Simon Cooper is a Partner based in London and has advised leading financial institutions on approaches to risk and financial management for more than 20 years.
Since joining Oliver Wyman in 1996, Simon has helped to develop the firm’s content in a diverse set of areas including risk appetite, financial resource management, treasury and conduct risk. He co-founded the Oliver Wyman Social Impact Program, providing consulting support to charities, social enterprises, and leading nonprofit organizations.
Simon is now a member of the Oliver Wyman Climate and Sustainability platform, helping clients prepare for the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change. He had long felt concern about the general lack of action against climate change and was eventually able to weave this passion into his career. “I reached a point in my career where I was fortunate enough to be able to do what I wanted and motivated to do, not what I ‘had’ to do,” he notes.
I decided the most impact I personally could have on helping address the climate challenge was to dedicate my working efforts towards it, and hence I started to focus on sustainability.
He has seen his work shift as demand to develop tangible capabilities and action plans addressing sustainability increases. “Companies are proactively seeking to identify the challenges and opportunities to their business models, looking to understand climate-driven financial risks they are facing and looking to develop tangible plans to meet increasingly aspirational public statements,” he explains.
Sustainability is no longer a choice – employees and customers will expect it and there are increasing reputational and economic costs of failing to address concerns effectively. If companies want to survive over the next few decades, then at a bare minimum, they will need to demonstrate they are doing minimal harm to the world, I believe sustainability will be a crucial factor for those that thrive.
In his personal life, Simon supports sustainability by recycling, reducing waste, choosing energy efficient products, and walking whenever possible. “My intent is much greater than my action at this stage, which is always a good reminder for me,” he notes. He is a trustee for the Climate Bonds Initiative and has helped a number of other sustainability charities.
Offline, Simon enjoys playing cricket, reading historical novels, and spending time with his family. He hopes that his sustainability work will inspire his kids to pursue work that supports a greater good, though he isn’t sure they really know what he does, he jokes.
Simon holds a DPhil in robotics and statistical estimation techniques from the University of Oxford.