How has your experience in finance and asset management shaped your view on ESG?
Broadly speaking, I already had a natural interest in ESG topics, but asset management made the financial benefits quite clear to me. ESG investing isn’t just due to the kindness of people’s hearts. It’s a solid investment philosophy that can help investors mitigate risk and improve their long-term performance.
Specifically, I had the benefit of working for an asset management firm that really focused on distributing ESG and impact strategies. That gave me the opportunity to learn a lot and represent the company at ESG conferences like US SIF, Impact Philadelphia, and more. I was also an active member within BASIC Boston, regularly meeting brilliant people within the space. Our Responsible Investing specialist recognised my efforts and began to involve me more in her process as well, really cementing ESG as a core skill of mine. She is still a close mentor and friend of mine today.
With regard to your background in business and strategy, what led you to want to apply your skills and knowledge to an ESG company like Nossa Data?
In my career, I periodically thought about pivoting from financial services to technology, but doing an MBA was a perfect moment to assess all my opportunities to do so. Already having a strong grasp of ESG, I spent a lot of time meeting with companies who were handling ESG, outside financial services. It became clear to me that the future of ESG was going to involve innovation from tech companies. There were already fantastic tech companies that were taking a look at alternative data and helping create a better platform for investors. However, I felt that corporations were feeling pressures that were underserved. Nossa Data looked like a company that was tackling the issue brilliantly, so I knew I wanted to be involved.
Why is gaining traction in the ESG space so important right now?
The timing is perfect right now. The space is growing in importance and is already becoming the norm. At some point, all investor relations teams and investment analysts will be expected to have some ESG expertise. All portfolio managers will have to answer to asset owners about their sustainability risk assessment, before winning a deal. The days of ESG being a niche job function are limited, so now is the time to make sure you understand key concepts and keep up with what’s happening.
Is there a particular aspect of ESG that you are especially interested in solving and/or helping companies to address?
I think the problem is really in the question here. There are so many pressures coming from various stakeholders, and institutional investors are viewing those pressures as materially relevant to a company’s long-term stability. With all those pressures, companies are having to report on ESG topics more and more. These reporting tasks are also likely to increase in the coming years. Essentially, I want to make it as easy as possible for companies to be able to disclose their ESG and measure themselves. If we make it easier to disclose, more companies will be able to take on the bandwidth. While ESG keeps growing in importance, it gets slowed down by its complexity. I want to help bridge the gap.
What are you looking forward to in the next six months to a year with Nossa Data?
Six months is a long time in a startup; really anything can happen. So far, it has been fantastic to see such clear progress since I started. The product has been well-received and I love speaking to users about their experiences on our platform. As we continue to register new users over the next six months, I look forward to onboarding more users and helping clients simplify their reporting tasks. Additionally, we’re also going to start fundraising closer to the end of the year. Within the next twelve months, I am looking forward to adding new members to the team and carrying our vision forward as we continue to grow.