Joint Alumni Forum Webcast

(organized by Stanford Club of Switzerland)


Is ESG Finance a Game Changer in the Struggle for a Sustainable World - Addressing and discussing ESG issues and a few others in the context of the struggle for a sustainable world is the purpose of this Joint Alumni Forum Webcast.


(i) Industrial Ecology Message for a Sustainable World: Suren Erkman (Professor, UNIL)

(ii) Is ESG Investing just Good Investing?: Lukas Münstermann (Head of ESG Center, Associate Director, Vontobel Asset Management)

(iii) The Changes Brought by the ESG Finance Approach: Harald Walkate (Head of Responsible Investment (ESG), MDR, Natixis Investment Managers) and

(iv) Moderator: Sheila Ohlund (CEO, CFA Society, Switzerland)


Dear Harvardians and alumni of Oxford & Cambridge, Stanford, Yale, Columbia and other interested parties,


This webcast will consider ESG Finance aims at incorporating Environmental, Social and Governance criteria in their capital allocation decisions, as well as finding novel public/private set-ups in project financing. In doing so, ESG Finance tries to answer the demand from social influencers (environmental activists, UN PRI, etc.), regulators (especially the EU), corporations and investors. In this context however, some critics consider that ESG Finance, as compared to mainstream Finance, is trying to achieve too much and that fiduciary duty is an obstacle to ESG integration. At the opposite end, other critics consider that ESG Finance is not achieving enough in terms of impact in the struggle for a sustainable world, and that the evaluation of this impact may be more limited that claimed by its advocates.

The Joint Alumni Forum would like to invite you to this interactive evening commencing with presentations from our specialists’ panel, then a panel discussion followed by a moderated Q&A where participants can raise questions and comments.



Time:  Tuesday, 22. June 2021, 18.00 (Central European Time)

Register here


We look forward to providing a thought-provoking forum for discussion.
For and on behalf of the Harvard Club of Switzerland and the Joint Alumni Forum


Diane B Bailey


Meet the Speakers

Suren Erkman

Suren ErkmanSuren Erkman, Associate Professor Industrial Ecology, University of Lausanne
Suren Erkman has a background in Philosophy and Biology from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and a PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Technology of Troyes (France). He has been also trained as a registered science and business journalist. He began to contribute to the emerging field of Industrial Ecology in 1993, as a science and business author, consultant and entrepreneur. In 2005, he joined the University of Lausanne as an Associate Professor in Industrial Ecology. Suren Erkman is also Chairman of the Board of the consulting company Sofies (Solutions for Industrial Ecosystems), with more than 60 collaborators. Sofies advises companies, governments and international organizations on sustainability issues, with a focus on industrial ecology and circular economy.

Lukas Münstermann

Lukas M√ľnstermannLukas Münstermann, Head of ESG Center at Vontobel.
Lukas is head of ESG Center at Vontobel, a global investment house focused on active investment strategies. While being an ESG enthusiast, he believes the main role of finance is to allocate capital. He is convinced ESG investing can help to better allocate capital but it needs to evolve further before it becomes the game changer everyone wants it to be.


Harald Walkate

Harald WalkateHarald Walkate, Head of ESG at Natixis Investment Managers.

Harald is head of ESG at Natixis Investment Managers, one of the world’s largest asset management firms. In the ESG community he is known for his obsession with “evidence-based” practices. He traces most of his views on ESG and investing to the University of Chicago where he obtained an MBA degree.


Sheila Ohlund (Moderator)

Sheila OhlundSheila Ohlund, CEO of the CFA Society Switzerland.
Sheila Ohlund has over twenty years’ experience in investment research and portfolio management at international financial service firms, including American Express Global Asset Management, Rothschilds, and SBC Brinson/UBS. She started her career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with Price Waterhouse. Sheila has the chartered financial analyst (CFA) and ESG Investing certificates and has masters degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the London School of Economics as well as an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate from Stanford University.

About the Joint Alumni Forum

The Joint Alumni Forum, a social responsibility committee of the Harvard Club of Switzerland and cooperation with the alumni clubs in Switzerland of Harvard, Oxford & Cambridge, Stanford, Yale and Columbia University was established in January 2018 as a forum for discussion, education and debate on various themes encompassing social responsibility (i.e. equality themes, environment, sustainability, human rights, etc.). The outreach for the speakers series is broader than the alumni of universities in the collaboration, but also like-minded representatives of institutions and interest groups based in Switzerland and members of the public. If you’d like to know more about us or participate in our initiatives you can contact






6:00PM Tue 22 Jun 2021, Europe/Zurich timezone

Virtual Event Instructions: