Desiree Fixler

Desiree Fixler

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Advocate For Change in ESG investing and Sustainability

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Synopsis

When Desiree was Group Sustainability Officer at DWS Group, she exposed what she considered to be extensive greenwashing. She highlighted the discrepancies between the firm’s public ESG claims and its internal statements and actions and called for greater transparency and accountability in ESG investing. Now as an advisor to regulators and NGOs, she is at the forefront of global efforts to tackle greenwashing and raise the bar in the practice of sustainable finance.

Biography

Globally recognised as a top expert and one of the most influential in the practice of sustainable finance, Desiree Fixler is known for her candid advocacy to reform policy and practice around ESG and impact investing. As a speaker, she provides expert insights on the current state and outlook of the ESG movement, the prevention of greenwashing, whistleblowing, and risk management.

With over twenty-five years of experience in sustainable finance and investment banking Desiree serves a trusted advisor to financial institutions, NGOs and regulators including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and guest lectures at Cambridge University. She is at the forefront of global efforts to drive greater transparency, accountability, and impact in the practice of sustainable finance.

When Desiree was Group Sustainability Officer at Deutsche Bank’s asset manager, DWS, she exposed extensive greenwashing at the company, with huge discrepancies between the firm’s public ESG claims and its internal statements and actions. When her concerns as well as her job were dismissed by the C-suite and Board, she decided to speak out publicly. US and German authorities launched investigations, which culminated in a police raid at the firm’s headquarters, the ousting of the CEO and senior executives at the firm and the largest SEC greenwashing fine.

Her whistleblowing action galvanised efforts to tackle greenwashing and sent shockwaves throughout the finance industry. In speeches Desiree candidly tells her story to drive this cautionary yet inspirational tale home for the sake of clearer ESG disclosures and a more evidence-based approach to sustainability.

Prior to DWS, she held senior roles at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Zais Group, where Desiree built and managed ESG investing and structured credit businesses. Her history of product innovation includes several award-winning and market transformational products, including the development of the iTraxx and CDX indices, as well as a series of impact securitisations.

Desiree is a member of the CFA’s ESG Technical Committee, a member of the LSE’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Group a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Responsible Investing and holds a BSc Economics (Hons) from the London School of Economics.

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