Japan’s Financial Services Agency announced the appointment of a new Chief Sustainable Finance Officer (CSFO) this Friday.
Satoshi Ikeda, who is Director of the regulator’s International Affairs Office, will take up the new position.
As CSFO, Ikeda will be responsible for promoting sustainable finance and attempting to bolster its popularity amongst Japanese financial institutions.
His appointment comes amidst growing interest within the financial services industry, particularly on the buy-side, for environmental, social and governance-based (ESG) investments.
As there is not a fixed definition as to what constitutes an ESG investment, it is difficult to say exactly what they are.
For instance, investing in American renewable energy companies might constitute an ESG investment but so too could an ethical mining company in sub-Saharan Africa.
Ikeda has some experience in the ESG investment field.
The regulatory official led the FSA’s task force on climate-related financial disclosures and released recommendations in the area back in 2017.
He has also worked on environmental issues for the G20 and the Financial Stability Board – a global organization that monitors the financial markets and makes regulatory recommendations based on those observations.
The FSA has been one of the more proactive regulators, alongside the FCA and US authorities, when it comes to ESG investment.
The recommendations that Ikeda and his team put out in 2017 have been at the core of that. Financial analysis firm Moody’s said the rules boost credit rating capabilities.