Nasdaq ESG Summit 2020

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The Nasdaq ESG Summit brought together a global community of investors, buy-side, Market Data providers, Financial Advisors, Investor Relations Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Corporate Secretaries, General Counsels and ESG Influencers who are actively involved in Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance, as well as sustainable, responsible, and impact investing. The Summit provided compelling views from industry experts with critical ESG knowledge and best practices you need to address short- and long-term challenges.  

The Virtual ESG Summit was composed of nine (9) virtual, interactive sessions, as well as a keynote address sure that inspired and provoked conversation around current ESG trends.  Each session featured major industry leaders in a multi-speaker panel discussion followed by Q&A to allow participants the opportunity to ask questions and get actionable advice for your most pressing ESG-related questions. 

Access the replays below!

European Focused Sessions

Session 1:  How are COVID-19 and the Global Fight for Equality Changing ESG?

The global pandemic and disruptions calling for a social change could prove to be a major turning point for ESG investing, or strategies that consider a company’s ESG ratings alongside traditional financial metrics. What is the future for ESG investing and will GSE be the new ESG?


Moderator: Daniel Brooksbank, Head of Strategic Content, Responsible Investor



Session 2:  A Critical Look at SFDR

The incoming European rules will force investment firms to publish a range of new ethical information for products marketed under the “ESG” label but many experts worry that as much as one-third of the information will be very difficult for most firms to source. Will the EU recognize the dissonance and propose alternative steps?


Moderator: Giada VercelliDirector, Fitzroy Consultant



Keynote Address

Address by Congressman Gregory Meeks, U.S. Representative for New York's 5th District

Keynote Presentation by featured speaker George Serafeim, Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration and the Chair of the Impact-Weighted Accounts Project at Harvard Business School


Spotlight Session Fireside Chat:  Green Space in the Muni Market

While the U.S. may be slower than Europe to adopt ESG practices, there is growing demand and changes happening afoot, especially in progressive states such as California. Join us for a lively discussion with the Treasurer of the State of California, Fiona Ma, who will discuss the future of impact investing in the United States. California is the largest issuer of green municipal bonds and has a history of strong dedication to sustainable investing. Treasurer Ma chaired the inaugural meeting of the California Green Bond Market Development Committee on June 5, 2019, to “establish California as the world’s green bond leader” by developing standards for what qualifies as green bonds, and incorporating green bonds into the financing of state infrastructure projects.


Moderator: Evis Progonati, Associate Editor, Debtwire ABS

Special Guest Speaker: Fiona Ma, California's 34th State Treasurer 


How Financial Advisors are Using ESG to Attract, Retain and Educate Clients

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ETFs are hot nowadays, both with investors and with issuers. There are now over 100 products on the market, which have collected some $31.76 billion in investment assets—overtaking assets invested in traditional energy ETFs for the first time. Join our team of experts who will discuss how they are building and positioning various ESG related funds to fit today's growing advisor and investor demands.


Moderator: John D. Molesphini, Global Head of Insights, eVestment



Impacts of Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy

As the world shifts to a low carbon economy, that transition brings a host of consequences for providers of capital and users of capital. This session will discuss the trends in climate disclosures, EU regulation and what's at stake for the corporate and asset manager community.


Moderator: Tamar Essner, Senior Director of Energy Capital Markets, Nasdaq


  • Bruno Sarda, President, CDP North America
  • Jackie Roberts, Chief Sustainability Officer, AppHarvest and former CSO, The Carlyle Group
  • Andreas Bork, Senior Investor Relations Officer, Royal Shell Global


Trends in Investor ESG Interests & ESG as a Value Creation Lever

2019 was a banner year for ESG capital inflows and COVID has only accelerated that trend. That said, for many investors ESG has been part of the investment process for decades. This session will explore how investors are incorporating ESG topics into their investment process and how ESG can be used as a value creation lever. 


