Stockholm (NordSIP) – Following the announcement of his appointment as Head of sustainability for Denmark at SEB in April, and a brief introduction to the job during July, we caught up with Lars Eibeholm after his summer break to hear about his move from NIB to the Scandinavian bank.
As the new Head of Sustainability for Denmark, Eibeholm will be based in Copenhagen’s SEB branch, where he will part of the management. He will also have a group reporting line to Stockholm and report to SEB’s newly appointed Chief Sustainability Officer Hans Beyer.
Time for a New Challenge
“I have truly enjoyed every year at the NIB and living in Finland,” he says. Eibeholm’s motivations were personal as well as professional. “I felt it was time for me to move back to Copenhagen, be with my family and take up a new challenge. The move will allow me to fully dedicate my time to sustainable finance, which has been a keen interest of mine for a long time now. The scope of my new role is much broader regarding clients, products and strategy. It will allow me to use my banking, capital markets and sustainability knowledge and experience in a much broader context.”
“Moving from the ‘buy-side’ to the ‘sell-side’ is in its self a big change. The SEB culture is different, and I’m coming from a small organisation with broad management responsibilities where my new job will be much more dedicated and client-focused. I will need to show leadership in a different way.”
From a macro perspective, Eibeholm also acknowledges some of the structural hurdles still facing sustainable investors and asset managers. “The reliability and consistency of ESG data remain a challenge. It can also be difficult to navigate the jungle of data and strategies (e.g. thematic investments, EU taxonomy compliant/products, SDG impact, climate risks etc.) lack of green bond/asset supply, implementing transition strategies and communicating alignment with stakeholders.”
A Market Leader
Another appealing factor of the new role is the credibility of SEB’s sustainable commitments, which is the bank’s main strength in this field, according to Eibeholm. “Management commitment and a dedicated corporate strategy are essential. SEB recognises that financial services and investments need to add long-term economic, social and environmental value for all stakeholders and society. SEB’s biggest impact comes through supporting customers and investors in the transition towards the low carbon and sustainable economy that is aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
“SEB has been at the forefront of the sustainability journey within the financial sector and has been instrumental in developing the Green Bond market.” Together with Danske Bank, SEB is regularly one of the top global green bond dealers and among the top 2 Nordic dealers. “The Bank will continue to show leadership in tackling the global economic, social and environmental challenges we have in front of us,” Eibeholm concludes.
Image courtesy of SEB