Herman Mulder's Blog

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Apart from the public debate on drivers & compensation, on "right-sizing and -scoping", there is an other priority: how can banks contribute to the global agenda on public goods (and bads). Also, who wants to own in 2012 a "brown bank", as we are moving to a "green and just economy", with proper consideration for natural and social capitals.
Banks must develop minimum standards and policies for Environmental, Social, Ethical, Governance (ESEG) issues in their core decision processes on lending, investing, trading and advisory (client-first!) practices, with full public disclosure on standards and performance. They may build on the Equator Principles (EP), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and also on the OECD Guidelines for multinational enterprises, the Ruggie-Framework for Human Rights, Global Compact, Earth Charter International. Such standards must be included in training, management development programs and personal targets/KPIs (15%). Public verification of performance must take place by an external assurance statement. Such ESEG factors should be explicitly included in KYC due diligence evaluation on business clients. ESEG issues must be key issue for consideration in Boards. The composition of such Boards should also reflect the importance of ESEG for long term strategy. A separate external multi-stakeholder Advisory Council (incl. clients, civil society organisations, etc) should be instituted. Creating a separate Foundation to support initiatives by employees and civil society organisations to foster environmental sustainability and social justice.

Monday, February 1, 2010

WRR Rapport Minder Pretentie, Meer Ambitie

Mijn conclusie: wel minder pretentie (terecht), maar niet meer ambitie (maar dat kan nog komen)

De diagnose is gedegen en gebalanceerd, de issues en mythes liggen duidelijk op tafel. Het rapport is daardoor een buitengewoon goed uitgangspunt voor nieuw beleid, nieuwe samenwerking, nieuwe instrumenten met betere, blijvende resultaten. Maar het Rapport is ook vooral geschreven vanuit de rol van de overheid, waarvan de opstellers zelf erkennen dat deze vooral katalyserend en flankerend moet zijn.
De beperkte consultaties met het bedrijfsleven hebben hun effect op het rapport gehad: multi-stakeholder- en valuechain- benaderingen krijgen ondanks onze traditie van internationale handel en belangrijke initiatieven zoals IDH nauwelijks aandacht. Het begrip "coherentie" beperkt zich tot de publieke sector. NethAid is een weer vooral op hulp gericht initiatief, zonder dat ook private sector kennis, expertise en op ondernemerschap gerichte initiatieven tot hun recht lijken te komen.
Mbt het bedrijfsleven beperkt het rapport zich tot aansluiting bij bestaande, weinig ambitieuze initiatieven. Het rapport memoreert weliswaar, in navolging van de Wereldbank, dat de private sector motor is voor groei, maar doet daar in het rapport verder niets mee. Het effect van financiele ondersteuning-istrumenten (EKV, IG) wordt onderschat. De noodzaak en kansen van de "groene economie" worden niet vermeld. Net zomin als internationale normen & waarden voor het bedrijfsleven (ref OECD Guidelines). De noodzaak tot transparantie wordt in beperkte mate vermeld: naast het GRI (voor niet-financiele bedrijfs-rapportage) zou ook product-certificatie voor ontwikkelings-relevante produkten (UTZCertified: koffie, thee, cacoa, palmolie, suiker, soja, etc) meer aandacht hebben moeten krijgen. De positieve effecten van publiek-private sector samenwerking zou centraal in het rapport hebben moeten staan. Initiatieven ter ondersteuning van groen, locaal ondernemerschap (zoals bv BiDNetwork) zouden ondersteund moeten worden. De rol van FMO verdient in dit kader bijzondere aandacht.
Kortom, het rapport verdient een vervolg, in de beste traditie van publiek debat, multi-stakeholder-benadering, innovatie en met ambitie.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

By Herman Mulder, Advisory Board TEEB; Boards of i.a. Worldconnectors, GRI, Tomorrow’s Company
“The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity”-Study (TEEB) is a major study initiated by the EU with support from i.a. UNEP, IUCN the create a scientifically grounded methodology to value the Natural Capital (ecosystems, biodiversity) and the costs and benefits of making use of it: payment for ecosystem services (PES). The study includes reports for international policymakers, local administrators, business, citizens. The final report will be issued in October 2010. The business report is currently under development and addresses dependencies and impact of business activities in their value chain. Data collection, “best of breed”-case studies are being collected and considered as reference material. The outcomes of this study should offer business material to include PES in their mainstream business operations. It should also assist more advanced disclosure practices by business: Integrated Reporting(supporting risk&opportunity analysis by investors) and Product certification. Corporations will have a unique opportunity to show leadership to strengthen their license to operate and branding with their stakeholders by engaging themselves with this study. Young professionals are in this context crucial “change agents”.
(excerpt of speech for "Leaders for Nature", Amsterdam)

