soon !

 
Reports & articles

GLIS is in the news !

Partners

The GLIS working group is composed of SFG members and institutional partners, and looks forward to developing its network of partnerships with Swiss and international organisations interested in promoting Gender Lens Investing.