Our most important partnership is the one we have with the EFG Hermes family. It is thanks to them that we have been able to take these momentous strides in tackling the SDGs, upgrading our policies to face new market challenges and extending our sustainable investment portfolio into FEMs and beyond.
In 2018, two of EFG Hermes’ most dedicated sustainability advocates received international recognition for their career achievements.
UNGC 2018 SDG Pioneer
For Investing in Social Development
Chief Executive Officer of the EFG Hermes Foundation and Head of CSR Hanaa Helmy was recently recognized by the UN Global Compact (UNGC) as one of 10 SDG Pioneers in 2018 for her work in social development and sustainability in Egypt. Helmy has dedicated her career to initiating and implementing social development initiatives with tangible, positive impact on people’s lives. Under her leadership, the EFG Hermes Foundation has pioneered an integrated development approach that is both ambitious and unique in the way it revives entire communities. She is a tireless advocate for the SDGs and how it is imperative to develop innovative mechanisms to finance social and environmental development.
This award is a recognition not only of my work
but also of the achievements of the EFG Hermes
Foundation and the CSR Department as a whole.
We are also fortunate to have the full buy-in of EFG
Hermes’ leadership, allowing us to execute our holistic
vision for sustainable development.
UNGC 2018 SDG Pioneer
EFG Hermes Foundation CEO
On another front, the Foundation has been at the forefront in the battle to
eradicate liver disease in Egypt and in January 2017, Helmy was honoured
by the Economist Intelligence Unit as one of 18 global change makers in
the fight to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus (HCV).
To date, the Foundation has successfully reached over 450,000 beneficiaries (2018) with projects throughout Egypt and has become the development partner of choice for a range of non-governmental organizations, national and international donors, government bodies and grass roots community service organizations.
On the responsible investment front, Helmy has worked with the
company’s business lines to develop and adopt a comprehensive
ESG strategy. After an 8-year commitment to the UNGC, EFG
Hermes became the first Egyptian financial services corporation
to sign the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment
thanks to Helmy’s tireless efforts.
Helmy is also a member of the EGX Sustainability Advisory Committee (SAC), the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt’s CSR Committee, and the GCNE Board of Trustees. As an Ashoka fellow, she has devoted the last 20 years of her life to working with children with special needs and is a Certified International Trainer for the American-developed MOVE programme which helps disabled children sit, stand and walk.
Lifetime Achievement Award
The International Financial Law Review
In 2018, Mona Zulficar, founding partner of Zulficar
& Partners and EFG Hermes chairperson, became
both the first Egyptian and the first woman to be
honoured with a lifetime achievement award by the
International Financial Law Review (IFLR).
Zulficar is recognised in local and international legal circles as the ‘precedent maker’ and one of Egypt’s most prominent corporate, banking and project finance attorneys. As an M&A and capital markets transactions specialist, she has led negotiations on some of Egypt’s and the Middle East’s largest and most complex successful transactions over the past three decades. Most recently, she led the Zulficar and Partners team that advised the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) on the documentation for the 30 solar projects in Benban, the world’s largest solar energy project, receiving the Thomson Reuters Project Finance International Award for ‘Global Multilateral Deal of the Year’ in London in 2018.
We have responsibilities towards
our shareholders, towards the
communities where we do business,
and, most of all, towards future generations.
Zulficar has also played an instrumental role in modernizing and reforming economic and banking laws and regulations as a former member of the board of the Central Bank of Egypt and as a prominent member of national drafting committees. She is also a leading human rights activist recognised locally and internationally and has initiated several successful campaigns for new legislation including women’s rights, freedom of opinion and family courts.
She is currently member of the National Council for Human Rights. She has also recently been elected President of the Egyptian Microfinance Federation and has been chairing several NGOs active in social development and microfinance for poor women. She served as an elected member of the international Advisory Committee of the United Nations Human Rights Council for two terms ending in 2011.
At EFG Hermes, Zulficar has been an unremitting champion of the drive to incorporate sustainability and the SDGs into the Firm’s corporate culture. She is a staunch supporter of the work conducted by the EFG Hermes Foundation and is deeply committed to maximizing the social impact aspect of EFG Hermes activities.
