Environmental, social, and corporate governance, popularly known by its abbreviation ESG, has become a popular term worldwide. Companies, including brokers and other trading industry players, are taking active steps to become sustainable.

Vantage (previously VantageFX), an international multi-asset brokerage, is aggressively promoting its ESG initiatives. Finance Magnates recently spoke with Yen Sim, Vantage’s Director of Global Branding & Communications, to learn more about the broker’s efforts around ESG.

Sim joined the Australia-headquartered broker in late 2020 and led it through key marketing moves, including its rebranding from VantageFX to Vantage. Further, her priorities to build the Vantage brand can also be seen when the broker inked a sponsorship with McLaren Racing’s Extreme E Team.

Here is the complete conversion between Finance Magnates (FM) and Sim (YS):

FM: In your opinion, what is ‘sustainability’ all about?

YS: Sustainability is an incredibly broad term, and it depends on context. On a personal level, I think it’s our impact on our natural and social environment. It involves practicing new habits and being open to changing perceptions and behaviors. When we do, we move society forward, improving our planet in the process.

For example, I’ve been reducing my reliance on plastic, cutting waste, shopping in bulk, and composting my food waste. I believe in supporting our local social causes to help people in need, particularly women and children, and educating my peers and my staff on gender and racial equality issues. Because these are areas close to my heart, I want to leave a positive impact on them within my sphere of influence.

Sustainability on a corporate level differs in scale and focus. It involves looking beyond our business operations, beyond our business influence, to see how we can help and support others. It is almost counter-intuitive because we are saying “Look, profit isn’t everything. Being a socially responsible and environmentally conscious business is.”

This shift in what’s “business as usual” cannot be a purely top-down or bottom-up initiative either. Every individual needs to own this vision. And, fortunately for Vantage, our entire team – both management and staff – are on board. We realise that we cannot afford to ignore issues like climate change and poverty when they’re right at our door.

FM: Can you please tell us about Vantage’s ESG program?

YS: As our business was maturing, our management had a clear desire to give back to the communities and held several discussions to brainstorm ideas to do it most effectively. Their main concern focused on how our staff might feel about the ideas, on whether it would feel like a burden or an additional workload to them.

During our feedback gathering exercise, we realized to our surprise and delight, that our team members were 100% onboard with our company’s direction. In fact, we were heartened to hear they were already supporting their own local charities in the regions they operated in.

With that mandate, we decided to embark on our corporate ESG journey in earnest. We were driven by the idea of being able to consolidate our resources to turn our grassroots-led small-scale charity activities into a global initiative, that could in turn be localized and replicated around the world.

Now, ESG has grown beyond just charity. It is about creating social change, protecting our natural environment, and maintaining ethical corporate practices.

An important part of our strategy was seeking out partners who shared the same values and with whom we could embark on this journey together. We were fortunate to have the stars align in our endeavors.

The first of those partnerships was our multi-year partnership with McLaren Racing, to drive innovation in electric vehicles, support gender equality, and move the needle on climate change.

In this regard, we had collaborations like Supercar Blondie’s support in driving awareness to the Blue Carbon initiative, where we planted seagrass in Sardinia to actively combat climate change.

We partnered with ICRC for our inaugural global blood donation drive to fulfil our civic duty, and conducted a dollar-for-dollar matching donation drive with UNHCR to raise funds for refugees.

Most recently, we partnered with UNESCO to improve education in India through Artificial Intelligence. In time, Vantage will be hosting a series of free financial literary courses in many parts of India, so we can equip the underprivileged with the resilience to withstand economic shocks.

These partnerships are just the beginning. As our team gains experience in supporting such educational initiatives, we hope to bring these to other countries as well, so more can benefit.

FM: As far as the FX and CFD industry is concerned, what sort of collaborative efforts are required to increase transparency in ESG programs?

YS: I would be hard pressed to speak for the entire industry. But, for Vantage, our collaborations are strategic in allowing us to make the biggest impact on our communities. We want to deliver help where help is needed, and to support partners who are truly making a difference.

At the same time, we think that greenblushing, or hiding our efforts from the public eye, does a huge disservice in driving awareness to where it is needed. Our teams were happy to raise funds and send medical supplies to local hospitals during the pandemic, but they were unable to make a bigger dent until they shared their experience with the rest of our global team. It was such a great effort, but we realized more can be achieved if we do it together.

In line with this, by talking about what Vantage is aspiring to achieve, we hope to inspire our peers to do the same, or take it further. At the end of the day, when all businesses and individuals work to achieve ESG goals, everyone benefits.

FM: Why should the financial sector get involved with ESG?

YS: This would have a lot to do with the “G” in ESG, which stands for governance.

As brokers, we have a high regard for the trust our clients place in us, and we aim for maximum transparency with our clients in all our dealings, from our fees, our deposit and withdrawal processes, to our communications with them about platform updates, terms and conditions, right down to our dispute resolutions.

On that last point, we have partnered with Financial Commission (Finacom) to ensure a fully transparent resolution process for all of our clients. Finacom is a highly respected independent self-regulatory organization and external dispute resolution (EDR) body, and it is our privilege to be one of its members.

FM: Are there further ESG collaborations on the cards for Vantage in the coming months/years?

YS: I’m sure you have heard this adage. ESG is not a destination, but a journey. As we move to build a better shared future for everyone, you can be sure that we always have new partners and collaborations in the pipeline, so do keep your eyes peeled.

