Sustainability experts in the Banking & Insurance sector are enjoying the fruits of their labor with significant compensation increases

02 March 2023 by Kate O'Rourke
blog author

We have seen a considerable step change in the importance of ESG and sustainability within the core operating models of financial services providers since 2019.

Due to the continued increase in expectations from governments, investors, shareholders, customers, and clients, businesses are having to refocus, ensuring they are operating more responsibly, while still growing, maintaining, and protecting their commercial outcomes and profits.

Since the PRA (Prudential Regulation Authority, which regulates around 1,500 banks and insurance companies) announced back in 2019 that those working in the banking and insurance space will need to assess their non-financial related disclosures in relation to climate, we’ve seen a significant transformation in the landscape of ESG hiring and how these professionals are being renumerated.

As the demand for sustainability expertise grows across organizations, we’re witnessing the development of a new function in the form of a sustainability center of excellence, with the leader typically reporting to or sitting on the executive board of the organisation. This reflects how sustainability has evolved and emphasises that businesses are allocating notable resources to ensure sustainability is being prioritized as a core part of their strategic and corporate agenda.

According to the latest salary benchmarking report conducted by Acre’s Advisory Team; sustainable finance compensation packages have increased by a minimum of 25 per cent in the last 18 months.

Candidates and jobs are both in high demand and with sustainability being the lynchpin to shareholders and investors, firms need to secure dedicated ESG, climate, and biodiversity specialists in order to achieve their 2030 and 2050 targets.

Consequently, Acre has seen an increased demand in businesses looking to expand their sustainability capabilities internally, while also trying to retain existing internal talent. Over the last two years, there has been previously unseen dynamism amongst the talent market. As sustainability employees are more aware of their worth in the market, they are commanding increased renumeration packages to move externally, while also being offered exceptional counter-offers to stay. Furthermore, the nature of the role, its alignment with the company sustainability strategy and approach, and career progression are crucial to securing top talent.

Engaging those working in sectors outside of financial services will dip deeper into the talent pool, highlighting the greater emphasis on the level of credibility surrounding sustainability rather than concentrating solely on financial expertise.

If you or your colleagues are looking for support with resourcing for 2023 or would like to have an informal conversation about the market, please feel free to contact Kate O’Rourke, Head of Banking & Insurance at Acre on or on 02031488708. ​