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In 2019, I am proud to say that EFG Hermes has maintained its 35-year tradition of growth across its operation. Early in the year, we established on-the-ground presence in Nigeria to act as a West Africa hub and complement our East Africa base in Kenya. Further Asian expansions were added with Vietnam and Bangladesh. This level of growth and firm trajectory would never have been possible without a solid foundation and a healthy corporate environment. In tandem with our expansion, we have worked hard to ensure that our social responsibilities receive just as much attention. Over the years, we have steadily developed a robust environmental, social and governance (ESG) ecosystem to help achieve the SDGs and fulfil our responsibility as accountable corporate citizens.

On an internal level, we have paid particular attention to strengthening our policy environment, articulating two crucial statements this year, the first addressing climate change and the second,

modern slavery and human trafficking. Both of these topics are of critical global importance, and we believe we have an important role to play in mitigating the risks associated with these issues.

In terms of governance, over the years, we have steadily increased our commitment to transparency and disclosure when it comes to ESG issues. In addition to our annual sustainability reports and our continued membership in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), in Q1 2019, we submitted our first transparency report as part of our commitment to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), and we look forward to submitting the second in Q1 2020.

We pride ourselves on our dynamic, multicultural environment and our ability to attract and retain the best talent in the markets where we operate. We continue to make considerable investments in improving the professional development programmes we offer our employees at all levels and particularly the Academy, which provides a superior learning experience for our middle and senior level management. This year, we also organized the inaugural Development Needs Assessment (DNA) to identify employee training needs and build a sense of ownership and inclusion among staff members.

We have opened the first Montessori preschool there serving 50 children and creating 30 employment opportunities for trained teachers. The preschool also serves 20 children with special needs and runs on clean solar energy. Additionally, we are renovating and upgrading 120 houses and providing them with access to clean water and sanitation services. This is part of our ongoing effort to provide the residents of Naga’ El Fawal and its surrounding communities with a wide network of social services.
As always, I am proud of our Foundation and the work it has carried out in Naga’ El Fawal in Luxor this past year.

We have opened the first Montessori preschool there serving 50 children and creating 30 employment opportunities for trained teachers. The preschool also serves 20 children with special needs and runs on clean solar energy. Additionally, we are renovating and upgrading 120 houses and providing them with access to clean water and sanitation services. This is part of our ongoing effort to provide the residents of Naga’ El Fawal and its surrounding communities with a wide network of social services.

On the business side, we continue to provide training to our business lines on ESG issues, and we are proud to have assembled an investment portfolio that includes initiatives that directly feed into the SDGs. Our Vortex Renewable Energy platform, one of the largest renewable energy-focused investment managers in Europe, is currently expanding into global markets, with an aim to geographically diversify its clean energy footprint.

We have also developed a series of products and services that aim to foster financial inclusion through a variety of Non-bank Financial Instruments (NBFIs) such as microlending, leasing, mortgage financing and Fintech solutions.

As our ESG ecosystem matures, we look to the future for sustainably driven growth firmly rooted in responsible principles and in delivering holistic returns that benefit society and maintain a balanced world for future generations

I thank you for your continued support and invite you to consider our progress in this, our sixth annual Sustainability Report.
Sincerely yours,

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Karim Awad

Group Chief Executive Officer