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European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority

Speakers at the Sustainable finance conference

Prof. Dr. David N. Bresch

Professor for Weather and Climate Risks at ETH Zürich/MeteoSwiss since 2016. 2000-2016, roles at Swiss Re included Head Business Development, Global Head Sustainability, Head Atmospheric Perils Group and Chief modeler for natural catastrophe risk assessment. 1998-1999 Research Associate, MIT, Cambridge, USA. Member of the Swiss UNFCCC delegation 2009-2012 and 2015, member of the Private Sector Advisory Group of the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), 2014-2016, Rockefeller Foundation, senior advisor for innovative finance since 2017. PhD in physics from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses on the impacts of weather and climate on socio-economic systems. Combining numerical modelling of weather and climate risks on the CLIMADA platform with the engagement of decision makers and end-users, his research aims to explore ways to strengthen resilience based on a shared understanding of their weather and climate susceptibility. Such an integrated view along the chain of impacts also opens new perspectives to the treatment of uncertainty in decision-making.

Clara de la Torre

Since 1 September 2019, Clara de la Torre has held the post of Deputy Director General in the Directorate-General for Climate Action in the European Commission.

Prior to her current appointment, her professional career focussed on research and innovation policy. She had been Director for Transport in the Directorate-General for Research & Innovation from 2016 to 2019. 

Previously, starting in 2014, she was responsible for Key Enabling Technologies, following a 3-year appointment as Director in the field of  Innovation. 

In her first post as a Director, from 2008 to 2010, she was in charge of inter-institutional and legal matters related to the Framework Programme at the European Commission.

In the late 1990s, she dealt with National Research Policies and Intergovernmental Cooperation. She worked at the EU Joint Research Centre in Brussels and Seville, where she was Advisor to the Director of the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies. Before joining the European Commission, she had spent some years in the private sector.

Clara de la Torre has a degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid.

Renaud Guidée

Renaud Guidée was appointed Group Chief Risk Officer at AXA in July 2019, taking office in September 2019. In addition to his role, Renaud Guidée is serving as Chairman of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance.

Prior to joining AXA, Renaud Guidée was a Managing Director with Goldman Sachs, a role to which he was promoted in 2015 after having served as Executive Director from 2011, based in London then in Paris. Within Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division, he advised large corporate clients across industries, with a total cross-border transaction experience (M&A and capital markets) exceeding $150bn. He was also in charge of managing the career development of Goldman Sachs’ investment banking team in France.

Previously, Renaud Guidée served as sherpa to former IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus in 2010, after having joined the Inspection Générale des Finances (the office within France’s Finance Ministry in charge of carrying out strategic reviews and assessing the cost efficiency of public policies) in 2007. His earlier policy-making training included a secondment in the Cabinet of the European Commissioner for External Relations in 2005.

Renaud Guidée graduated from HEC (2003) and from ENA (2007). He also holds an advanced degree in international taxation (2003) and passed the admittance exam to the Paris bar school in 2003.

Renaud Guidée’s commitment to diversity and equal opportunities translates into community involvement as member of the Board of Article 1, a Paris-based non-profit organization mentoring high-potential students from low-income suburbs (since 2010) and formerly as member of the jury of the affirmative action admission process to Sciences-Po, where he also lectured in economics.

Renaud Guidée is a fellow (2013) and former jury member (2018, 2019) of the Young Leaders program of the French American Foundation, on the Board of Directors of which he now serves as representative for AXA.

Paul Hiebert

Paul heads the Systemic Risk and Financial Institutions Division of the European Central Bank (ECB). In this role, he leads systemic risk analysis for the euro area feeding into the ECB’s flagship Financial Stability Review, as well as macroprudential policy for the largest euro area banks. Paul also acts as co-chair of the ESRB’s Analytical Working Group, as well as the Eurosystem’s Macroprudential Analysis Group. In recent years, Paul has also been leading climate-related initiatives of the European Systemic Risk Board as well as Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. These roles build on over 20 years of experience within the ECB, the International Monetary Fund, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Canadian Department of Finance in various capacities—spanning economic, financial and policy functions for a wide range of countries. He has published on a diverse set of topics, including financial cycles, climate change, global banking, macroprudential policy, housing markets, and fiscal policy.

