Muscat: In line with its strong belief in the important role business plays in society, OMINVEST successfully concluded a capacity building programme covering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices across its group companies.
OMINVEST’s participating group companies included, National Life & General Insurance Co., National Finance, Oman Arab Bank, Alizz Islamic Bank, Jabreen Capital, and Ubhar Capital.
The programme was attended by OMINVEST’s board members as well as top and middle management executives at the Parent Company and Group companies through various focused training sessions. It also included a comprehensive online course especially designed for all staff.
The series of training sessions were concluded with a 32-hour ESG Champions Training Course for 10 ESG leads who were nominated by the CEOs of OMINVEST’s Group companies. This is a Certified Training Course for ESG Champions by the Accredited Academic Institution of the European Public Law Organisation (EEPLO), and the European Law and Governance School (ELGS). The champions will lead the effort of integrating ESG across their respective companies and will act as the core unit for synchronising ESG efforts and initiatives across the Group.
The aim of the ESG capacity building initiative by OMINVEST is to raise awareness and provide the needed knowledge and skills to help create a strategic social impact, and to integrate ESG at operational and investment levels across the Group whilst aligning with global best practices.
The training sessions highlighted the important role of business in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the role of the Financial Sector and Investors in integrating ESG in business operations and investment decision-making processes; the different forms of ESG and Impact Investing; and the difference between ESG and social impact initiatives. Global and regional trends, legal and regulatory aspects, in addition to ESG reporting and rating were discussed in detail, introducing most common frameworks and rating agencies. The training sessions also focused on how to build strategies for scalable and sustainable social impact that aligns with the UN’s SDGs.
Commenting on the importance of the programme, AbdulAziz Al Balushi, Group CEO, OMINVEST said, “OMINVEST is a purpose-driven organisation that has embedded social impact and good corporate citizenship at the heart of its corporate vision, mission, culture and values. Our purpose is ‘transforming businesses to enrich societies’; to make sure we are creating the desired impact that aligns with our purpose, we believe integrating ESG best practices on both the operational and investment levels in our Group companies is the right way forward. Such practices, when properly and effectively implemented, provide important and essential tools for true and verifiable assessment of business performance in terms of environment, social and governance aspects. ESG practices will also enable us to create measurable and scalable impact, and will help benchmark our performance year on year, with an aim to enhance our resulting impact.”
He added, “I am glad to have witnessed the dedication and commitment showcased by OMINVEST Group’s companies throughout the ESG training programme. Top management representatives were engaged in the sessions they attended and followed that up with the nomination of suitable and capable candidates to attend an intensive 32-hour training that would equip them to be the ESG champions in their respective companies. This multiple-month initiative was merely the initial building block for the actual work to come in building our solid ESG strategy and commencing the needed integration work and implementation of key initiatives.”
Reputable consultancy firms across Oman and the region conducted the various training sessions. ‘Sustainable Investments’, a local Omani consultancy firm that works with ‘Verture’ consultancy that is based in Greece, provided the ESG training and awareness sessions for OMINVEST’s Chairman and C-Level Executives; the ESG Online Training Course for all staff; and the 32-hour ESG Champions training. ‘Sustainable Square’, a consultancy firm based in Dubai-UAE provided the ESG awareness session for OMINVEST’s Board of Directors and an intensive ESG training course for Middle Management Executives from Group companies.
Dr Mohab Ali Al Hinai, Co-Founder of ‘Sustainable Investments’ commented on the delivered training sessions saying, “Over the past decade, companies with good ESG practices have shown that they are better equipped to ensure the long-term sustainability of the firm. In turn, this makes the business more attractive to investors that see it as less-risky in today’s highly competitive business landscape. OMINVEST’s commitment to raising awareness about the importance of ESG within the group’s companies, shows that they are committed to becoming a leader in this field. ESG training, not only enhances a company’s reputation with investors but also plays a critical role in attracting talent to the organisation as well as boosting employee productivity.”
Spyros Kouvelis, the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development of the European Public Law Organisation, a Permanent Observer at the UN General Assembly and main tutor for the Institute’s Verimpact method on ESG throughout the initiative, said: “The strong belief of OMINVEST and its subsidiaries about the need to integrate Sustainability and ESG across the spectrum of the group’s work was a solid foundation on which to build this complete learning experience. I am convinced that through the participatory process followed by all trainees and the steep learning curve they have followed, OMINVEST Group is on its way to becoming a beacon of sustainability transformation in the region.”
Monaem Ben Lellahom, Founding Partner and Group CEO of Sustainable Square said, “It is a pleasure to engage with OMINVEST’s board members and executives on an ESG strategic capacity building program. The company is taking ESG integration across its operation and portfolio companies seriously, while making sure that knowledge is properly disseminated across the group to ensure a smooth understanding of the impact of ESG and its business case”.
Founded in 1983, OMINVEST is one of the largest listed investment companies in the region. It has been consistently profitable and has an enviable track record of uninterrupted dividend payments to shareholders. OMINVEST owns high-quality durable assets in diversified sectors, producing healthy cash flows. As of the end of last year (2021), the company’s total assets stood at USD 1.7 billion covering diverse sectors, including Banking, Insurance, Finance and Leasing, Financial Investments, Private Equity and Investment Banking. The company’s assets cover diversified geographies including the GCC and Asia in addition to significant investments in global capital markets. The company is led by a visionary board and a capable management team – dedicated to enhancing value for all stakeholders.