Stockholm (NordSIP) – It has been only a couple of years since Credit Suisse announced that they would be expanding the ESG team, hiring, among several other senior specialists, Swedish sustainable investment expert Karim Sayyad (pictured). Apparently, things are progressing in the right direction for Sayyad in Zurich. In the first week of 2023, he revealed on LinkedIn that he had been promoted to the position of Director & Head of Climate Transition for the Investment Solutions & Sustainability (IS&S) business of Credit Suisse’s Wealth Management division.
Perhaps best known to NordSIP’s readers for co-authoring the book Where the Money Tree Grows alongside Sasja Beslik, Sayyad is also an active member of the Expert Advisory Group of the Science Based Targets initiative. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, he spent eight years with Nordea in Stockholm and Luxembourg, where, among other exciting projects, he was involved in developing the partnership between Nordea Asset Management and private equity firm Trill Impact.
Sayyad’s promotion comes at the back of his contribution to the organisation’s effort to chart a well-defined path towards a net zero future. “The Wealth Management and Asset Management divisions of Credit Suisse recently published a Climate Action Plan outlining their ambition and approach to achieve net zero by 2050 across their investment portfolios,” comments Sayyad, who is cited as one of the authors of that action plan. “It sets out a range of actions, including corporate engagements and stewardship. I am excited to support our clients and partners in this endeavour,” he adds.
According to the Climate Action Plan, the Asset Management and Wealth Management divisions of Credit Suisse see three key areas where they can have an impact on climate: investing in decarbonisation leaders that can provide superior growth opportunities, engaging with investee companies to encourage them to commit to net zero, and reducing the exposure to carbon-intensive sectors and companies unwilling to transition to net zero. The trio of grow-engage-reduce, while not ground-breaking in any way, provides a solid basis for a systematic approach to the task at hand.
“Decarbonising portfolios will not be enough,” says Sayyad. “We will need to actively invest in climate solutions to reach net zero by 2050. Together with clients, we can make this possible.”
Ambitions aside, implementing the plan means putting a lot of effort into developing net zero goal-setting methodologies and guiding principles that should be aligned with credible industry standards. Sayyad’s knowledge and experience from working on the draft technical guidelines of the Science Based Targets initiative should be instrumental in this pursuit.