Petra Hielkema

Petra is EIOPA Chairperson and is leading the Authority since September 2021. On 27 May 2021 the Council adopted the decision to appoint her after the confirmation by the European Parliament on 18 May 2021.

Prior to that role she was Division Director Insurance Supervision at De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB, the Dutch Central Bank). The division is responsible for the supervision of the Dutch insurance sector. Petra joined DNB in February 2007. In 2013 she became Head Insurance Policy. In 2015 she was appointed as Head of the DNB Expert Center for Fit & Proper testing, assessing (supervisory and management) board members in the financial sector. In February 2017 she started as Director of Payments and Market Infrastructures and was responsible for the payments and collateral operations of the central bank, oversight, policy and cyberintelligence. Also the TIBER project (Threat Intelligence Based Ethical Red teaming) was part of her responsibilities. Prior to joining the Dutch Central Bank Petra had an international career in the oil and gas industry.

Petra was an Alternate Member of the EIOPA Board of Supervisors. She was also the Chair of the EIOPA Policy Committee.

Petra has a European Masters in Law & Economics and a Masters in Russian Studies. She is married and proud mother of three children.

Lynn Kaack

Lynn Kaack is Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Public Policy at the Hertie School. Her research and teaching focuses on methods from statistics and machine learning to inform climate mitigation policy across the energy sector, and on climate-related AI policy.

She is also a co-founder and chair of Climate Change AI, which is an organization to facilitate work at the intersection of machine learning and climate action. Previously she was Postdoctoral Researcher and Lecturer in the Energy Technology and Policy Group at ETH Zürich. 

Brendan Kennedy

Brendan Kennedy is Pensions Regulator and chief executive of the Pensions Authority. He has held this position since 2006. 

Brendan has spent almost his entire career in pensions. Before joining the Authority in 2004, he held a variety of life insurance and consulting positions. Brendan qualified as an actuary and is a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Pensions Management. He also chairs the Technical Committee of the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors.

Patrick Montagner

First deputy secretary general of Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution, France.

Born in 1965, I have joined the French central bank in 1988 where I have held various 

positions, mainly in the financial supervision area. 

  • 1988-1992 : financial analyst
  • 1992-1996 : Internal auditor
  • From 1996 to 2006, various positions within the on-site banking department
  • appointed in September 2008 as director for the department in charge of large French international banks and of foreign banks in France. During this period, I was member of the Senior Supervisors Group and of the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Supervisory Intensity and Effectiveness Working Group.
  • nominated in April 2012 as director of a department in charge of Insurance supervision (member of IAIS supervisory forum) 
  • December 2013 to December 2017 : chair of FSB iCBCM (insurance cross border crisis management). 
  • March 2014, deputy secretary general of the ACPR (Legal department, Consumer protection department, HR and resources department, Quality insurance division))
  • November 2018 first deputy secretary general (Insurance supervision departments, Authorisations department, Legal department, Consumer protection department).

Aleksandra Palinska

Aleksandra Palinska is the Executive Director of Eurosif, the European Sustainable  Investment Forum, the leading pan European Sustainable and Responsible Investment association advocating for a more sustainable financial system. It works as a partnership of European national Sustainable Investment Forums (SIFs).

She is a seasoned professional with over twelve years of experience in EU public policy and regulation. Her expertise covers sustainable finance, financial markets regulation, company law and corporate governance. 

Prior to joining Eurosif, she worked for various Brussels-based organisations including Finance Watch – a Brussels-based NGO and expertise centre with a mission to make finance serve society – EFAMA, EuropeanIssuers and BetterFinance, which represent the interests of asset managers, publicly-listed companies and individual investors, respectively.

With an in-depth understanding of how capital markets work, Aleksandra masters the challenges and expectations of the buy and sell side. Having led sustainable finance regulatory workstreams at Finance Watch and EFAMA, she became an expert in that field.

