Employee interview: ESG with Atso Andersén
Start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Atso Andersén. I am based in Finland but have worked in several European countries in recent years of remote work. At the side of consulting, academic research and writing is close to my heart in both professional life and spare time. As an additional role, I am leading MiFID 2 related professional examinations for investment advisors in Finland. In 2022 we will launch an ESG exam. I have also written a number of books about investment services, anti-money laundering and digital financial services. In the start-up world, I am involved in a globally patented man-made waves tech.
What is your background and area of expertise?
I have a long background in finance, economics and research. Before FCG, I was working for a global IT vendor as a lead consultant in the financial services division focusing on regulatory compliance and risks.
Previously, I have also led a wealth management product development department in a large bank. Ultimately, my career has been largely about regulatory initiatives like MiFID 1 and 2, AML, T2Securities, Regulatory reporting and the last 3 years Sustainable finance and ESG. I hold a PhD in Economics.
What made you join FCG?
When you look at what is happening in the markets and with regulation it is safe to say that money will flow more on an ESG basis in the future. The green transition has barely started. Respectively, we will see substantial changes in the global economic system and how financial institutions including central banks operate. But do we have the means, tools, data, processes and infrastructure for capital allocation in green transition and ESG? No, we do not yet have them all. All that must be built up over time. FCG is potentially a catalyst that will facilitate change within financial institutions’ risk management, compliance activities, product development and all operations to cope with the forthcoming changes.
I joined FCG because I know how challenging that change will be; FCG’s traditional core competencies combined with recent changes along with agility of a young organization makes it perfect for helping our clients to change their ways. But basically, I am here because of Sofia and Pekka; due to our discussions it was finally an easy decision to alter the course of my career.
What will be your focus areas within FCG?
My focus is Sustainable finance and ESG; it is worth keeping in mind that ESG stands not only for environment but also for social and governance related activities as well. FCG operates within governance, risk and compliance business where ESG has already had an impact on many levels already; hopefully I can contribute to our clients’ challenges projects agile team operation as well as investment planning when they are implementing or organizing ESG activities from leadership perspective keeping balance during this change is however of utmost importance; I am looking forward to leveraging my experience organizing regulatory initiatives understanding IT system landscapes as well as knowledge of regulatory details when it comes to what is needed for ESG – even the smallest task carries this change forward.
The ESG transition has broader strategic implications which need to be taken into account when considering timing; something which I am interested in discussing further. Moreover ESG will have an impact on all entities using finance so my vision is to establish dialogue with other industries too so they can access capital when finance undergoes this transition towards sustainability – regulation is already being implemented so I am looking forward to discussing what kind of infrastructure operations are needed when it’s time build them – motivated by this fact that now ESG has become my full-time job.