Desiree Fixler is recognized as an advocate for change and impact in the practice of ESG investing and sustainability. She works as a senior advisor to financial institutions, is a member of the U.K’s Financial Conduct Authority’s ESG Advisory Committee and is the Chair of the Board of VentureESG. Desiree is a frequent public commentator and provides expert insight on topics including ESG investing, the prevention of greenwashing, whistleblowing and crisis management.
Desiree Fixler has over 20 years of experience in both sustainable finance and investment banking. She was Group Sustainability Officer at DWS Group, where she was responsible for driving the firm’s overall sustainability strategy. It was here that 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.
She has held senior roles at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Zais Group, where she built and managed ESG investing and structured credit businesses, delivering overall policy and analytical frameworks, investor strategies and product development. Her track record of product innovation includes several award- winning and market transformational products. This includes the development of the JECI, which evolved into the iTraxx and CDX indices, as well as a series of impact securitizations.
Desiree Fixler holds a BSc Economics (Hons) from the London School of Economics (LSE). She is a member of the CFA’s ESG Technical Committee, Board Member of MMCC, one of NYC’s largest community centers, and a member of the LSE’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Group.
Desiree is a big proponent for greater ESG disclosure requirements and actual delivery on net zero and diversity and inclusion pledges and commitments. She tackles organization set-up, data collection and aggregation, engagement strategies, product development, regulatory readiness and corporate operations.
Desitree discusses and helps companies and investors spot what may be considered ESG-washing in product labels and strategies, statements and pledges. With ESG regulation and enforcement actions greatly on the rise, many companies are having to urgently re-assess the integrity of their products and services and public statements to ensure full and accurate disclosure
Desiree draws on her own experience outing what she considered to be greenwashing practices and the colossal corporate governance failure at DWS, which led to 7 regulatory authorities investigating the firm. It culminated with 50 federal police agents raiding Deutsche Bank and DWS and the removal of the CEO and 20% of the market cap of the company. She discusses how integral it is to speak out against bad practice and about how whistleblowers can avoid a backlash or turn it into an advantage.
Desiree was publicly fired and discredited as a chief sustainability officer of a large asset manager. She speaks about a pretty brutal year of trying to set the record straight, salvage my life and crucially hold the firm to account. She did just that and now has a new life in London working as an ESG consultant to a number of financial institutions and non-profits.
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