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OUR EXPERTISE

Sustainability

Sustainability team:

Partner

Dimitri Zenghelis

Dimitri co-heads our Sustainability practice Area and is also a core member of our Macroeconomics and Financial Markets team.

An internationally reputed economist, Dimitri advises governments, banks, financial institutions, NGOs, and other international organisations and corporations on sustainability, climate change, innovation, economic modelling, and clean urbanisation.

He set up the Wealth Economy Project at the Bennett Institute at the University of Cambridge, is a visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), Chair of the Wealth Committee for Capital Generation Partners, and a member of the London Sustainable Development Commission.

Prior to this he served as Head of the Grantham Research Institute at the LSE and Chief Economist for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

He was also lead author on the ground-breaking Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change and worked at HM Treasury as Head of Economic Forecasting. 

Dimitri holds a BA from the University of Oxford and an MSc from the University of Bristol.

Partner

Silja Sepping

Silja co-heads the firm’s Sustainability practice area. She is also a core member of the firm’s Macroeconomics and Financial Markets team and part of the Expert Witness and Litigation Support team. 

Silja is a key contributor to the firm’s bespoke research projects, and to the regular macroeconomic analysis. She has a particular specialisation in environmental and technology issues. Silja has produced an important suite of corporate briefs on the environmental impacts of a wide range of sectors and activities, many of which have been published by the Sustainable Markets Initiative, launched by the former Prince of Wales. 

Prior to joining the team, Silja was a Senior Investment Analyst at GLC Global Macro hedge fund, where she was responsible for macroeconomic research and market analysis, with a primary focus on emerging markets and FX. Before that, Silja worked for Lehman Brothers as an Emerging Markets Economist, focusing on Central and Eastern Europe. While at the bank Silja was responsible for macroeconomic forecasts and market analysis, leading meetings with the region’s policymakers, speaking with journalists, and contributing regularly to the weekly and monthly publications.

​Silja holds a first-class honours degree in Economics and Business Administration from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, and an MSc in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics.

Senior Adviser

​Simon Commander

Simon forms part of Independent Economics’ Sustainability team.

Simon is Managing Partner of Altura Partners (www.alturapartners.org) which provides strategic and economic policy advice to top level decision makers in governments and companies in emerging markets. He has worked extensively on emerging markets including at senior levels in the World Bank in Washington DC and in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London with which he continues to be associated. 

He holds an MA from Oxford University and a PhD from Cambridge University.

Senior Adviser

Martin Fraenkel

Martin forms part of Independent Economics’ Sustainability team.

Martin is Chairman of the Board of VAKT Global, a consortium of leading banks and energy companies building a Blockchain platform to digitise trade flows. He is an Independent Non-Executive Director of the London Metal Exchange.  He was previously a member of the Board of Directors CRISIL Ltd, the premier Indian credit ratings and data company. He served as President (CEO), Vice Chairman and Head of Content of S&P Global Platts from 2015-21 and as a member of the Operating Committee of S&P Global, the credit ratings and benchmarks company. Alongside fellow members of the Operating Committee, he developed a cross-company ESG strategy.

As President of S&P Global Platts, he led a major expansion of its coverage of the Energy Transition, including the publication of an annual thirty-year Future Energy Outlook as well as market-first prices for global carbon, hydrogen, low carbon oil, sustainable aviation fuel, guaranteed origin gas and power, and battery metals. Under Martin, Platts successfully launched Distro, an energy micro-grid, in partnership with the Port of Rotterdam. Martin also led Platts’ acquisition of an equity stake in Xpansiv CBL Holding, a leading Carbon offset and renewable platform. 

He has served as a Trustee of Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International Affairs. He has been recognised as a “Distinguished Alumnus” by Johns Hopkins University and serves on the Advisory Board of its SAIS Europe campus. He holds a judicial appointment as a Member of the Financial Services Upper Tribunal.

Previously he was Global Head of Energy at CME Group, the largest global futures exchange. Prior to CME he had a 25-year career in top tier banks, culminating as Global Head of Commodities at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank. He became a Managing Director of JP Morgan Chase in 1995. He later managed Dresdner Kleinwort’s pioneering Carbon Trading business after the launch of the EU’s European Trading System in 2005, which was named Euromoney’s “Emission House of the Year” in 2006.

