14th August 2022

WTW boosts its Ecosystem Resilience practice with appointment of former US climate finance negotiator

WTW has appointed Sarah Conway as had of its award-winning Ecosystem Resilience practice and director in the Disaster Risk Finance/Parametrics unit within the company’s Climate and Resilience Hub(CRH).
WTW has also published its first report aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, a global benchmark for investing in a sustainable ocean economy.
Since 2018, the WTW Ecosystem Resilience practice has become a leader in the risk management and insurance of natural capital assets including multi-national insurance of the Mesoamerican Reef with the MAR Fund; catastrophe or “cat” wrapper for Belize’s blue bond issuance with TNC; and protection of coastal fisheries and livelihoods across the Pacific with Rare, WWF and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
Following an early career in fixed income and with over 15 years of experience in climate and conservation finance, Conway was Lead Climate Finance Negotiator for the US delegation to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, including at COP21 in Paris. Also during her time at the US Department of State, Conway supported U.S. involvement with the Green Climate Fund and GEF, and helped to design and launch the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance and the Pilot Auction Facility for Methane and Climate Change Mitigation.
Most recently, Conway ran her own consultancy, specialising in innovative climate and conservation finance solutions, including for systematic observations and early warning systems, climate-smart urban infrastructure, ecosystem conservation and livelihood protection working with leading international institutions.
This appointment coincides with WTW submitting its inaugural report on aligned activities as a signatory to the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles(SBEFP). A UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, the 14 Principles are a global guiding framework for banks, insurers and investors to finance a sustainable blue economy. The report reflects WTW’s long-term commitment to actively supporting partnerships and principles to further demonstrate and help mobilise funds for a healthier ocean.
Rowan Douglas, head of the Climate and Resilience Hub, WTW, said “As the Task Force for Nature-related Financial Disclosures(TNFD) gains traction we are delighted Sarah has selected WTW as the best platform to serve the growing climate and conservation finance sector. We look forward to her leadership and expertise as we integrate natural capital assets into mainstream finance and protect that value via risk management solutions.”
Simon Young, senior director, Climate and Resilience Hub, WTW, said “WTW is committed to securing a nature-positive future for coastal communities and the healthy oceans that they thrive on through investment and risk advisory as evidenced in our SBEFP report. Sarah takes us to the next level, bringing a wealth of experience across climate, nature, finance and policy, making her a perfect fit for our growing Disaster Risk Finance and Parametrics team and the pioneering work we are doing on ecosystem resilience, helping to further advance WTW’s role in shaping the global agenda for private sector efforts for a sustainable blue economy.”

Conway said: “This new role presents a unique opportunity to design, deploy and scale financial instruments that offer a triple win, benefiting people, nature and climate. I look forward to working with the hugely experienced and talented CRH team and the wider WTW business, supporting our clients and other stakeholders to further strengthen their ecosystem resilience capabilities.”

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