Finance Monthly. Bank i ng & F i nanc i a l Se r v i ce s 57 in Asia, research shows that ‘Head of Sustainability’ roles remain the toughest to fill, with most candidates having communications backgrounds. With time this will change, as a new generation of young leaders develop into the CSOs of tomorrow- but for now, top candidates remain a rare (and expensive!) breed. Alternatives to the CSO Despite the clear benefits, appointing a CSO requires careful thought. There are considerations to make before deciding if it’s the right move for your company. Firstly, smaller and mid-size firms should consider alternatives. Cost-effective ‘ESG tech’ tools can help growing businesses manage risk and improve on ESG in a far more cost-effective manner than competing for expensive talent or hiring specialist consultants. This is especially true considering that ESG regulation such as SFDR does not apply to smaller firms, whilst young companies are less at risk of activist takeovers. For these firms, it is most important to understand how you can position yourself for the future and improve your ESG organically by looking into SaaS ratings providers and tools. But for the largest financial institutions, the trend is clear - the CSO is here to stay. With net zero increasingly non-negotiable, the calibre of transformative candidates, and the competition for their services will only rise. About the author GaryBond is theCEOof TISAtech. He has held numerous roles across FinTech and financial services, including as CIO and head of European change for Fidelity International, as well as senior positions in venture capital firms. At TISAtech, Gary works to accelerate the adoption of fintech innovation in financial services by benchmarking, improving, and connecting FinTechs with the financial institutions that most need their solutions.