Environmental, social, and corporate governance, popularly known by its abbreviation ESG, has become a popular term worldwide. Companies, including brokers and other trading industry players, are taking active steps to become sustainable.

Vantage (previously VantageFX), an international multi-asset brokerage, is aggressively promoting its ESG initiatives. Finance Magnates recently spoke with Yen Sim, Vantage’s Director of Global Branding & Communications, to learn more about the broker’s efforts around ESG.

Sim joined the Australia-headquartered broker in late 2020 and led it through key marketing moves, including its rebranding from VantageFX to Vantage. Further, her priorities to build the Vantage brand can also be seen when the broker inked a sponsorship with McLaren Racing’s Extreme E Team.

Here is the complete conversion between Finance Magnates (FM) and Sim (YS):

FM: In your opinion, what is ‘sustainability’ all about?

YS: Sustainability is an incredibly broad term, and it depends on context. On a personal level, I think it’s our impact on our natural and social environment. It involves practicing new habits and being open to changing perceptions and behaviors. When we do, we move society forward, improving our planet in the process.

For example, I’ve been reducing my reliance on plastic, cutting waste, shopping in bulk, and composting my food waste. I believe in supporting our local social causes to help people in need, particularly women and children, and educating my peers and my staff on gender and racial equality issues. Because these are areas close to my heart, I want to leave a positive impact on them within my sphere of influence.

Sustainability on a corporate level differs in scale and focus. It involves looking beyond our business operations, beyond our business influence, to see how we can help and support others. It is almost counter-intuitive because we are saying “Look, profit isn’t everything. Being a socially responsible and environmentally conscious business is.”

This shift in what’s “business as usual” cannot be a purely top-down or bottom-up initiative either. Every individual needs to own this vision. And, fortunately for Vantage, our entire team – both management and staff – are on board. We realise that we cannot afford to ignore issues like climate change and poverty when they’re right at our door.

FM: Can you please tell us about Vantage’s ESG program?

YS: As our business was maturing, our management had a clear desire to give back to the communities and held several discussions to brainstorm ideas to do it most effectively. Their main concern focused on how our staff might feel about the ideas, on whether it would feel like a burden or an additional workload to them.

During our feedback gathering exercise, we realized to our surprise and delight, that our team members were 100% onboard with our company’s direction. In fact, we were heartened to hear they were already supporting their own local charities in the regions they operated in.

With that mandate, we decided to embark on our corporate ESG journey in earnest. We were driven by the idea of being able to consolidate our resources to turn our grassroots-led small-scale charity activities into a global initiative, that could in turn be localized and replicated around the world.

Now, ESG has grown beyond just charity. It is about creating social change, protecting our natural environment, and maintaining ethical corporate practices.

An important part of our strategy was seeking out partners who shared the same values and with whom we could embark on this journey together. We were fortunate to have the stars align in our endeavors.

The first of those partnerships was our multi-year partnership with McLaren Racing, to drive innovation in electric vehicles, support gender equality, and move the needle on climate change.

In this regard, we had collaborations like Supercar Blondie’s support in driving awareness to the Blue Carbon initiative, where we planted seagrass in Sardinia to actively combat climate change.

We partnered with ICRC for our inaugural global blood donation drive to fulfil our civic duty, and conducted a dollar-for-dollar matching donation drive with UNHCR to raise funds for refugees.

Most recently, we partnered with UNESCO to improve education in India through Artificial Intelligence. In time, Vantage will be hosting a series of free financial literary courses in many parts of India, so we can equip the underprivileged with the resilience to withstand economic shocks.

These partnerships are just the beginning. As our team gains experience in supporting such educational initiatives, we hope to bring these to other countries as well, so more can benefit.

FM: As far as the FX and CFD industry is concerned, what sort of collaborative efforts are required to increase transparency in ESG programs?

YS: I would be hard pressed to speak for the entire industry. But, for Vantage, our collaborations are strategic in allowing us to make the biggest impact on our communities. We want to deliver help where help is needed, and to support partners who are truly making a difference.

At the same time, we think that greenblushing, or hiding our efforts from the public eye, does a huge disservice in driving awareness to where it is needed. Our teams were happy to raise funds and send medical supplies to local hospitals during the pandemic, but they were unable to make a bigger dent until they shared their experience with the rest of our global team. It was such a great effort, but we realized more can be achieved if we do it together.

In line with this, by talking about what Vantage is aspiring to achieve, we hope to inspire our peers to do the same, or take it further. At the end of the day, when all businesses and individuals work to achieve ESG goals, everyone benefits.

FM: Why should the financial sector get involved with ESG?

YS: This would have a lot to do with the “G” in ESG, which stands for governance.

As brokers, we have a high regard for the trust our clients place in us, and we aim for maximum transparency with our clients in all our dealings, from our fees, our deposit and withdrawal processes, to our communications with them about platform updates, terms and conditions, right down to our dispute resolutions.

On that last point, we have partnered with Financial Commission (Finacom) to ensure a fully transparent resolution process for all of our clients. Finacom is a highly respected independent self-regulatory organization and external dispute resolution (EDR) body, and it is our privilege to be one of its members.

FM: Are there further ESG collaborations on the cards for Vantage in the coming months/years?

YS: I’m sure you have heard this adage. ESG is not a destination, but a journey. As we move to build a better shared future for everyone, you can be sure that we always have new partners and collaborations in the pipeline, so do keep your eyes peeled.