Sponsored by the SAIS New York Alumni Club
The private sector has been experiencing increasing pressure to address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) from several constituencies. For example, the Business Roundtable, comprised of U.S. CEOs, issued an August 2019 letter redefining its definition of the purpose of a corporation, putting the interests of employees, customers, suppliers, and communities on par with shareholders. The world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, issued a January 2018 letter alerting investees that Blackrock would be increasing its commitment to active engagement. Are corporations accelerating their ESG response?
Join our panel for a lively discussion focused on the private sector’s ESG activities. Our panelists will shed light on corporate actions managing ESG risks.
To join the event, click on this Zoom link - https://jh.zoom.us/j/93795205670
MEET OUR PANELISTS
Manju Seal (A&S Parent '22), Head of Sustainable Finance, Advisory, BMO Capital Markets
Manju Seal heads advisory with corporate and institutional clients for incorporating ESG criteria in investments and financing while charting a path towards improved sustainability. She collaborates with clients in identifying impactful solutions around sustainable bond underwriting, product development and other sustainable financing activities. Her expertise in Green/Social/Transition/Sustainability-Linked Bonds and other sustainable finance products makes her privy to engage with issuers and investors on the client side and offer them thought-provoking insights on sustainable investing. She was the Project Lead for establishing BMO’s Sustainable Bond Program (2019) which led to BMO’s first-ever sustainability bond issuance, was a key architect of BMO’s sustainable finance commitment announced in June 2019,and co-authored BMO’s Sustainable Financing framework (a first for Canada). She spearheads broader thought leadership for ESG/sustainable finance at BMO. She is a host of award-winning BMO Sustainability Leaders Podcast Series, and an American Marshall Fellow (gmfus.org)
Manju has 20+ years of professional experience ranging in institutional asset management, investment banking, social/environmental impact organizations and board leadership. She has spent 15+ years in the financial industry with an emphasis in client advisory, risk management and debt capital market solutions. Her investment banking career started in Structured Finance Group-FICC of Goldman Sachs and finally, she led GSAM’s Fixed Income - Risk & Performance Analytics Team. More recently, she led the startup Leap201.org - a foundation for Southeast Asian farmers living below $2 a day. A polymath, she has master’s degrees in business administration, mathematics and ethnomusicology.
Anna Palazij (Engineering '02), Senior Director of Sustainability and ESG Reporting at PepsiCo
Anna Palazij holds the role of Senior Director of Sustainability Reporting within the Corporate Office of Sustainability at PepsiCo. Her scope includes overseeing ESG reporting, ensuring sustainability data integrity, and leading sustainability digitalization and development of analytics to help drive attainment of PepsiCo’s sustainability commitments globally. Anna has over 15 years of experience in the sustainability field. In her prior roles at PepsiCo, she sustainability programs for over 50 North American beverage manufacturing locations and launched Recycle Rally, one of PepsiCo’s consumer recycling programs. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Anna worked at General Electric in EHS management, operations, and Lean Six Sigma roles. Anna holds a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering and a Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University as well as a Masters in Business Administration from the Yale School of Management. She is a member of The Aspen Institute Business & Society Leaders Forum and has also served as an Advisory Council Member for Johns Hopkins University Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute (E2SHI).
Leela Ramnath (SAIS '08), Director of Environmental, Social, Governance at Warburg Pincus LLC
Leela Ramnath is Director of ESG at Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm, where she focuses on environmental, social, and governance issues at the firm and portfolio companies. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, she led impact and partnerships at TAU Investment Management. She has worked in international development at Technoserve and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Previously, she worked at Barclays in emerging markets and in securitized products at a global insurer. Leela is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations, and holds an S.B. degree in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an M.A. in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.
Lauren Magnusson, Director, Environmental, Social, Governance Trust and Transparency at Walmart
Lauren Magnusson is a director on Walmart’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Trust and Transparency team. Her work aims to help the Walmart and the ESG industry define and innovate towards robust metrics that measure performance to drive positive outcomes, stakeholder engagement and strategy development. Since joining Walmart in 2015 Lauren has worked in global responsibility finance, merchandise/operations finance and international finance focusing on providing decision support and analysis to business partners across the company. Lauren received her MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BS in International Business and Marketing from University of South Carolina.
Bruce Schlein (SAIS '95), Director of Impact Investing and Resource Efficiency Finance at Citi
Bruce Schlein is a Director in the Citi Impact Fund which invests equity in companies with missions aligned with the bank’s ESG priorities. Bruce also works for the Asset Finance Group in Capital Markets Origination (CMO), where he finances resource efficiency as a service for corporate clients. Prior to his current roles Bruce served consecutively as Director of Corporate Sustainability and as a Director in the Alternative Energy Finance group in CMO. Previously he worked as a sustainability specialist for Bechtel on petrochemical and civil projects in China and Romania, and for international development agencies including Save the Children, Catholic Relief Services in Bosnia Herzegovina and the U.S. Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea. Bruce is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Masters in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Bruce serves on the Board of the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC).
MEET OUR MODERATOR
Sherin R. Gobran
In a career spanning client portfolio management / equity research, emerging markets and impact investing, Sherin developed the skill-set to deploy capital with a purpose through the public and private markets, including privatizations, strategic growth and blended finance. Prior to re-launching with JPMorgan as an Investment Advisor, she accessed capital to invest in sustainable and impact enterprises, raising seed capital from values-aligned angel investors, foundations and DFIs, having started her development experience with OPIC. SevenSeasMusic, a web-based platform, successfully concluded initial seed raise, exceeding angel circle guidelines. As well, Sherin held multiple roles in asset / wealth management and research. At Barclays, she was a member of the investment committee, developing model client portfolios and sector research, building on her success at Citi, in driving growth in US and LATAM equity assets in advisory from $1 billion to $11 billion. Entrepreneurially-driven, Sherin was tapped to launch initiatives in the emerging markets. She joined Morgan Grenfell to establish a LATAM equity research team after leading privatization mandates in Emerging Europe and structuring private initiatives in the Middle East/North Africa, for Bankers Trust. Sherin completed a joint degree graduate program, with an MBA from The Wharton School, where she was nominated a Government Business Fellow, and an MA in Asian Studies from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
This event will be presented on Zoom.