Desiree Fixler

ESG Advisory Committee Member

Desiree is a leading expert in the field of sustainable and blended finance with over 25 years of experience in innovating and reshaping financial markets. Renowned for blowing the whistle on the dark side of ESG, she is a sought-after advisor, media contributor, and keynote speaker.

Desiree is well-known for her first principles, shareholder primacy approach to sustainability and helps companies navigate the overdemands of the ESG world. She serves as a trusted advisor to corporations, NGOs, and regulators such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Along with her guest lectures at Cambridge University, she is at the forefront of global efforts to drive greater transparency, practicality and impact in the practice of sustainable finance.

In a defining moment during her tenure as Group Sustainability Officer at Deutsche Bank’s asset manager, DWS, Desiree exposed material greenwashing at the company- huge disparities between public ESG claims and internal statements and actions. When her concerns as well as her job were dismissed by the C-suite and Board, she decided to speak out publicly. Subsequent investigations by US and German authorities resulted in a dramatic series of events, including a federal police raid, the removal of the top executives and the largest SEC greenwashing fine to date.

Desiree’s whistleblowing action sent shockwaves throughout the finance industry, catalyzing efforts to tackle greenwashing. She poignantly shares this cautionary yet inspirational story and goes beyond the call for clearer ESG disclosures to emphasize the power of speaking up to drive meaningful change.

Prior to DWS, she has held senior roles at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Zais Group, where she built and managed ESG investing and structured credit businesses. Desiree has also served as a senior advisor to both BlueOrchard and responsAbility Investments to scale blended finance transactions in the institutional capital markets. Her track record of product innovation includes several award-winning and market transformational products, including the development of the iTraxx and CDX indices, as well as a series of impact securitizations.

Desiree holds a BSc Economics (Hons) from the London School of Economics. She is a member of the CFA’s ESG Technical Committee and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Responsible Investing.

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