IPBA 2021

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Banking and Finance

Organised by: Banking, Finance & Securities Committee

Session abstract:

Governments, policymakers and corporations around the world are taking concrete measures to integrate sustainability considerations into their policy framework in order to take into account sustainability factors. Financial policymakers and companies wish to mobilize finance for sustainable growth.

Measures aiming at elaborating a classification system for sustainable activities of companies. Measures aiming at directing private investments towards the transition to a climate-neutral economy. Develop standards in relation to green bonds to incentivize market participants to issue and invest in green bonds. Focus on disclosures of climate-related information by asking companies to report on the impacts of their business on the climate and on the impacts of climate change on their business. Prevent greenwashing and by requiring manufacturers of financial products and financial advisers to disclose sustainability aspects to end investors. Measures aiming at making benchmark methodologies more transparent when it comes to ESG factors and put forward standards for the methodology of low-carbon benchmarks.

The panel will focus on the above initiatives and measures in the EU, the US and the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, in order to give to the audience an overview of those initiatives, trends and products in relation thereto as well as the possible standards which may emerge and their relevance going forward.


Stéphane Karolczuk
Arendt & Medernach
Hong Kong

Stéphane Karolczuk is a Partner of Arendt & Medernach SA and the Head of the Hong Kong office.

Based in Hong Kong since 2009, Stéphane advises clients based in the Asia Pacific region regarding their European projects and their Luxembourg legal and regulatory questions.Stéphane also advises international clients on all issues relating to Luxembourg investment funds including the structuring, setting-up and marketing of these funds, strategies involving investments in the Asia Pacific region.


Vivek Kathpalia
Heads the Singapore Office
Nishith Desai Associates


Vivek Kathpalia heads the Singapore office of research and strategy driven international law firm, Nishith Desai Associates, leading the firm’s various initiatives across East Asia including dynamic markets such as Japan and South Korea.


Dividing his time between Singapore and India. Vivek co-leads the practices of Information Technology, Telecommunications, New Media and Education at NDA. Vivek has been advising clients in the complex cross-border transactions including technology deals, M&A, PE investments, regulatory & commercial matters across various industries. Drawing upon his foundational experiences as a litigator, Vivek brings valuable insights to the transactional and advisory practice.

Yuri Suzuki
Atsumi & Sakai

Yuri Suzuki is a partner in the Tokyo based law firm Atsumi & Sakai, heading the firm’s Fintech Team.

Ms. Suzuki deals with a wide range of banking, finance and capital markets issues, with a particular well acknowledged reputation in regard with financial services regulation, loans, asset finance and securitization. Given her strong technical skills and market knowledge in financial industry matters, she is also well regarded for her work on a wide variety cases on Fintech issues, including payment services, cryptocurrencies, ICO, invoice trading, marketplace lending, crowdfunding, APIs and insurtech.

She is currently a secretariat member of the Fintech Association of Japan, a legal advisor of the Japan Blockchain Association and an advisor of the MUFG Digital Accelerator Program.

Don Waters
Partner/Co-Chair, Financial Services Group and Japan Country Desk
McMillan LLP

Don Waters is a partner and co-chair of McMillan LLP’s Financial Services Group and the Japan Country Desk. His practice is focused on corporate debt finance and structured finance transactions, including cross-border debt financings, project finance and structured finance transactions. Don’s experience in corporate debt financing transactions includes leading domestic and cross-border debt financings, debtor-in-possession financings and infrastructure projects for financial institutions, borrowers, syndicates and private equity sponsors.  Don is named as a leading lawyer in IFLR1000 in Banking, Capital Markets: Debt and Capital Markets: Structured Finance and Securitization.   Don is also recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in Banking and Finance Law and Structured Finance Law and in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory in the area of Asset Based Lending and Banking & Financial Institutions.