This article was originally published on LinkedIn by , President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy. 

The 2017 Global Insurance Forum brought together more than 500 global insurance executives, regulators, academics and policy makers to discuss the role of the insurance industry in building global risk resiliency. Below is a compressed version of the keynote speech Mark R. Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, delivered at the Forum on July 19, 2017, in London.


“Very briefly, I want to tell you a little a bit more about who I am so you’ll know where I’m coming from. I wasn’t always an environmentalist. My background is on Wall Street, where I spent 24 years as an investment banker for Goldman Sachs.

At the time, I was living in New York City with my wife Amy and our four kids. Amy and I are both city people, but we wanted to start exposing our family to nature beyond the soccer field and swimming pool. We took family vacations to nature preserves and parks. The more time I spent in nature and learning about nature—the more I wanted to protect it.

As I was rising through the ranks at Goldman, I saw—and continue to believe—that business could be a powerful force for good and could materially help address some of the big challenges society faces.

I eventually went on to lead the firm’s first environmental effort—and one of the first in the entire financial industry. My job was to look for win-win opportunities where businesses could improve both their bottom lines and the environment’s. I didn’t have to look very far because I discovered these kinds of win-win opportunities existed almost everywhere I looked…”

Read the rest of Mark’s speech at: LinkedIn.