13 November 2023

HSBC launches Sustainability Forum for Wall Street Juniors

The Sustainability Forum for Wall Street Juniors is an initiative driven by juniors at leading financial institutions across Wall Street for educational, networking and cross-fertilization efforts dedicated to sustainability.

A small team of HSBC juniors successfully launched the first-of-its-kind Sustainability Forum for Wall Street Juniors. Filled with over 113 attendees from 11 different institutions, the inaugural event was a massive success. It’s the first time in Wall Street’s history that a grassroots movement was led by young professionals for young professionals to ensure that they had a seat around the table when it comes to sustainability.

It’s vision from inception: the financial services industry thrives off excellence and innovation. Working as peers, the industry will make a meaningful impact contributing to the upskilling of their young professional talent in sustainability. This grassroot ambition aims to increase awareness and bridge the knowledge gap in sustainability, put the next generation in a leadership position to bring purpose to Wall Street, and provide opportunity for cross-fertilization efforts amongst juniors at financial institutions and wider sustainability ecosystem actors.

This first-of-its-kind forum was initiated by Clémence Bruguier, ESG Banking Analyst and led across Global Banking and Markets by the “lungs of the bank,” Camilla Jamro, Dominique Tome, Fadi Alaji, Laura Valencia Loaiza, Lesley Arbelaez, Katelyn Igneri, Lauren Jennings, and Lindsay Flescher.

Starting with opening remarks from Gerry Keefe, Co-Head of Global Banking coverage for HSBC, the event then moved into a keynote speaker fireside chat with Dr. Rajiv Shah, President, Rockefeller Foundation. Moderated by HSBC’s own Clémence Bruguier, Dr. Shah discussed the theme of ‘big bets’ from his new book, being appointed to lead the USAID agency under former President Obama, and how young professionals’ prioritization of tackling climate change through financing is encouraging for the future.

Sustainability is a global and intergenerational topic, one where Wall Street has the opportunity to be inclusive by adding more seats around the table. - Clémence Bruguier

From there, the forum’s first panel was: Scaling Clean Tech Towards Decarbonization. Moderated by Camilla Jamro, Analyst in Energy Transition, the conversation was with three key market players to discuss the current landscape of the clean tech sector, the opportunities and challenges in scaling new environmentally sustainable technologies, and how to incorporate these technologies into our existing infrastructure to help shift to a net zero economy. Breakthrough Energy, Last Energy and Distributed Solar Development all had representation on the panel.

The second panel was: Development of the Sustainability Market: Evolution, Implications, and Opportunities. Moderated by Lesley Arbelaez, Associate, ESG Banking, the conversation was with two industry experts around the evolution of the overall sustainability market. The session discussed developments in key areas such as standards, regulation, and the sustainable finance market, with an emphasis on how young professionals in the industry have an opportunity to influence the relatively nascent and rapidly evolving market. Ceres and Greenberg Traurig had representation on the panel.

Closing remarks were provided by HSBC’s own Alfred Traboulsi, Head of Investment Banking, Americas, thanking all participants and calling for the atendees to meet, network and continue the conversations.

HSBC hosted the launch event and looks forward to industry peers to further the Sustainability Forum for Wall Street Juniors efforts by organizing the event for the following years on a rotational basis. The end goal at play is to save the planet and ensure that our children’s generations will live in equitable and more just societies in the future. Huge congratulations to the trailblazing HSBC juniors who brought the next generation of Wall Street leaders closer to that end goal.