John Jarrett is Associate Director, ESG Research at FTSE International, where he is responsible for overseeing ESG research at a global level. Prior to that, he consulted to the investment and legal industries on ESG issues after spending five years heading global research at GovernanceMetrics International (GMI Ratings – now part of MSCI), where he oversaw a team of thirty analysts that produced ESG reports and ratings for over 4,000 developed and emerging markets companies in almost 50 markets worldwide. He started his career as a lawyer, but moved on to become the lead Ministerial Adviser on corporations and securities market policy to the Federal Attorney-General in Australia for seven years. During that time, John oversaw the introduction of a new market regulator that is still in place today and a new regulatory regime for Australia’s corporate and securities market. This new regime shifted corporate oversight to Federal law and introduced significantly enhanced governance responsibilities and corporate disclosure that are the backbone of Australia’s world class corporate governance today. John then spent five years at the Securities Institute of Australia (as it was then known), the leading body representing practitioners in the finance industry. Whilst at the Institute, he served as a key representative for the Institute on corporate governance, accounting standards and financial disclosure policies. John was also a member of the Australian Corporate Governance Roundtable and on the Urgent Issues Group, which was the interpreting body for Australian accounting standards.
I am interested in the practical application of sound ESG policies to enhance long term sustainable value. Financial markets are still vulnerable to non-sustainable practices and we can all bring our range of perspectives to drive a change in approach from the markets, practitioners, governments, regulators and the community. In particular, it is important to continue to question the role of financial markets in society and ensure they are serving the needs of investors, business and the community. Financial markets are given a privileged position that must be balanced by serving a valid public purpose to retain their licence to operate. Otherwise, society will end up with grounds to curtail that licence. Acting on financial markets sustainability now will drive a better result than reacting later. I hope I can make some small contribution to the discussion through the Network.