Stockholm (NordSIP) – One of the early champions of ESG in the Swedish finance industry, Christina Kusoffsky Hillesöy, the newly appointed Head of Sustainability at Erik Penser Bank, hardly needs an introduction for anyone in the Nordics who has been involved in the field during the past couple of decades. “I have engaged with companies, asset managers, and various stakeholders across the globe regarding ESG risks and opportunities for almost twenty years now,” she tells NordSIP.
Kusoffsky Hillesöy’s sustainability career started back in 2005 when she joined the Third Swedish National Pension Fund (AP3) as Head of Responsible Investments. After nine years at AP3, she moved on to Länsförsäkringar, first as Head of Responsible Investments. Later, her role expanded to Head of Sustainability for Länsförsäkringar AB. Meanwhile, she has also been active as a board member, contributing significantly to organisations such as the Swedish AP-funds’ Council on Ethics, Swesif, WWF and SLU Holding.
Now, it is time for Kusoffsky Hillesöy to take on a new role. “I really look forward to digging into the challenges and opportunities that ESG will mean for Erik Penser Bank,” she says with enthusiasm. “For the past few years, I have been focusing increasingly on the EU sustainable regulation framework, including the Taxonomy, SFDR and CSRD regulations. I believe this specialisation, together with my broad sustainability background, will be useful in my new job. Of course, Erik Penser Bank has been working with sustainability for several years, so I am not starting from scratch. However, the evolving EU regulation puts a higher demand to develop a more systematic approach and ensure we comply with the new directives and guidelines.”
Kusoffsky Hillesöy sounds well aware that moving on to a smaller organisation will require adjusting to a different set of circumstances. “Compared to large banks, my new employer has less resources available to implement new systems and procedures,” she explains. “It means that, at times, we all need to put on different hats and be experts in several fields when implementing ESG. On the other hand, it is an advantage to be a smaller company, too, since decision-making is a faster process,” she adds on a more optimistic note.
As to what she will strive to achieve at Penser, the new Head of Sustainability is clear on her priorities. “My main goal is to develop a well-defined strategy for sustainability and implement more sustainability-related goals and processes across all functions within the bank,” she says. “Processes for follow-up and reporting are other important tasks that I will focus on.”
Although relatively new at Penser, Kusoffsky Hillesöy sounds already like a true ambassador for the bank’s successful sustainability efforts. “I am proud that one of our three funds, the Penser Sustainability Impact fund, has sustainable investment as its primary objective and is classified as an Article 9 fund,” she says. “Part of the fund’s return is donated to SOS Barnbyar to support the organisation’s admirable work with one of the most vulnerable and invisible groups of young people, those about to leave community care,” adds Kusoffsky Hillesöy.
She explains that this passion for tackling specific and urgent social problems is not an isolated occurrence at Penser either. “We recently became a founding partner and supporter of Global Child Forum, an organisation that aims to catalyse positive change, promote responsible business practices, and drive sustainable solutions to advance children’s rights.”
NordSIP looks forward to following the continued sustainability progress of Erik Penser Bank, led by Christina Kusoffsky Hillesöy.