US and Global Trends in ESG in View of COVID-19 and Climate Change

Hosted by the 100WF Chicago Education Committee
ESG investing represents a fundamental paradigm shift across all industries globally. More empirical data suggests that ESG is proven to lead to risk reduction and long-term financial outperformance, a trend that board directors and investors cannot ignore.

ESG issues affect strategic and operational decisions, including responding to climate change, implementing effective health and safety policies, and having a corporate culture that builds trust and fosters innovation. Other aspects are disaster preparedness, labor management, business continuity planning and supply chain dislocation, which responses to COVID-19 have thrust forward.

Take a deeper dive at this virtual roundtable on topics in sustainable investing:

  • Key trends in the ESG space (e.g., climate change and the path to net zero, corporate governance, ESG disclosures, ESG engagement and integration)
  • A global perspective on the ESG landscape – which regions are leading the way and why
  • Climate risk factored with current and upcoming rules and regulations (e.g., PRI, TCFD)
  • Longer-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on key ESG factors

To promote dialogue, please email questions in advance to by May 22 2020 12:00 PM.

Your webinar RSVP is requested below. The webinar registration link will be emailed separately closer to the date of the event.

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1 June 2020
9:00 AM N. America West Coast
11:00 AM N America Central / Cayman
12:00 PM N. America East Coast
5:00 PM London

The program will begin promptly at 11:00 AM Central time. Latecomers may not be able to enter.

Laura Craft

Alessia Falsarone, SASB FSA
PineBridge Investments

John Hoeppner

Viola Lutz

Nidhi Chadda
Enzo Advisors LLC
The webinar registration link will be emailed to you separately closer to the date of the event.

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Laura Craft
SVP Global Strategy & Investment ESG, Heitman

Laura is Senior Vice President, Global Strategy and Investment ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) at Heitman, a real estate investment manager with ~$44 billion in private equity, debt and securities investments across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. She identifies ESG investment opportunities and solutions, and leads the ESG platform to establish systematic approaches to embed ESG into investment decision-making and management of investments. Laura helped develop Heiman’s mission statement “Investing Today with a Focus on Tomorrow”; ultimately, we seek to improve the world in which we live and work, while delivering the investment outcomes our investors require. We believe integrating ESG considerations provides opportunities to create value, reduce risk and enhance investment returns. Prior to joining Heitman, she spent 10 years at LaSalle Investment Management, where she began in LaSalle’s valuation and asset management groups and transitioned to develop the firm’s Global Sustainability Platform. Laura’s early career experience includes market data coverage at real estate brokerage company, Grubb & Ellis, Barkley Fraser, as well as Building Information Modeling (BIM) research and development at SmartBIM. Laura received a double BA in Real Estate and Business Management from University of Georgia, where she was one of 30 UGA students to earn a Leonard Leadership Scholar Certification.

Alessia Falsarone, SASB FSA
Managing Director, PineBridge Investments

Alessia Falsarone, SASB FSA is a Managing Director in the Global Fixed Income team at PineBridge Investments in New York, a private, global asset manager focused on active, high-conviction investing. As Head of Sustainable Investing and Chair of the firm’s Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee, she brings an integrated portfolio management lens to the investigation of the Environmental, Social and Governance practices of global organizations that access developed credit markets. Previously, Ms. Falsarone served as Vice President of Global Investments in the office of the CIO at Citigroup, and as a quantitative strategist on Citigroup's institutional research desk in San Francisco. She started her career as an investment banker with Credit Suisse. Ms. Falsarone is a Governance Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors and an active member of several technical expert groups including the Standards Advisory Group of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the Advisory Council of the Green and Social Bonds Principles, and the UN PRI Advisory Committee on ESG in Credit Risk and Ratings. Ms. Falsarone is an alumna of Stanford University, the MIT Sloan School of Business and the Bocconi University School of Economics.

John Hoeppner
Head of US Stewardship and Sustainable Investments, LGIMA

John Hoeppner, Head of US Stewardship and Sustainable Investments John joined LGIMA in 2018 as Head of US Stewardship and Sustainable Investments. He is the US representative of the Corporate Governance team. John is charged with shaping the firm’s corporate engagements and driving demand for sustainable investing strategies in the US market. He joined from Mission Measurement where he led the Impact Investing practice, and launched an ESG data and consulting business. Prior, John held multiple senior product positions in the asset management divisions of UBS and Northern Trust. John championed a range of corporate and product related sustainable investment efforts. He started his investment career at Cambridge Associates on the capital markets research team. John earned a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Viola Lutz
Associate Director, ISS ESG

Viola Lutz is an Associate Director with ISS ESG. Viola is supporting public and private sector clients with developing and implementing solutions to address climate impacts and risks, including the development of new methodologies. She is co-author of several studies for governments and investors on climate change risks of and financial actors’ impact on climate change. She also leads the implementation of ISS’ Second Party Opinion business for Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds and accompanying methodology development. Viola frequently speaks and publishes on investments and climate change, gives presentations to and holds workshops for private and public sector investors and asset owners, and contributes as speaker and panelist to conferences and webinars. Prior to joining ISS-climate and its predecessor unit at South Pole Group she has worked as Research Analyst for the 2° Investing Initiative, a think tank working to align the financial sector with 2°C climate goals. Viola originally started her career in management consulting with McKinsey & Co. and has worked for a commercial start-up in New York.

Nidhi Chadda
Founder and CEO, Enzo Advisors LLC

Nidhi is a seasoned generalist growth investor and Board advisor to early-stage companies with over a decade of experience in investing in public markets. She is the Founder and CEO of Enzo Advisors, a boutique advisory firm focused on helping early-stage growth companies build best-in-class sustainable business models for the long-term. Nidhi was formerly a portfolio manager at RBC Global Asset Management focused on US small and mid-cap growth equities, where she spearheaded the initiative to drive ESG integration across investment processes for her team. Nidhi also serves on several advisory boards and is an active member of the global angel investing community. She is a sector lead at the Harvard Business School Angels Association of Greater New York, a member of the Investment Committees of Wharton Alumni Angels and of Chestnut Street Ventures, and a member of New York Angels. Nidhi is a mentor to the current cohorts of several accelerator platforms including: Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, XRC Labs, NY Fashion Tech Lab, and Columbia Ventures. Nidhi has been a panelist and a judge in a number of pitch nights and venture fund - sponsored events and has hosted numerous webinars related to angel investing, fundraising and ESG – related topics. Nidhi is also actively involved with a number of diversity initiatives, including co-hosting the Women in Tech series through Harvard Business School Women's Association of Greater New York. Her prior experience includes working within investment banking in both mergers and acquisitions and restructuring advisory, at both Goldman Sachs and Greenhill & Co., respectively, and in corporate finance at McKinsey & Co. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS in Economics from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
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