Leadership: Insights from Georg Kell, Chairman of Arabesque and founding Director of the United Nations Global Compact

RELX, 13th January 2021

In this first episode of the “World We Want” podcast series, RELX’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, Dr Márcia Balisciano, talks to Georg Kell about leadership.

Georg Kell is Chairman of Arabesque, an ESG Quant fund manager that uses self-learning quantitative models and big data to assess the performance and sustainability of globally listed companies. Arabesque was launched in 2013 following a management buyout from Barclays Bank. It is dedicated to taking sustainability into the mainstream by using finance as a catalyst for change.

Georg is the founding Director of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative with over 9,000 corporate signatories in more than 160 countries. Under Georg’s leadership, the UN Global Compact became the foremost platform for the development, implementation and disclosure of responsible and sustainable corporate policies and practices.

Georg also oversaw the conception and launch of the Global Compact’s sister initiatives - the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), and the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE).

Georg started his career as a research fellow in engineering at the Fraunhofer Institute in Berlin. He then worked as a financial analyst in various countries in Africa & Asia before joining the United Nations in 1987. Georg holds advanced degrees in economics and engineering from the Technical University of Berlin.

Georg’s latest book Sustainable Investing: A Path to a New Horizon, co-edited by Herman Bril and Andreas Rasche, was published in September 2020. It brings together high-level practitioners and academics to reflect on the most recent insights and trends in the world of sustainable investing, with a foreword by Mark Carney.


We are grateful to all our fascinating podcast guests for taking their time to share their thoughts and hopes with us. Inevitably, given remote working, there may be occasional sound interference – which does not detract from our speakers’ insights.