Fall 2023

Certificate Course on ESG and Sustainable Finance

Fall 2023

Zürich or Online
A certificate program offered by Prof. Dr. Markus Schmid, Professor of Finance at the University of St. Gallen and Managing Director of the Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance, in cooperation with ESG industry experts from

  • LGT Capital Partners
  • MSCI
  • radicant
  • RepRisk
  • UBS
  • Vontobel
  • Zürcher Kantonalbank

The course consists of five weekly events, all to be held in November 2023, on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 8 pm, with two (once three) lectures per event and a weekly networking reception that allows participants to get into contact with speakers and fellow course participants. Online participation is possible as well. In-person participants unable to attend individual events can flexibly opt to participate online.


ESG and Sustainable Finance are now in the focus of public and political attention. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement have provided a roadmap for sustainability for governments and regulators, but also for financial institutions. By directing financial flows into sustainable activities and integrating ESG criteria into the investment process, the financial sector has great potential to change markets and to shape sustainable economic systems. Hence, the interest in sustainable investing has grown to such an extent that the investment community has shifted from asking whether to adopt ESG principles to how to implement them. This course is intended to serve as an in-depth introduction to ESG and sustainable finance that combines both rigorous academic evidence and hands-on industry experience on

  • how to implement ESG standards into the investment process, 
  • how to measure ESG and deal with data issues,
  • how to address regulatory challenges and certification issues,
  • how to manage ESG and climate risk,
  • how to pick up customer needs and communicate ESG targets and achievement to clients,
  • how to assess the financial performance of sustainable investments, and
  • how to assess the real-world impact of sustainable investments.

Target Audience

The target audience includes finance professionals in asset management, banking, financial advisory, pension funds, risk management, insurance, and finance IT, corporate treasury and finance employees involved in ESG compliance and reporting, and of course everybody interested in ESG and sustainable finance.

Please note that the number of places on site is limited. Online participation is possible at any time. 

Course Duration and Modalities

  • In-person course participation: Wednesday, 16.00 – 20.00, with the following time schedule:
     16.00 – 17.30 Lecture 1
     17.30 – 18.15 Reception / Networking
     18.15 – 19.45 Lecture 2
     20.00  End of the event
  • Alternatively, participants may decide to register for (live) online participation, which allows to ask questions (plus access to all the course materials and video recordings until a month after course end).

Course Fee

CHF 1’650 (including certificate and participation in the five weekly receptions)

Terms and Conditions

Cancelations until three weeks before the start of the course will be fully reimbursed. In case of a late cancelation, 50% of the course fee will be reimbursed. Cancelations after the start of the course cannot be reimbursed.

In case of an insufficient number of participants, the course may be cancelled or postponed. In that case, the course fee will be fully repaid to registered participants.


16.00–17.30 Introduction to ESG and sustainable finance
Prof. Dr. Markus Schmid, University of St.Gallen
17.30–18.15 Drinks, Snacks & Networking
18.15–19.00 Sustainable banking and firms’ contribution to the 17 SDGs 
Nico Frey, Head of Methodology, radicant AG, Zürich
19.15–20.00 Measuring and evaluating ESG risk and incidents
Sergio Dias, Head of Key Account Management, RepRisk
16.00–17.30 Regulation and reporting
Sasha Cisar, Head of SDG Evangelists and Research, radicant AG
17.30–18.15 Drinks, Snacks & Networking
18.15–20.00 Sustainable investments: Strategies and certification
Dr. E. Carnemolla, Quantitative Analyst, Vontobel Asset Management
16.00–17.30 How to set up a sustainable investment product
Ruben Feldman, Deputy Head of ESG Strategy & Business Development, ZKB
17.30–18.15 Drinks, Snacks & Networking
18.15–19.45 Measuring and managing ESG and climate risk
Dr. Oliver Marchand, Global Head of ESG Research and Models, MSCI
16.00–17.30 Sustainable investments in financial advisory
Antonia Sariyska, Sustainable Investing Strategist,
UBS Global Wealth Management
17.30–18.15 Drinks, Snacks & Networking

The performance of sustainable investments – The academic evidence
Prof. Dr. Markus Schmid, University of St. Gallen

16.00–17.30 Impact Investing
Keimpe Keuning, Exective Director & Head ESG and Sustainability in Private Markets, LGT Capital Partners & Stefan Lügstenmann, Impact & ESG Specialist, LGT Capital Partners
17.30–18.15 Drinks, Snacks & Networking
18.15–19.45 “Walk the talk” and the real effects of sustainable investments
Prof. Dr. Julian Kölbel, University of St. Gallen