WHO WE ARE
WeESG provides board advisory, consulting, and professional education globally. WeESG originated in the Global South, building on connections across the financial services sector and academia. It was founded by former University of Cambridge colleagues, with roots across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The founders' vision is a global economic system that ensures financial institutions and their clients can thrive in harmony with planetary and social boundaries.
The company's mission is to grow the knowledge and strategic application of sustainable finance across both hemispheres. It also seeks to help grow the capacity of the next generation of financial services leaders to create more sustainable and resilient economies. WeESG has offices in Bahrain, Brazil, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
WHAT WE DO
WeESG courses offer insight into the role of finance and investment in creating a more sustainable and resilient global economy. Students will also discover how ESG investment can strategically drive long-term returns, mitigate risks and target opportunities. Developed by academics and professionals, the curriculum is based on science, academic studies and knowledge of the world's best practices.
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The courses are developed by professionals of theoretical and practical reference from Brazil and the world, united by the objective of fostering ESG knowledge in favor of a more resilient, responsible and prosperous economy and society. WeESG includes senior professionals in the area of responsible investment with experience in some of the most advanced global investors in this area; professionals with renowned technical knowledge in environmental and climate risk analysis; engagement specialist with advice from multinationals; academics focused on sustainable investments, such as the inclusion of ESG in strategic asset allocation; among others. The seniority and complementarity of the team members guarantee a course suitable to the objective: to provide theoretical and practical knowledge of world reference, which enables an effective local implementation of ESG strategies.
Clarisse Simonek is an investment professional specialized in responsible investment, with executive and non-executive experience. She has worked for asset owners, fund managers, social enterprises, and universities across Europe and the Americas, and bridges academia and practice to deliver ambitious yet pragmatic outcomes. Clarisse is passionate about ventures that meaningfully combine profitability and sustainability at both the company and market level.
Clarisse is a consultant and advisor for investment firms and sits on various boards and councils. She is a member of the CFA's ESG Verification Committee as well as the academic advisor and co-author of the ESG Investing certification. She is a member of the Research and Innovation Committee for the UK government's Brazil Prosperity Fund Green Finance Program and sits on Standard and Poor’s Global Sustainable Finance Scientific Council. Clarisse is an assessor for the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)'s course on Sustainable Finance, having previously led its program Investment Leaders Group. She set up a free ESG course for low-income university students in Brazil and a network to assist younger professionals in becoming pension trustees in the UK.
Clarisse holds a joint MBA-MSc with a focus on corporate sustainability from HEC Paris / FGV and a Bachelor of Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College. She also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) designations.
Thomas Verhagen is a former banker specialized in sustainable finance. His banking career encompassed roles in client coverage, risk management, financial restructuring and product innovation. Across the Americas and EMEA, Thomas has worked with banks, asset managers, pension funds, DFIs, social enterprises, financial regulators, fintechs and universities. In his work, Thomas bridges academia and practice to deliver ambitious yet pragmatic outcomes. His drive comes from a desire to help grow businesses and institutions that successfully combine commerciality and sustainability at scale.
Thomas is a consultant and advisor for financial institutions and fintechs. Having previously led the banking group at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) he now holds a Senior Associateship there with a special focus on fintech for sustainability. Thomas is a co-author of the CFA’s ESG Investing certification. He holds a M.Sc. in Finance from Tilburg University.
Tom Herbstein has long championed the role of financial services and sustainable development, having worked in a leadership capacity across academia, the private, and public sectors.
Amongst previous roles, Tom managed an international research collaboration, aimed at shaping the financial sector’s response to global environmental change. This resulted in one of the earliest studies into the impact of climate risks at the local level, and their impact of insurance and investment portfolios. He has also led CimateWise, the largest insurance industry network - hosted by the University of Cambridge - responding to the risks and opportunities of climate change. Tom has advised various governments on policy and regulatory changes on green finance, and on the role of fintech in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Career highlights include shaping early drafts of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), leading the annual review of the insurance industry’s response to climate change, and developing early models on the impact of physical and transition risks on investment and lending portfolios. Other notable research includes aligning investment targets with sustainable development goals, and partnering with city networks, across the Global South, on more sustainable, resilient, and bankable public infrastructure projects.
Amongst several current roles, Tom advises the UK Government on green finance and resilience while leading their ‘Tech for Growth’ programme, promoting the role of technology in transforming global financial markets. He is a founding partner of the Kenyan ‘Bima Lab’, Africa’s first regulatory-led fintech incubator on financial inclusion and climate resilience. As a founding partner of WeESG he regularly educates practitioners, across the financial services sector, on topics ranging from green finance through to sustainable development.
Tom is a judge for the annual Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards and regularly speaks and lectures on green finance and insurance. He holds a PhD on finance in the ‘Anthropocene’ from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, alongside other degrees in Oceanography, and Environmental Law.
Viviane Torinelli is a corporate governance professional with strong sustainable finance background. Her experience in public and private sectors include risk management and compliance areas, internal and external audit, M&A, due diligence and controller´s office, with practice in Brazil and abroad. Viviane is a Ph.D. candidate focused on Sustainable Finance and the co-founder of BRASFI, a Brazilian Research Alliance on Sustainable Finance and Investment. She is a Ph.D. fellow and employee of the Central Bank of Brazil and her Ph.D. thesis is under the umbrella of a CEMLA project, the Center for Latin America Monetary Studies. Viviane is a member of the Research and Innovation Committee of the Brazil Green Finance Program (UK), Participant of the FiBraS Projet- Sustainable Brazilian Finance Project (Brazil-Germany Cooperation) and Member of the Innovation for Sustainability Chamber of the Salvador City Climate Change Panel (a R100 Resilient City and C40 City of the Climate Leadership Group). Above all, an enthusiast of process improvement practices and strategic decisions that lead to a more sustainable world.