Suspended HSBC executive pulled from Climate Summit
Senior banker Stuart Kirk, suspended by employers HSBC for his comments about climate risk, has been pulled from the panel line-up at the inaugural Bermuda Climate Summit.
Mr Kirk, global head of responsible investments and global head of research and insights at HSBC Asset Management, was due to sit on the panel “An Executive Leadership Discussion on the Nexus of ESG, Investing and Insurance” today at the Rosewood Bermuda hotel.
But he was suspended at the weekend while HSBC conducts an internal investigation into comments made by Mr Kirk at the Financial Times’ Moral Money Summit Europe conference last week.
And now, Mr Kirk’s name is absent from the agenda for today’s event updated by conference presenters, the Bermuda Business Development Agency.
An HSBC spokesperson said: “Dr Michael A Ridley, director and senior responsible investment specialist, is representing HSBC on the panel. He leads on green bonds, sustainable infrastructure and biodiversity at HSBC Asset Management.”
Mr Kirk gave a presentation at the London conference entitled: “Why investors need not worry about climate risk”.
Among his comments, Mr Kirk said: “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages and that’s a really nice place.”
Mr Kirk, who was profiled in The Royal Gazette earlier last week in advance of the Climate Summit, oversees HSBC Asset Management’s ESG and sustainable products and strategies as well as its thought-leadership content and publications.
He sits on the management committee of the investment platform as well as chairing the Content Council and Thematic Forum.
Before joining HSBC, he was a managing director at Deutsche Bank in numerous roles.
He also worked directly as an advisor to the chief executive, writing his briefing notes, speeches and presentations.
Mr Kirk has also worked as a journalist, including almost a decade at the Financial Times, editing its Lex column.
He has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge, where he was president of the Union Society.
The invitation-only Bermuda Climate Summit 2022 has attracted climate-risk leaders to the island for the two-day event.
The forum is designed to bring together leaders from the business, science and public policy sectors to explore solutions and opportunities.
It is being presented by the BDA in partnership with the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers and Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
The event aims to position the island as a leading centre of climate-risk finance.
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