Alison Chan, Director, Sustainable Finance, National Australia Bank
Alison started her career as a banking and finance lawyer with King Wood Mallesons in Sydney and spent 12 years with Clifford Chance in London before bringing her passion for sustainability and ethical practice to banking. Alison is a governance expert and was recognised in 2019 by the ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute as Governance Professional of the Year for her work as a senior advisor to Climate Bonds Initiative, an international NGO focussed on mobilising the global bond market for climate change solutions.
As a Director in National Australia Bank’s Sustainable Finance Team, Alison works with corporates and governments looking to invest in sustainability. Alison also represents the interests of local participants on the International Capital Markets Association’s Green Bond Principles and Social Bond Principles Advisory Council and its Climate Transition Finance Working Group.
Dr Robert Charnock, Lecturer in Accounting at Birmingham Business School
Dr Robert Charnock’s research focuses on carbon accounting and climate finance, analysing how organisations can respond to the Paris Agreement on climate change. He works within the climate finance research stream at the Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business at the University of Birmingham, UK, where he also lectures in accounting. Robert took these posts after completing his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he worked with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) to develop carbon accounting guidance on climate risk.
Amidst the rapidly growing interest in climate finance and risk, he has advised the UK’s Financial Reporting Council and the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group on future regulations within this space. He also works closely with the Global Association of Risk Professionals as well as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales. In 2020, Robert is using a sabbatical to discuss developments in climate finance with Australian and Malaysian financial regulatory authorities as well as numerous organisations, universities and research centres across China, Australia and New Zealand.
Simon O'Connor Co-Chair, Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative CEO, Responsible Investment Association Australasia
Simon is co-chair of the steering committee of Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative, a financial services sector collaboration consisting of 90 organisations who are working to develop a roadmap for the sector to contribute systematically to Australia's contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. ASFI brings together leaders spanning Australia’s major banks, superannuation funds, insurance companies, financial sector peak bodies and academia to develop a Sustainable Finance Roadmap by mid-2020, in consultation with diverse sectors and stakeholders.
Simon is also the CEO of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia - an organisation with over 270 organisations who jointly manage over $9 trillion in assets globally - where he has worked for the past 7 years to elevate sustainability issues as core investment risks and opportunities, and shift capital to support a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous world. Simon has operated at the intersection of economics, finance and sustainability for nearly 20 years and has extensive international experience as an economic adviser, investment analyst and sustainability consultant across finance, corporate and not for profit sectors. Simon is active across the region and internationally in responsible investment and sustainable finance.
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