Pay for ESG jobs in finance, London

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Pay for ESG jobs in finance, London

With the price of oil and gas rising dramatically on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are taking second place to concerns about energy security. In time, though, the events of this week are likely to drive an even stronger emphasis on renewable energy.

As we've reported here before, ESG jobs in banking and finance have risen dramatically over the past year as both banks and asset managers rushed to take advantage of the post-COVID zeitgeist for renewables. Data science jobs relating to ESG are the latest hot area. 

A new salary and bonus survey by recruitment firm Octavius Finance reflects the extent to which ESG jobs allow young people to combine concern for the future with the opportunity to earn six figures. Pay for ESG roles rose by nearly 100% last year, says Octavius director, Natalie Basiratpour. "The demand in the market for candidates in this space has hugely increased," she adds; diverse candidates are in particular demand.

The charts below, based on Octavius' figures show the salaries and bonuses paid to ESG professionals in London's asset management industry.

Over time, Octavius says the quants in ESG who build data tools screening for ESG risk are among the highest earners in the space. However, in the early years, asset managers are paying higher salaries to hire young people who can advise on investments reflecting climate change and sustainability concerns. "You'll be assessing ESG criteria as an environmental and climate specialist," says Basiratpour of these roles. After five years, Octavius says climate change specialists in asset management firms can earn £100k ($133k). After 10 years, they can earn £200k. 

This matches the £120k to £200k Financial News said was on offer to senior ESG professionals last year. In the rush to hire, Octavius says asset management firms are open to recruiting people who aren't necessarily experienced in the finance space, even for investment-focused roles. Consulting firms, banks, and ratings agencies are however the most popular sources of recruits.

"You can get a generic data scientist to do ESG at the junior end," says Basiratpour. "But even junior advisors need to be able to talk the talk about sustainability." A lot of juniors have an ESG investing certificate; the CFA Institute's qualification is among the most popular. 

Photo by Bhuwan Bansal on Unsplash

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