Aleksandra is a member of the EFRAG’s Sustainability Reporting Board (SRB), helping shape the draft European Sustainability Reporting Standards. She first joined the EFRAG SRB in March 2022 on behalf of Finance Watch. As of mid-November 2022, Aleksandra, on behalf of Eurosif, is representing the users of sustainability-related information. 

Between January 2021 and September 2022, Aleksandra acted as a sherpa on the European Commission’s Platform on Sustainable Finance, where she contributed to the development of the recommendations for a social taxonomy, minimum social and governance safeguards that taxonomy-aligned investments must meet, and the taxonomy-related disclosures.

Aleksandra holds a masters’ degree in management from the university of economics and a post-graduate diploma in European studies.

Thierry Philipponnat

Thierry Philipponnat serves as Chief Economist at Finance Watch.

After graduating from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris and training as an economist (Master’s degree in economics), Thierry Philipponnat started a career in finance in 1985, holding different positions in commercial and investment banking, working successively for BFCE, O’Connor & Associates, Exane, UBS Ltd and BNP Paribas. In 2004 he was appointed global head of equity derivatives of Euronext.liffe and a member of the executive committees of Euronext in Paris and LIFFE in London.

After leaving the finance industry, Thierry crossed into the NGO world, campaigning and lobbying on behalf of Amnesty International, with a particular emphasis on corporate social responsibility and on the impact of the financial sector on human rights. He was later elected as an Executive Board member of Amnesty International France.

In 2011, he co-founded the European NGO Finance Watch in Brussels, which he managed as its first Secretary General until 2014. Subsequently, he became Chairman of the French Sustainable Investment Forum (FIR), a Board member of the European Sustainable Investment Forum (EUROSIF) and Director of the economic think tank Institut Friedland.

Thierry Philipponnat is a member of the Board of the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and a member of the Sanctions Committee of the French Banks and Insurance Companies Supervisor (ACPR). He chairs the AMF’s Climate and Sustainable Finance Commission as well as its Market consultative Commission. He is a member of ACPR’s Climate and Sustainable Finance Commission and of its Scientific Committee. He is also a member of the European Commission’s Platform on sustainable finance.

Thierry is the author of several books and numerous articles on finance, financial regulation, sustainable finance, socially responsible investment and corporate social responsibility.

In October 2019, Finance Watch appointed Thierry Philipponnat as its Head of Research and Advocacy. In January 2022, he was appointed Chief Economist.

Dr Fabian Regele

Fabian joined EIOPA as a policy expert on sustainable finance in 2021.

He is focusing on the prudential treatment of sustainability risks in Solvency II, as well as impact underwriting with regard to climate change adaptation. Prior to his role at EIOPA, Fabian has been a researcher at the International Center for Insurance Regulation (ICIR) at Goethe University Frankfurt and holds a doctoral degree in finance.

Dr. Catharina Richter

Catharina is a fully qualified lawyer with more than 20 years of business experience in the financial industry, covering Insurance, Asset Management and Service. Her core areas of expertise are regulatory change management and implementation of business transformation in distribution, product development, digitalization and where needed, corporate restructuring.

In her current role in Global Sustainability in Allianz SE, she is responsible for implementation of upcoming sustainable finance regulation across all affected functions, lines of business and legal entities, leveraging it to steer the Group’s business activities in line with its sustainability ambition.

Vicky Saporta

Vicky is Executive Director for Prudential Policy in the Bank of England and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA).  She has held a number of positions in prudential policy, financial stability and monetary analysis in a career spanning over 25 years at the Bank of England. Vicky was at the heart of the macro prudential and micro prudential policy reforms undertaken by the Bank after the global financial crisis and has been leading the prudential policy work of the PRA since July 2016.  

Vicky has represented the Bank on numerous international committees dealing with central banking and regulatory issues. Vicky is currently Chair of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. She is also a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

Vicky holds a PhD in Economics, M.Phil in Finance from the University of Cambridge and a B.Sc in Mathematical Economics and Econometrics from the London School of Economics. She has published a number of articles in books, professional journals and Bank of England publications and is also Professor in Practice at the Department of Economics and Finance in the University of Durham.

