Martin was infected with the “Wall Street virus” at a young age and consequently started his professional career in 1996 with a multi-faceted banking education. He lived out his creative streak and passion for graphics, design and the web after hours. Thus, at the age of 18, he founded his first company with his trainee colleague. Subsequently, the native of Allgäu expanded his regional focus and knowledge spectrum through career stations in Munich and London. There, Martin was able to learn valuable skills in institutional asset management. Highlights included managing the Kuwait Investment Office and successfully launching an issuing platform for a German infrastructure development institution - against all odds, in the midst of the 2008 financial market crisis. At BayernLB, he was responsible for a smooth new product process for equity and commodity products. His interest in alternative investments and financial innovation has accompanied him since that time.
According to the laws of aerodynamics, it is impossible for a bumblebee to fly. The bumblebee does not know this and simply flies.
Changing perspective without focusing on the financial and investment world, Martin succeeded with his move into the world of financial media. Until 2018, for example, he was Executive Director at Derivative Partners in Zurich, the leading Swiss financial media company, and served as Editor-in-Chief of payoff magazine. While content managing, Martin started to actively look into sustainable investments, impact investments and what is now known as ESG.
In the meantime, he has consciously returned to his professional roots in portfolio management and works in the management of a major family office. There, he focuses on “green performance numbers” in the investment office.
A transatlantic contemporary, Martin is one of the founding partners of Sugarwood Financial Partners, an asset management firm headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and oversaw the launch of America's first Dynamic Asset Allocation Index for the New York Stock Exchange. His profile is rounded off by a faculty degree in Business Administration from the Technical University of Munich and additional training as a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.
In his free time, Martin can be found relaxing with his family on beaches or high peaks, riding his e-bike or creatively regenerating with his various hobbies. Culinary delights with local ingredients from the Schwyz-Zug-Zurich region are also part of Martin's sustainable lifestyle. The "Southern Style BBQs" on Raab's terrace in Feusisberg are already legendary.
5 Questions for Martin Raab
Which areas do you cover at GGX?
As part of my mandate at GGX, I get to contribute my product and indexing expertise in particular, as well as inputs for the expansion of platform services. In the Ratings area, I am part of the panel that looks after innovative approaches to ESG ratings.
What were your ESG moments?
On my first trip to the U.S., I wondered why tradesmen in New York City were having lunch with the engine running - the benefits of air conditioning in the van apparently outweighed the climate-neutral idea of simply taking a break under a tree or in the shade of the canyon. Likewise, the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in 2010 was extremely startling. I see the late effects every year in Florida in the form of oil residue on rocks on the beach. Crazy risks like deep-water drilling are a good example of what needs to be shelved in the future on the way to a sustainable eco-balance.
Where do you see the most potential for a more sustainable world?
Every person - whether in Switzerland or in a developing country - can actively help turn the tide for the better every day by doing or not doing something about environmental protection and species conservation. For companies and governments, small, concrete steps are better than grandiose announcements that cannot be implemented in the end.
What bothers you most in the ESG discussion?
Lobby-driven disputes about why concrete steps cannot be taken so quickly, e.g. in the area of food and animal welfare. Especially in the EU there is an insane knot of lethargy. Furthermore, it should be clear to all of us that not only the product at the end - for example the e-car - can only be as green as its production and its recycling. Everyone should ask more questions when it comes to ESG.
What do you do in everyday life for more sustainability?
In Switzerland, we have the advantage of being able to fully focus on sustainability in our private consumption, transport and even electricity. We are not yet perfect, but we have optimized our family life considerably in terms of biological and ecological aspects: Meat has been coming exclusively from the local butcher or in proven organic quality for over 10 years, conventional plastic bottles have been banned from use, and saving electricity is not just lip service in the entire family. When it comes to mobility, we try to plan and optimize routes and purchases as much as possible so that we don't have to drive to the same Migros three times a week.