Virtual Event: ESG and Sustainable Investing
Gerald Butts (Eurasia Group), Alison Loat (OPTrust), and Veronica Chau (BCG), moderated by Mark Wiseman (AIMCo)
” Where Policy Meets Practice ”
Dec 9, 2020
This year has seen a substantial increase in the amount institutional investors are incorporating environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors into their portfolios, and COVID-19 has accelerated this trend even further. There is clearly a growing appetite to invest in a more sustainable way, but transparency is needed in this space in order to do good for the planet and prevent “greenwashing”. How can Canada build a framework to address the growing need for harmonized ESG disclosure requirements? Is there clear-cut criteria to determine what makes a company ESG investable?
Join Canadian Club Toronto as we bring together financial and policy experts to help understand the challenges involved in sustainable investing. This expert panel will be moderated by Mark Wiseman, Chairman of Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), and will feature:
Gerald Butts – Vice Chairman of Eurasia Group
Veronica Chau – Partner and Director of Sustainable Investing & Social Impact at BCG
Alison Loat – Managing Director of Sustainable Investing and Innovation at OPTrust
Gerald Butts, Vice Chairman and Senior Advisor, Eurasia Group
As vice chairman and a senior advisor at Eurasia Group, Gerald works closely with CEO Maziar Minovi and President Ian Bremmer on strategic initiatives across all areas of the firm. With experience on a multitude of public policy and geopolitical issues, he has developed deep expertise on climate change, trade, energy, sustainable finance, and artificial intelligence and advises Eurasia Group clients across these areas.
Gerald has successfully led Canadian and global organizations in the public and private sectors for 20 years. As the principal secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau from 2015–2019, Gerald was responsible for providing executive direction on the development, implementation, and communication of the government’s agenda. This work included overseeing economic policy, the negotiation of the Paris climate accord, and the creation of Canada’s first national climate change plan—which included an economy-wide price on carbon. Gerald played a major role in managing relations with the US administrations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump, as well as in the renegotiation of NAFTA.
Prior to his work with the prime minister, Gerald served as policy secretary and principal secretary to the premier of the province of Ontario, where he led the implementation of the government’s $100 billion core agenda. Gerald was also the CEO of WWF-Canada, where he was responsible for international engagement and global projects to decarbonize the supply chains of multinational companies.
A successful leader in politics as well as public policy, Gerald designed the strategies for the Liberal Party’s 2015 and 2019 national election campaigns, as well as Trudeau’s bid to win the party’s leadership in 2013. The 2015 campaign, widely recognized as one of Canada’s most innovative and successful, allowed the Liberal Party to move from third place in parliament to forming a majority government. Its gain of 148 new seats was the largest in Canadian history.
In addition to his work with Eurasia Group, Gerald leads New Climate Group, a private consultancy that advises global financial firms, educational institutions, and philanthropists on strategic investments in climate mitigation and resilience, and artificial intelligence. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from McGill University.
Veronica Chau , Partner and Director, Sustainable Investing & Social Impact, Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Veronica Chau is a member of the Financial Institutions and Social Impact practices at Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Veronica works with financial institutions and investors to create value through strategies that realize both financial and social returns. Her work with international investors, governments, foundations, social sector organizations, and entrepreneurs has given her a perspective that spans the private, public, and social sectors. She is also an expert regarding the philosophy of how finance can be better used as a way to create lasting value for shareholders and society alike. Veronica is part of the core team at BCG that works with total societal impact.
Veronica is a passionate advocate for ESG (environmental, social, and governance) investing, impact investing, and socially responsible investing. Before joining the firm, Veronica was a partner at Dalberg Global Advisors.
Alison Loat , Managing Director, Sustainable Investing & Innovation, OPTrust
Alison Loat is the Managing Director, Sustainable Investing and Innovation at OPTrust, a Canadian public pension plan. She is also a board director and the Canadian chair of Ai-Media, a technology company that makes educational, workplace, conference and media content accessible.
Previously, she was the Senior Managing Director of FCLTGlobal (Focusing Capital on the Long Term) where she worked with leading asset owners, asset managers and companies to advance practical approaches to long-term investing. Her career began at McKinsey & Company, where she focused on healthcare and financial services. She also worked with Commonwealth Pension Services, where she advised on the establishment of a retirement income plan for Canadian charitable sector workers, and held several leadership roles in the healthcare sector, including on the founding team of the Medical and Related Sciences (MaRS) Discovery District, a 1.5 million square foot scientific commercialization facility in Toronto.
Alison has also a deep commitment to public service. She co-founded the Samara Centre for Democracy, a charity that works to improve the health of democracy in Canada. She was also a Senior Fellow and instructor at the University of Toronto, a member of the Premier of Ontario’s Highly Skilled Workforce Expert Panel and served as the president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, vice-president of the Banff Forum board, and as a director of the Toronto Community Foundation. She is also the co-author of the #1 best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons: Former MPs Speak Out About Canada’s Failing Democracy.
Alison is currently a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, where she serves on the program’s Advisory Board, an Advisory Board member at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University and a governor of Ridley College.
She received both the Queen’s Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals and was named one of the WXN 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. She has degrees from Queen’s University and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Mark Wiseman , Chair, Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo)
Mark Wiseman is a Canadian investment manager and business executive and an industry-leading expert in alternatives and active equity investments. Among his advisory roles with various organizations, Mark serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), and as a part-time Senior Advisor to Hillhouse Capital and Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Until the end of last year, he was a Senior Managing Director at BlackRock, Global Head of Active Equities, Chairman of its alternatives business, and Chairman of BlackRock’s Global Investment Committee. He also served on BlackRock’s Global Executive Committee.
Prior to joining BlackRock in 2016, Mark was President & CEO of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Mark joined CPPIB in June 2005 as the organization’s Senior Vice-President, Private Investments. He was later named Executive Vice-President, Investments, responsible for managing all of the investment activities of CPPIB. He was named President & Chief Executive Officer in 2012.
Prior to joining the CPPIB, Mark was responsible for the private equity fund and co-investment program at the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Previously, Mark was an officer with Harrowston Inc., a publicly traded Canadian merchant bank and a lawyer with Sullivan & Cromwell, practicing in New York and Paris. He also served as a law clerk to Madam Justice Beverley McLachlin at the Supreme Court of Canada.
Born in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University and a law degree and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Toronto. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at Yale University, where he obtained a Master of Laws. Mark also serves on the board of several non-profit organizations, including Alpine Canada, the United Way of Greater Toronto, Sinai Health Services, the Capital Markets Institute and the Dean’s Advisory Board at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.