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Independent Advisor on “the business case for environmental, social, ethical, governance issues”


HERMAN MULDER (1946) retired in July2006 from ABN AMRO Bank after 27 years holding leading positions in relationship management (notably energy), defaulted loan restructuring & recovery, project finance, syndicated loans. Since 1995 he was Global Head of Structured Finance and since 1998 Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP), Head of Group Risk Management, Co-chairman of the Group Risk Committee. Since 1998 he lead the ABN AMRO’s global initiatives in Sustainable Development (SD), in which the bank is recognized a sector leader (i.a. Winner of the WEC Gold Medal in 2006 and the FT/IFC Sustainable Bank of the Year in 2007). He was the creator and first chairman of ABN AMRO Group Foundation. In 2002 he was the initiator of the ground-breaking voluntary financial sector-initiative “the Equator Principles for project finance” (now adopted by more than 50 major financial institutions ). He was actively involved in the creation of NFX ( a joint platform between the Dutch government and Dutch banks focused on finance for development) .

In November 2005, he was made a knight in the Royal Order of Oranje-Nassau for his initiatives on sustainable development, the Equator Principles in particular.

In the period 2000-2004 he was a non-executive Board Member of the Bank of Asia (Thailand). He is a frequent speaker/panelist (i.a. at the Clinton Global Initiative, TERI-DSDS/Delhi, Taellberg Forum, universities), author and independent advisor on a broad range of issues: risk management, finance for trade & development, public-private cooperation, sustainability (including : clean energy; climate challenge & opportunity; inclusive finance for development; microfinance, notably in India; environmental , social and ethical standards; supply chains; human rights; social venture capital mobilization, etc).


In mid 2006 he chose to retire from ABN AMRO to become an independent advisor and board member to promote the role of the (large and SME) business sector in sustainable development worldwide in many different capacities, ranging from climate issues to social entrepreneurship, from advising & mediation to business development & finance.

He is a member of i.a. the Boards of: GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), Utz Certified/Good Inside, NCDO (Dutch National Committee for Development Cooperation), Steering Committee of the Worldconnectors, BiD (Business in Development, supporting start-up companies in developing countries), ABN AMRO/RBS Foundation India (Mumbai: sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity), Social MicroFinance Foundation, MicroSave (Lucknow, India: capacity-building for microfinance sector), the Consensus Building Institute (CBI, Boston), Trustee of Tomorrow’s Company (London), Eikosphere Foundation(Los Angeles), member of project team for Rework the World/YES. He is an advisor to the Council of the Earth Charter International , Steering Group member of Global Compact Netherlands, Senior Advisor to the Club de Madrid/UN Foundation on climate issues. He is a member of the Board of NL-NCP (National Contact Point) to deal with grievance process for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Corporations, member of the Advisory Committee of the annual DSDS/TERI conference (Delhi), member of the judging panel of FT/IFC Sustainable Bank of the Year, member of the VBDO (society for sustainable investors) judging panel on supply chains, member of the Advisory Board of TEEB (“The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity”, a major EU/UNEP/IUCN/UFZ study: www.teebweb.org), member of the 2008 Business Steering Committee for UN-FfD (UN Finance for Development), member of the core-faculty of the Business Leaders Program on Poverty Reduction, organized by the Prince of Wales’ Foundation and the University of Cambridge, as well as a regular lecturer at its Business & Environmental Program. He served as a senior advisor on climate issues to Global Compact (New York) and WBCSD(Geneva). He is a member of the World Bank Extractive Industries’ Advisory Group. He is active in numerous national and international civil society organizations, incl. with NGO’s, such as a (business-) member of the Advisory Board of OXFAM-NOVIB. In July 2007 the US magazine Treasury & Risk Management named him among the top 100 most influential people in global finance.

Email address: mrhermanmulder@gmail.com. Also www.hermanmulder.nl

Other references: www.worldconnectors.nl www.globalreporting.org www.teebweb.org www.tomorrowscompany.com wwwbidnetwork.org www.utzcertified.org www.oesorichtlijnen.nl/english/ncp-national-contact-point

phone: +31207997662; mobile +3120653369879;

adress: Regus B Tower, Strawinskylaan 337, Suite 3.02, 1077XX Amsterdam NL

Amsterdam 1 January, 2010


(and beware of Monday 12 October, 2015.......; enter: Malthus, Marx and Murphy....)


The present crisis
The 2007-2009 financial crisis was a perfect "black swan" event: unexpected, with broad and deep impacts; and, with the benefit of hindsight, it was also retrospectively rationalised by many "experts". We got it all "sensationally" wrong: bankers (like myself), policy-makers, supervisors, auditors, research analysts, economists, civil society itself. And even as the crisis was unfolding, many initially did not consider its seriousness. We saw dangers of shocks, but underestimated the confluence and impact thereof.