COP26, ESG, Greenwashing and the bigger picture of social stewardship

Hadlow Manor Hotel
Wednesday, 24 November 2021
2:00 pm – 3:30 pm (UK time)
    • Nic Spicer BSc (Hons) (Actuarial Science), FFA, CFA®, IMC, UK Head of Investments, PortfolioMetrix

This informal seminar is aimed at both PFS members and CII general members, with an interest in ESG, Climate Change and Sustainability.

In November 2021, the UK plays host to COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Conference of the Parties – where global leaders from almost 200 nations will come together to discuss climate objectives and, most importantly, revisit the commitments made as part of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Getting closer to zero impacts on climate change may be just part of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) challenges and opportunities we all face. The headlines in the UK may recently be dominated by activists such as Insulate Britain on one agenda, however the wider ESG debates are far and wide.

Within the insurance and financial services sectors Price Waterhouse Cooper have commented that “we are no longer just answerable just to shareholders but customers, employees, suppliers, communities, the press and regulators”. These broader and more vocal groups are increasingly interested in how ESG drives corporate performance.

Identifying, understanding, and managing risks are at the core of the insurance and financial service profession. All risks have various dimensions, but the environmental, social and governance (ESG) profile of a risk is a dimension that has only recently found its way into risk analysis in the industrial insurance segment.

Objective – To create open discussion and creative thinking. We will have a look how both sustainability and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards are judged in the wider corporate worlds, the ratings agencies, and key players. The presentation from Nic Spicer will delve into some of these aspects on how they are judged from a portfolio management level together with a view on changes ahead.

We will also explore the trend of “Greenwashing”. On 19 July, the FCA sent a letter to Chairs of fund groups lambasting the poor standards of applications the authority is receiving for funds claiming to offer sustainable and responsible investment options. Nic attended an FCA roundtable meeting on the topic and will share some of the takeaways from this.

Speakers Biography - NIC SPICER BSc (Hons) (Actuarial Science), FFA, CFA®, IMC

Nic is UK Head of Investments for PortfolioMetrix. He is a member of PortfolioMetrix’s global investment committee and, as well as being deeply involved in asset allocation, he spearheads PortfolioMetrix’s fund selection process in the UK.

Nic is recognised in the Wealth Manager Top 100 for 2019 – their list of the leading fund selectors across the UK and Channel Islands.

Nic began his career with a year of lecturing actuarial science and statistics at his alma mater, the University of the Witwatersrand, before heading off to complete an internship in BMW’s financial controlling department at their Munich Headquarters. There he worked on currency, interest rate and liquidity risk management for the global group.

In 2007 he moved to London to take up the position of analyst within a boutique investment company where he was involved in numerous projects, primarily for a capital markets focused client but also for certain mining-oriented clients. He worked on a diverse set of asset classes (equities, bonds, derivatives, structured products, and alternative investments) but with a focus on the day-today oversight of a levered portfolio of hedge fund investments.

Nic is an actuary, a CFA® charterholder and graduated with distinction from the University of the Witwatersrand with a Bachelor of Science (Hons).

  • Hadlow Manor Hotel
  • Hadlow Manor, Goose Green
  • Hadlow
  • TN11 0JH
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CII Accredited

This demonstrates the quality of an event and that it meets CII member CPD scheme requirements.

1 1/2 hours' CPD can be claimed for this event if relevant to your learning and development needs.

It is recommended that you keep any evidence of the CPD activity you have completed and upload copies to the recording tool as the CII may ask to see this if your record is selected for review. Details of the scheme can be viewed online at