As part of the GIIN’s mission to accelerate the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, we publish job openings from members of the GIIN Investors’ Council and other impact investing leaders.

ESG Officer

at Obviam AG in Bern, Switzerland

About the Job

Obviam, a Swiss investment manager that invests in emerging markets private equity funds and financial institutions, is seeking to grow its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) team in Q4 2018.
The position will be based in Obviam’s office in Bern.

Recognizing that ESG issues present risks and opportunities for companies operating in emerging markets, Obviam integrates ESG matters in its investment operations in a manner that enhances its ability to achieve returns. The ESG Officer is expected to have a knowledge of ESG-related issues as they apply to businesses operating in emerging markets. A basic understanding of investments, particularly of financial intermediaries, is advantageous.


• Working with others at Obviam to ensure that Obviam’s ESG requirements and policies (its Approach to Responsible Investment) are applied;
• Participating with the due diligence of potential transactions, including reviews of environmental and social assessments and audits, environmental and social management systems, information in the public domain and proprietary databases, as well as other supporting documentation;
• Preparing Action Plans for potential investees to mitigate ESG risks;
• Identifying value-add actions to improve ESG performance and/or enhance developmental impacts;
• Portfolio monitoring, including assessing ESG performance, monitoring of action plans and following up;
• Meeting with companies, institutions, and fund managers, as well as portfolio companies as a part of Obviam's on-going monitoring;
• Tracking the ESG deal pipeline. Managing ESG-related information in databases, filing, and file management systems. Contributing to further development of Obviam's ESG-related policies and systems;
• Contributing to the compilation of ESG-related information for internal and external reports;
• Collecting and analyzing information on topical issues; and
• Preparing ESG related material for client presentations and for use in other external forums;
• Assisting in the provision of ESG-related training for Obviam’s staff and its partners.

• Advanced university degree (MA, MSc or PhD) in a relevant discipline: Environmental science, social sciences, economics, development studies, development finance or similar field;
• At least five years' relevant work experience, preferably within development finance, environmental and/or social consulting/advisory services, banking or the investment industry;
• Knowledge of, and some experience from working with ESG issues as they apply to businesses, particularly Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), SME Banks and/or Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), operating in emerging markets, as well as the challenges associated with implementing international best practice ESG standards;
• Knowledge of the IFC Performance Standards and/or international corporate governance standards and codes of best practices. Knowledge of certification schemes (e.g., ISO, HCAAP, FSC, and/or CPP) is desir-able;
• Technical skills and experience in relation to one or more of the following: human rights, resettlement, labor and working conditions (including occupational health and safety), climate, waste and waste man-agement and corporate governance;
• Willingness and ability to travel on behalf of Obviam outside of Switzerland;
• Ability to work in Switzerland without sponsorship; and
• Proficient in English.

Other selection criteria
• Prior experience working in, or working on projects involving developing countries is an advantage;
• Intellectual curiosity;
• Highly motivated and results driven;
• Good analytical and reasoning skills and the ability to advance pragmatic solutions;
• Strong communications and interpersonal skill;
• Knowledge of MS Office Products, particularly Excel and Power Point;
• Enjoy working as part of a team, but able to work with independently; and
• Conversational knowledge of at least one Swiss national language.

To apply

Entry date: Q4 2018 or Q1 2019
Please send c.v. and one-page motivation letter (combined into one PDF document) by e-mail to:

Obviam AG

Obviam is an independent investment advisor specialised in long-term investments in emerging and frontier markets. We advise public, institutional, and private clients, including the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets (SIFEM), the Development Finance Institution (DFI) of the Swiss Confederation. Across our various mandates we manage over USD 850m on behalf of our clients.