Moderator: Leslie Picker, Reporter, CNBC


  • Lori Keith, Portfolio Manager and Director of Research, PARNASSUS INVESTMENTS
  • Jeffrey W. Ubben, Founder and Managing Partner, Inclusive Capital Partners
  • Lauren Taylor Wolfe, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Impactive Capital
  • Mary Jane McQuillen, Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Investment, Clearbridge


​​​​​​​Diversity & Inclusion: Getting Ahead of Table Stakes & How to Prepare

Focus on Diversity & Inclusion within corporates has been one notable result of COVID. Some companies have reported on these topics for years at the Board or workforce level, while others are just contemplating getting started. This session will explore how investors, companies and rating agencies are tackling the challenge of Diversity & Inclusion reporting and messaging.


Moderator: Kellie Huennekens, Head of ESG Research, Nasdaq


  • Emmanuelle Palikuca, Sustainability Advisor, ISS Corporate Solutions
  • Kelli Okuji-WilsonAnalyst, Sector Lead - Health Care, SASB
  • Yumi Narita, Executive Director of Corporate Governance, Comptroller’s Office of New York City
  • Michelle McCulloch, Sustainalytics’ Director of ESG Research, Sustainalytics
  • Lotte Griek, Head of Corporate Sustainability Assessments, S&P Global


Trends in ESG Program Building: Board Oversight, Securing Executive Buy-In, and Resource Staffing

Building an ESG program has broad implications for companies. Varying viewpoints from the Board, Senior Executive, Sustainability, Legal, Investor Relations, and Beyond (HR, Operations, etc.) creates an interesting challenge to get started. In this session you will hear those various constituents on how they started their ESG programs and what it took to convince the Board/management to invest.


Moderator:  Emily Peterson Alva, Board Member, Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc



PRESENTATION: Bringing More Transparency to the ESG Institutional Market

eVestment’s ESG questionnaire collects data from global asset managers on their ESG-focused strategies providing usage history on how often asset owners and consultants screen managers on ESG factors. To bring more transparency around ESG to the institutional market, eVestment has partnered with some of the largest institutional investors in the world, top global consultants and industry organizations like the CFA and UNPRI to develop a new, much more extensive questionnaire that requires managers to report on how they execute their ESG approach – not just what it is. Get a sneak peek of the questionnaire and use cases on the new screening data that will be available at the end of Q4.




Speakers and Moderators

George Serafeim

Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Jeffrey W. Ubben

Founder and Managing Partner, Inclusive Capital Partners

Fiona Ma

California’s 34th State Treasurer

Jean-René Giraud

C.E.O. TrackInsight

Jason Bloom

Senior Director, Global Macro ETF Strategy, Invesco

Ryan O. Issakainen

Exchange Traded Fund Strategist, Senior Vice President First Trust Portfolios

Deb Wasser

Vice President, Investor Relations, Etsy, Inc.

John D. Molesphini

Global Head of Insights, eVestment

Erika Spence

Global Head of Data Strategy, eVestment

Sara Mehle

Senior Analyst, Nasdaq Dorsey Wright

Lori Keith

Portfolio Manager and Director of Research, PARNASSUS INVESTMENTS

Eric Christian Pedersen

Head of Responsible Investments at Nordea Asset Management

Niels Fibæk

CEO, co-founder at Matter

Bruno Sarda

President, CDP North America

Lauren Taylor Wolfe

Co-founder and Managing Partner of Impactive Capital

Mary Jane McQuillen

Managing Director, Portfolio Manager, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Investment, Clearbridge

Daniel Brooksbank

Head of Strategic Content, Responsible Investor

Paul Saltzman

Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer of Eagle Bancorp, Inc. And EagleBank

Emmanuelle Palikuca

Sustainability Advisor, ISS Corporate Solutions

Evis Progonati

Associate Editor, Debtwire ABS

Kristiina Vares-Wartiovaara

Portfolio manager for thematic ESG funds at OP Asset Management

Kirk Hourdajian

Head of ESG & Impact, Vista Equity Partners

Emily Peterson Alva

Board Member, Amneal Pharmaceuticals Inc

Jackie Roberts

Chief Sustainability Office of AppHarvest

Leslie Picker

Reporter, CNBC

Giada Vercelli

Director, Fitzroy Consultant

Kelli Okuji Wilson

Analyst, Sector Lead - Health Care, SASB

Markus Mild

Regulatory Strategist & Principal Compliance Analyst

Kellie Huennekens

Head of ESG Research

Andreas Bork

Senior Investor Relations Officer