Martin received a BA at Balliol College, Oxford and an MA from the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. He later completed an MBA at INSEAD, France.

Senior Adviser

Dr Alexander Lehmann

Alex leads the financial sector work within the Independent Economics’ Sustainability team.

Alex is an experienced advisor to governments, central banks, and financial firms, focusing on how financial systems can become more resilient and support sustainable growth. In engagements in more than 25 emerging markets and across Europe he has also worked with international and EU institutions, connecting development finance and impact investors to local financial market participants.

Alex has held a number of academic appointments, including at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), Berlin’s Hertie School of Governance, and most recently at the Frankfurt School of Finance. He currently also holds an appointment at Bruegel, Europe’s top-rated economics think tank, and serves on the Sustainability Committee of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) in Paris.

Until 2016 Alex was the Lead Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where he headed the strategy and economics unit for central Europe and Baltic countries, and prior to that was an official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.

Alexander has published widely on financial policies in the EU and emerging markets and holds degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and the College of Europe and a D.Phil. from Oxford University.

Dimitri Zenghelis

Partner

Silja Sepping

Partner

​Simon Commander

Senior Adviser

Martin Fraenkel

Senior Adviser

Dr Alexander Lehmann

Senior Adviser

Dimitri Zenghelis

Partner

Silja Sepping

Partner

​Simon Commander

Senior Adviser

Martin Fraenkel

Senior Adviser

Dr Alexander Lehmann

Senior Adviser

Businesses and governments are increasingly committing to ‘net zero’ targets and to climate transition plans.

The need to decarbonise by 2050 is a strategic imperative that is already having major consequences for all sectors of the economy. Technology-driven innovation is creating new markets, and wiping out old ones. This brings with it disruption and associated political challenges. 

Because of the scale and pace of change – actual and future – conventional analytic and business tools are mostly not up to the task. Understanding and mastering these challenges necessitates appreciation of the interconnections between technological, behavioural, and political change and, with it, of forward-looking risk and opportunity. Independent Economics provides the relevant analytical and policy tools that enable clients to meet these new strategic challenges.

Independent Economics offers a combination of a wide range of expertise, as well as deep specialist knowledge relating to the shift to a carbon- and resource-constrained future.

Our advisers offer a mix of capital market, policy, business and academic experience and insight. 

  • We advise governments, companies, financial institutions, central banks, and NGOs to help them secure policy-led market solutions for attaining carbon-free and ESG goals. 
  • With our experience of working in International Financial Institutions, we are in touch with key decisionmakers at the highest levels, helping investors to connect ESG opportunities with international development resources.
  • We work with a rich network of academic and policy experts, including from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, London School of Economics, the UK Committee on Climate Change as well as former senior finance ministry and central bank officials.

We advise clients on:

  1. The economics and politics of sustainability and climate change including specific regulatory and energy policy as they affect corporate and investment strategies.
  2. Market-shaping tipping points, based on our understanding of carbon and energy markets and anticipation of technological, behavioural, and institutional innovation. 
  3. Advancing beyond reliance on climate scenarios, based on static models that currently inform the regulatory approach, to account for system-wide changes in behaviour and technologies. 
  4. Helping clients understand and respond to the rapidly evolving regulatory environment in both advanced and emerging markets. 
  5. Designing long-term investment strategies in asset management that reflect climate science and other sustainability pressures, such as biodiversity loss and nature markets.
  6. Development of risk management and hedging strategies in asset allocation and investment in the light of company-specific and economy-wide climate scenarios. 
  7. Designing ESG strategies for companies including preparing for imminent and wide-ranging changes in disclosure and sustainability reporting. 
  8. The design of corporate and sovereign funding strategies, including through green bonds, that can respond to shifting investor mandates and preferences.  
  9. Harnessing carbon markets in achieving ESG goals and the energy transition.
  10. Advising on energy policy and pricing issues to align with sustainability goals, including devising politically-sensitive pathways to reduce or eliminate energy price subsidies.

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