What Next for Beslik?

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – The news spread quickly last Friday that sustainability veteran Sasja Beslik is leaving J. Safra Sarasin and his position there as head of sustainable finance development, a role specially created for him at the bank two years ago. There is, however, no mention of the move on Beslik’s popular Twitter account. And his numerous followers, expecting to learn more from his weekly letter, ‘ESG on a Sunday’, are probably disappointed too.

    Admittedly, Beslik’s latest Sunday musings are especially attuned to the constant ticking of time and the need for change. “It’s the ticking of promises, hopes and expectations. A non-linear, circular, almighty ticking reminding us about the beginnings and the ends, about the distances we need to cover,” reflects Beslik.

    He seems not to have lost his faith in the positive role financial professionals can play in the necessary transformation. “The financial industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. Tens of millions of people working in this sector, ticking. Every day. Imagine the force. Imagine the power of ticking. Imagine if the ticking changed its direction, moved to another frequency, gaining momentum, had a purpose,” writes Beslik. “Albeit slowly, you can see that transformation in front of you. Some people ticking in the financial system are trying to change the way it all ticks, to something very different from what we face today,” he concludes.

    Beslik made the news just a couple of weeks ago when he and co-author Karim Sayyad published a book on sustainable investing, ‘Where the Money Tree Grows: Invest Climate-Smart and Get Rich’. Commenting on the updates the duo had to make compared to a previous Swedish edition of the book, Beslik expressed his slight disappointment with the world of sustainable investing: “Sadly, there is a lot of hot air in ESG, and most of the issues, challenges and opportunities are pretty much the same,” he told NordSIP.

    It will be interesting to see what Beslik decides to do next. Making a difference seems to be his ambition, anyway. “The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently,” Beslik writes, quoting the late David Graeber in his letter.

    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia Axelsson, CAIA
    Julia has accumulated experience in asset management for more than 20 years in Stockholm and Beijing, in portfolio management, asset allocation, fund selection and risk management. In December 2020, she completed a program in Sustainability Studies at the University of Linköping. Julia speaks Mandarin, Bulgarian, Hindi, Russian, Swedish, Urdu and English. She holds a Master in Indology from Sofia University and has completed studies in Economics at both Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.

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