Dr. Marie Scholer Mendez

Dr. Marie Scholer Mendez has joined EIOPA in April 2019 as an Expert on Policy Sustainable Finance. In this function, she coordinates the cat expert risk group and further develops EIOPA’s work on sustainable finance

Prior to EIOPA, Ms Scholer worked for the reinsurance sector at R+V Re in Germany as a Riskcontrolling Actuary and the for insurance sector at Zurich insurance in Switzerland as a Senior Catastrophe Modeller. She has extensive knowledge in natural catastrophe models as she worked for a catastrophe model vendors (RMS) and holds a PhD in geophysics.

Pamela Schuermans

Pamela Schuermans is Principal Expert on Insurance Policy at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), based in Frankfurt am Main. In her current role as leader of the EIOPA inter-departmental group on sustainable finance, she is responsible for the implementation of EIOPA’s sustainable finance strategy.

In previous roles, she has led the Solvency II project at CEIOPS and EIOPA and coordinated EIOPA’s policy regarding Brexit.

Before joining EIOPA, Pamela worked for the Belgian financial supervisory authority as a financial supervisor.

Pamela holds a LL.M from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, a MsC in Finance and Financial Law from the School of Oriental Studies London and a degree in Actuarial Science from Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve.

Martin Spolc

Martin Spolc is the Head of the Sustainable Finance in the European Commission's Directorate General for Financial Services. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of the Capital Markets Union unit, the Economic analysis unit, Deputy Head of the Banking unit and Assistant to the Director General, directly involved in developing key projects in the area of financial services since the banking crisis. Before joining the Commission, he had worked at risk management consultancy and the banking sector. He is the holder of the CFA and FRM designations and member of the CFA Institute and Global Association of Risk Professionals.

Marco Traversa

Marco is a Senior Expert in EIOPA’s Conduct of Business Oversight Unit, within EIOPA’s Consumer Protection Department. He is responsible for a number of areas which fall within EIOPA’s conduct oversight work which include: carrying market monitoring activities to identify, monitor and address conduct risks in a pre-emptive manner, reporting on consumer trends and leading EIOPA’s supervisory work in the area of product oversight and governance. More recently, Marco has increasingly focused on ensuring that EIOPA’s market monitoring and conduct supervisory work also addresses emerging risks including those relating to sustainability. In particular, Marco has lead EIOPA’s supervisory work on greenwashing which include EIOPA’s work on responding to the European Commission’s called for advice on greenwashing, work on addressing demand-side barriers leading to the protection and concrete supervisory cases on greenwashing and exclusions of risks stemming out systemic events. Prior to joining EIOPA in 2018, Marco worked for the World Bank assisting countries in different continents to build and strengthen their conduct regulatory framework and in enhancing access to formal financial services and products. Marco holds and LL.M from the University of Chicago and Law Degree from the Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milana.

Charlotte Valeur

Charlotte Valeur is a Non-Executive Director and FTSE Chair whose board-level experience spans a host of sectors and industries and covers IPOs, mergers and acquisitions and restructuring. 

She is a recognised international authority and professor in corporate governance and leadership, and author of Effective Directors (Questions to Ask). 

A lifelong human rights advocate, Charlotte is driven to play her part in creating an inclusive society; she advocates for equality and inclusion for all, working at the intersection of Government, Industry, Academia and the Third Sector. To this effect she also founded and chair Board Apprentice and the global Institute of Neurodiversity, ION. 

Dimitris Zafeiris

Dimitris Zafeiris is Head of the Risks and Financial Stability Department and is responsible for EIOPA's activities in the areas of financial stability, crisis management and studies and statistics. 

Before joining EIOPA, Dimitris ran the risk management unit in a commercial bank where he was responsible for the management of projects such as the implementation of Basel II and external asset quality reviews. Prior to this, Dimitris held roles as investment director, portfolio manager and analyst in a number of firms in the asset management industry. Dimitris holds a Master of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Economics.