Leaders in Sustainable Finance 2024


On Thursday 1 February, around 270 professionals from the Netherlands financial services industry gathered at the Antropia conference venue in Zeist to discuss the role of the financial services sector in sustainable transition. The theme of the event was: Transition: what is the pain and what is there to gain?” This document summarizes the speeches and presentations at the event. It is not a transcript of what was said, but provides a paraphrased synopsis of the key points made. It has been prepared and published by Leaders in Finance. Leaders in Finance would like to thank KPMG and Mark McKenzie, Director at KPMG, for their support. Key messages that were heard often at the event included:

  • The need for action is urgent
  • It is important to go beyond compliance with reporting regulation in order to drive real change
  • The FS sector has great power to drive sustainable transition through its customers and value chain
  • The financial services sector needs to focus on the impacts it has on people and the planet, not on “tick-box” ESG reporting criteria.


Roundtable Chairs and Speakers




Pre-event interviews

*** Marnix Kluiters, Founder Ecosofie ***

“After completing my studies, I started the “Ecosofie” podcast, where I interview experts about topics varying between ecology, economy and philosophy. I firmly believe that these facets of life should be integrated. The main question I like to find an answer for is: ‘How can we live a good life between planetary boundaries?’. I have been working on the podcast for five years now, during which I have had the privilege of interviewing over 100 experts. From former prime ministers, entrepreneurs to CEOs like Feike Sijbesma.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-marnix-kluiters/

*** Pauline Bieringa, Managing Director Triodos Bank Nederland ***

“The necessary and inevitable transitions (Triodos Bank has earmarked five, on which we focus: energy, food, wellbeing, societal and resources) will have huge financing requirements. As we do not have the legacy which hinders other financial institutions in their transition to sustainable finance, I believe it is our responsibility as Triodos to remain the front runner in this field, share our knowledge and expertise and cooperate with our partners in the financial services industry.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-pauline-bieringa/

*** Leonie Jesse, Associate Director KPMG Sustainable Finance ***

“I believe the primary challenge for financial institutions lies not in the regulations themselves, but the fact that it touches each and every department within the organization. It affects areas, from risk management till marketing, making it a horizontally integrated matter. Unlike many regulatory issues that tend to be vertical, this horizontal approach poses the greatest challenge for financial institutions. Additionally, I think that having the knowledge within these financial institutions is also a big challenge. The horizontal nature of the approach necessitates knowledge across all departments, not just specific expertise on individual topics like SFTR, CSRD, biodiversity, human rights, or any other relevant subject. It requires people that have the full overview, an overarching holistic view of these difficult topics, which, in my view, makes it particularly challenging.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-leonie-jesse/

*** Kees Vendrik, Chairman National Climate Platform ***

“The largest task for the financial industry is to have a closer look at the carbon footprint of your assets and portfolio and start to phase out fossil finance. This is a tough challenge because an individual financial institution might find it quite difficult to step out. So, what we need is a collaborative approach within the financial industry, as demonstrated by the climate commitment. Enhanced cooperation with the government, both national and European, is essential to set clear targets for different sectors. Facing the reality of stranded assets and engaging in deep conversations about the transition’s relationship with financial stability is necessary. It requires a proactive approach, looking beyond short-term gains.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-kees-vendrik/

*** Joost Oorthuizen, CEO Invest International ***

“The relationship between the financial industry and other entities is symbiotic. Voluntary actions by commercial players alone won’t suffice. Governments play a role in setting rules and providing incentives, and the financial industry responds to both risks and opportunities. It requires collaboration and innovation from both sides to drive the necessary changes.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-joost-oorthuizen/

*** Laura van Geest, Chair Executive Board AFM ***

“The AFM considers transparency on sustainability aspects of great importance. We therefore see the growing attention to this by market participants as a positive development. As with other information, sustainability claims should be correct, clear and not misleading. AFM provides tools with information requirements, like the Guideline on sustainability claims, for companies to comply. Sustainability claims need to be accurate, representative and up to date, specific and substantiated, understandable, appropriate and easy to find.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-laura-van-geest/

*** Nadine Klokke, CEO Knab ***

“I always find the words ‘sustainable finance’ a bit abstract. Though within Knab we tend to talk about making it a better place; it reminds me of music, of binding and connecting people. And also about the fact that we all want to take care of the planet and the future of those we care about. So that is what I think about: how to contribute to make it a better place today and tomorrow.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-nadine-klokke/

*** Menno Kooistra, Head of ESG Advisory KPMG Netherlands ***

“The largest challenge I see is what we at KPMG call “the great sustainability data challenge”. Nothing can happen without the ESG data – it’s the critical foundation for decisions and action. The flow of data is improving and will continue to improve with regulation like CSRD and CSDD and that is a positive development, but new questions continue to arise around how to scale the accessibility of data, how to ensure the quality and comprehensiveness of data, et cetera. The data discussion is rapidly gaining prominence and it is one that I see as absolutely paramount because genuine progress can’t happen until we’ve solved the data challenge.”
Read the full interview here: https://www.leadersinfinance.nl/pre-event-interview-menno-kooistra/


This Leaders in Finance Event is about Sustainable Finance. The event should be of great interest to leaders working directly in Sustainable Finance, but also to leaders for whom sustainability is not daily business, but an important factor in strategy development. Officers are: managing directors, directors, managers and teamleads.

With this event we have a clear mission and focus on achievements!

, we want to bring the (financial) professionals in the Sustainable Finance space together and encourage knowledge sharing and exchange of best practices.

, we hope to add value in the deepening of cooperation between the different stakeholders in the sustainable finance sector, among other things, by facilitating the forming of new relationships and to deepen existing relationships.

, above all we want to achieve that all participants will travel home after the conference full of energy and enthusiasm.


Leaders in Finance Events
Email: [email protected]

Door deze site te gebruiken ga je akkoord met het plaatsen van cookies. Meer informatie

De cookie-instellingen op deze website zijn ingesteld op 'toestaan cookies "om u de beste surfervaring mogelijk. Als u doorgaat met deze website te gebruiken zonder het wijzigen van uw cookie-instellingen of u klikt op "Accepteren" hieronder dan bent u akkoord met deze instellingen.