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Putting the "S" in ESG

Sep 1, 2022

By Tony Masone

In May 2021, Amazon issued $18.5 billion in bonds that included our first sustainability bond and the first time any corporate issuer built an enhanced diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) coordinator role into a single-day bond issuance. I am proud of the way we have prioritized diversity in our procurement approach since 2017 by proactively seeking to engage financial services firms that are owned by women, members of historically marginalized communities, and veterans, an approach that has helped us benefit from the perspectives of these partner firms, while supporting their growth. This year, I was inspired that my team wanted to further step up our efforts and set a 2022 goal to double the amount of business driven to minority-owned partner firms through commercial paper issuances and trades via our internally-managed investments, as well as to double the percentage of fees allocated to minority-owned partner firms in our April 2022 bond issuance.

I look forward to discussing our approach on stage at AFP 2022, where I will be joined by leadership from some of the firms we have worked with, including Annie Seelaus, Chief Executive Officer of R. Seelaus & Co.; Suzanne Shank, President and CEO of Siebert Williams Shank; and Chance Mims, Founder and CEO of Academy Securities. Together, we will discuss the unique stories and missions of their firms, and hear about how to build an impactful DEI initiative by actively supporting and building long-term partnerships. We will also be joined on the panel by Michelle Wang, Managing Director, Fixed Income Capital Markets, from Morgan Stanley (the firm that acted as the DEI coordinator for Amazon’s May 2021 bond issuance), and Julia Sadler, Managing Director, Global Liquidity from JP Morgan.

I’m excited to share not only practical tips about how to integrate DEI practices into your commercial paper, investments, and debt capital markets activities, but also to discuss the importance of building long-term relationships with your partners and making them a part of everything you do.

We will cover topics, including:

  • How to identify and connect with minority-owned partner firms.
  • The role of a DEI Coordinator and how it can help foster greater inclusion.
  • The highest-impact ways financial practitioners can support minority-owned partner firms.
  • How to include minority-owned partner firms in bond issuances, investments, and commercial paper.

I hope you will be as inspired as I am when you hear directly from the panel participants and leave with ideas on how to drive meaningful impact through your investment and debt capital markets programs.

The “Putting the ‘S’ in ESG” session is part of the lineup of Sessions for Executives at AFP 2022. Register by September 16 to save $350.