HSBC launches ESG unit

HSBC has formed a dedicated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Solutions unit to help clients around the world rebuild and transition their businesses and economies in a more sustainable way post-Covid-19.

HSBC has taken a leading global role in ESG financing in recent years and the new unit will more effectively focus the bank’s full range of capabilities and expertise in providing clients with ESG-related advice, strategies and financing ideas.

The ESG unit will form part of a new Strategic Solutions Group, within the bank’s Capital Financing & Investment Banking Coverage division. The group will also comprise two other components – one focusing on Corporate Finance Solutions and one on Financial Institutions & Capital Solutions. They will link closely with HSBC’s sector and product bankers to provide strategic advice and financing ideas tailored to specific industries and market sectors.

“Post-Covid, we have a unique opportunity to rebuild our economies and companies so they are more financially-resilient and can transition to more sustainable business models,” says Greg Guyett, Co-CEO of Global Banking and Markets at HSBC. “This new group will work with all our bankers across sector, product and geography to assess client needs and deliver actionable solutions which are in the best interests of our clients.”

HSBC is already recognised as a leader in ESG financing. The bank was recently named Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in Asia, Western Europe and the Middle East in Euromoney’s 2020 Awards for Excellence and was the World’s Best Bank for Sustainable Finance in the awards in 2019.

“We aim to be the leading bank for the transition to a net-zero economy, helping to build a future in which economic growth and sustainability are well aligned,” says Daniel Klier, Global Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC. “These changes will allow us to rapidly grow our role in providing ESG strategies for clients so we can accelerate their ability to contribute to a low carbon future.”

The Strategic Solutions Group, led globally by Nik Dhanani, who previously headed the global Financing Solutions Group, will comprise around 35 bankers spread across Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. In addition to leading the global team, he will lead the FIG & Capital Solutions vertical and oversee the day-to-day activities of the group in EMEA.

The ESG Solutions unit will be led by Jonathan Drew, based in Hong Kong, working with Farnam Bidgoli in London and Julie Bennett in New York. They will be supported by several hundred colleagues who have already engaged with clients on assisting their transition needs. The network will continue to expand to meet the growing financing requirements of clients addressing the challenge of evolving their businesses towards a net zero-carbon world.

“Our new Strategic Solutions Group is going to be a powerful resource for clients looking to deliver resilient growth and build strong balance sheets, allowing them to withstand future shocks and make the changes needed to mitigate climate change,” says Alexi Chan, Global Co-Head of Capital Markets at HSBC.