EFG Hermes has always held the belief that prudent management is the only way to ensure the long-term growth and success of any institution, particularly those that operate in the financial sector. Accordingly, we endeavour to adhere to international best practices and global standards of governance within all facets of our organization.
Our rigorous policies and the compliance that we mandate from both staff and clients in terms of both action and documentation have established us as regional leaders in the area of corporate governance. As we expand into new markets, we are confident that our streamlined management structure, the commitment of our board and employees, and our robust risk, auditing and compliance departments will allow us to maintain our position of leadership and guarantee our success.
The successful continuity of the compliance function is largely dependent upon being able to effectively communicate the Firm’s strategy, policies, and procedures to employees. In 2018, the training completion rate for the mandatory anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, responsible investment, general data protection regulation (GDPR), and cyber security courses was over 91%. The training process is monitored by Compliance.
The EFG Hermes
is appointed by EFG Hermes’ Board of Directors and is comprised of eight members, who are strategically selected to ensure all divisions are represented. The Board has delegated the authority to exercise all the powers and authority of the board to EFG Hermes’ Executive Committee. Moreover, the Executive Committee is entrusted with the implementation of the policy decisions of the Board and overseeing the Firm’s risk management structures and policies.
One of the purviews of the committee is to identify ESG matters that affect the operations of EFG Hermes, monitoring ESG integration throughout EFG Hermes and passing ESG resolutions while suggesting updates to the ESG policy for Board approval.
Since the start of the journey towards a more sustainable operation, the Executive Committee has been immensely supportive of the process and has contributed significantly to the adoption of an ESG mindset throughout the Group
In light of our expansion into frontier markets and the establishment of a Pakistan office, we make sure that all those who join our firm are up to date in terms of mandatory courses and policy awareness through our Online Onboarding Programme which includes all forms and policies as well as any countryspecific forms to ensure compliance with local regulations. For Pakistan, we instituted a phased roll-out of policies to avoid overwhelming our new staff members and to make sure each policy is understood.
With the firm belief that protecting the rights of its employees is of paramount importance, and in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Labour & Human Rights, EFG Hermes articulated two statements in 2018 to complement its existing policies: A statement on human and labour rights and a statement on health and safety. Both are available publicly online and have been communicated to stakeholders.
One of the priorities of EFG Hermes’ CSR team is to maintain constant interest in the SDGs among staff members. One way of doing this is through internal awareness campaigns that highlight sustainable development issues and provide a deeper understanding of the SDGs. In 2018, campaigns highlighted over 20 issues ranging from inclusiveness in the workplace to the right to clean water for all on multiple social media platforms. Employees are also encouraged to participate in voluntary activities promoting sustainability such as fundraising activities, community development initiatives and social media engagement.
EFG Hermes continues to champion sustainability issues within the investment and finance industry through membership in the Sustainability Advisory Committee of the EGX and a founding member of the GCNE. The Firm also continues to be an active participant in the UNGC for the 9th year running.
In recognition of our consistent efforts at the forefront of the drive towards sustainability, we have been recognised by several international organizations. In 2018, EFG Hermes was named the Best Sustainable Financial Provider by The European magazine for the second year running. EFG Hermes also remains one of only six MENA companies included in the FTSE4Good Emerging Index for the second year in a row.
Best Sustainable Financial Provider The European’s Global Banking & Finance Awards
FTSE4Good Emerging Index One of only six MENA constituents
SPOTLIGHT ON ... CERTIFICATION AND COMPLIANCE
• Successfully passed
the surveillance audit
for the third year in
a row to retain ISO
in Egypt, KSA and the
UAE from the British
(BSI) in recognition of
our compliance with the
standards for business
• Completed the twophased
Compromise and Risk
Assessment for all EFG
Hermes networks and
• Obtained a license from FINRA for EFG Hermes USA.
• Complied with Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), an EU law that seeks to boost investor protection and market transparency.
• Complied with the Common Reporting Standards Regulations.