I'm Melinda Miklos, an ESG Strategist with a postgraduate executive scholarship at the University of Oxford. In my research and work as a Strategist, I rely on my 10+ years of experience engaging and advising C-suite executives of multinational, medium-sized businesses and startups in finance, technology, energy, telecommunications, media, and other industries.
ESG for Value Creation
I utilize Oxford-proven frameworks and tools to support your organization on the journey
ESG in the context of Competitive Strategy
Identify ESG considerations that may shape your industry and become a driver or enabler for your business model in the foreseeable future. Think sustainability regulations, corporate culture, human resources, and supply chain, to name a few. Utilize scenario planning and build a competitive edge by preparing your organization for the future - on time.
ESG in the context of Nonmarket Strategy
Successful CEOs incorporate a nonmarket strategy as a key driver of business success. Identify the issues your organization should pursue to improve your competitive edge and maintain your 'license' from society to operate.
ESG in the context of Risk and Reputation Management
As we live in a 'trust economy,' it is imperative for businesses to earn and maintain the trust of their investors, partners, employees, and customers. Design consciously how ESG considerations help your organization achieve this goal.
ESG in the context of Corporate Diplomacy
Build on ESG considerations while dealing with various stakeholders or participating in business coalitions. Consider ESG-related affairs while navigating amidst geopolitical complexities. Be part of the change you aim to see in your industry.
I'm Melinda Miklos, a Switzerland-based ESG strategist with a postgraduate executive masters-level education at the University of Oxford in Global Business, where I am also a scholarship awardee and the Finance Working Group Lead of the Oxford Climate Alumni Network. My former achievements also led me to be featured in a Harvard Business School case study.
My current research goal is to develop a framework for Private Equity and family-owned businesses for ESG-driven value-creation strategies.
I have 13 years of experience engaging and advising C-suite business leaders from multinational companies, mid-size businesses, and startups.
I am a co-founder (together with Google), former CEO, and Board Member of WeAreOpen, a social enterprise and probably the largest business coalition in Europe improving S&G in ESG at scale, with 1,130+ member companies in a highly complex political environment. I served on the Board with Citi's Central Eastern European CEO, Google's Communications Strategy and Operation Head, EMEA, and Unilever Food Solution's North Eastern European Managing Director.
I earned multiple leadership awards, spoke at leading international business conferences, and built trusted relationships with various stakeholders in and beyond Europe.
I earned an ESG Investing Certificate from the CFA Institute and hold Master's degrees in Economics, Communications, and Organizational Psychology. I have utilized my interdisciplinary approach both in my early career years as Press Office Lead for Google and in my years as I built a social enterprise that was much ahead of its time and generated exceptional impact recognized by multiple awards.
I'm a member of Mensa International, a society for gifted people. I'm passionate about helping other talented women fulfill their potential.
I'm available for independent consulting mandates or a long-term commitment with investors, owners, or companies that aim to create value through ESG.
FROM RISK TO VALUE CREATION
Whereas working with environmental risks requires a vertical approach within the organization, the social and governance aspects are inherently embedded in the regional societal, economic, and political context. Hence, a successful company must also have a horizontal, market-based, and multidisciplinary view.
This is essential to succeed in relocating executive teams, winning talents, ensuring a consistent, thus value-generating corporate culture, integrating a newly acquired company, and acquiring customers through value alignment, to name a few.
When assessing the potential risks and value creation opportunities, I utilize my deep understanding of global trends thanks to the ten years I spent in the field, my postgraduate studies at Oxford in Global Business, my savviness to spot meaningful narratives, and my interdisciplinary understanding of having master's degrees in economics, communications, and psychology.
GLOBAL STRATEGY AND ZEITGEIST
The world is slowly but surely moving from shareholder capitalism to stakeholder capitalism. To turn a tick-box exercise ESG reporting into an actual value-creation mechanism, the appreciation and inclusion of non-market strategies are essential. Another crucial aspect is finding the right match between the logic of the place (a market's growth model) and the logic of the firm, the business model. From thorough analysis and careful strategic planning, the right ESG approach can lead to outperforming competitors or other branches of the same company on rather unexpected markets, as I have facilitated this happening with multinational firms I worked with.
TRUST WITHIN AND OUTSIDE OF THE COMPANY
According to Edelman Global Trust Barometer, people worldwide expect business leaders to take the lead on much-needed changes, whether avoiding the climate catastrophe or closing the gender pay gap.
Although leaders of public companies are in the spotlight, owners of private companies can be much more efficient in executing changes.
In the past ten years, I have worked together with dozens of regional and local CEOs of multinational companies in big tech, big finance, energy, FMCG, etc., startups, and privately owned SMEs. Our joint efforts earned the trust of their employees, stakeholders, and the public contributing to a better position in the labor market, outstanding reputation, and a healthier corporate culture.
IMPACT AND LEGACY
Ownership goes beyond a legal contract. Being in the position of a PE or a family business owner naturally brings highly different points of view, goals, and motivations to the table. Yet, one thing is clear: those who hold majority ownership over a portfolio company are in an exceptional place to make fast and meaningful changes with the expectation of improving the portfolio company's performance and social and environmental impact. The motivation to consider ESG may be trend-driven, law-driven, competition-driven, value-driven, or legacy-driven. In the past ten years, I have worked with CEOs and executives of privately owned and publicly listed companies of all the above-listed motivations. The speed of change and the scale of the impact might have differed based on their initial motivations, but the clear business results showed up nonetheless. It doesn't matter what brings a leader to a new path of growth; if the will is there, the results come.