Nikita, New York
Nikta Singhal is iCo-Head of Sustainable Investment and Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG),
Lazard Asset Management
What attracted you to Lazard?
I joined Lazard Asset Management for two reasons. Firstly, the ability to have greater impact than I had in previous roles via a global diversified asset manager. Secondly, the ability to lead an initiative within an organization that is research-led. Lazard Asset Management has a long history in ESG integration and is serious about its efforts to deepen its capabilities and invest to enable cutting-edge practices continually in this field.
Today I oversee our ESG integration strategy, working closely with analysts and portfolio managers to enhance their investment processes and on launching new strategies. The role continually evolves to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape.
Shaping an ESG integration strategy
My co-head and I endeavor to build a strategy that is robust yet not rigid, allowing us to continually adapt to the evolving market and also stitch together a suit that can then be tailored to fit any strategy within the firm, allowing us to meet our clients varying needs. We are working to bring a consistency of depth to our ESG integration strategy at a time when the ESG industry itself is still relatively nascent (especially when compared to the history of financial markets).
Personal goals for Lazard
I would hope to help Lazard establish itself further as a thought leader in sustainable investing, an asset manager that proves how consistently embedding global structural considerations such as climate change and increasing social inequalities can help us improve our investment outcomes and be better stewards of our clients’ capital. And I want us to do this in a genuine research-driven way where we employ the most cutting-edge data and analytics to arrive at investment relevant conclusions.
What makes Lazard special for you?
To me, what is special about Lazard is its people. Lazard is a truly multicultural organization that naturally brings a certain element of sensitivity and tolerance to the workplace. As someone who grew up in Thailand and India, a multicultural environment is important to me. One of my memorable moments at Lazard has been watching an India-Australia world cup cricket match with Australian, Indian and English colleagues in the office.
This results in a feeling of inclusiveness that I believe is hard to force or create with policies and training programs. It has also been my experience that all ideas can find a voice, no matter where they are coming from. Lastly, Lazard is a place of radical candor where you can openly discuss and debate a topic regardless of where you sit in the organization.