EFG Hermes: leading the way in social governance

With a current footprint spanning thirteen countries across four continents, EFG Hermes started in Egypt and has grown over 36 years of success to become a leading financial services corporation with access to emerging and frontier markets. The firm transformed from a pure play investment bank operating across the MENA region into a leading financial services corporation with a diverse product range and a strong footprint across both Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. In 2015, EFG Hermes launched the NBFI Platform, EFG Hermes Finance, which overlooks activities in the non-banking finance field through EFG Hermes Leasing & Factoring, Tanmeyah for microfinance, valU for instalment sale services and Bedaya for mortgage services. This falls in line with the firm’s strategy to focus on two main pillars: product diversification and geographic expansion.

Four intrinsic values have governed EFG Hermes since its founding in 1984: leadership, value creation, commitment and integrity.

Naga’ El Fawal and El Deir: a society transformed

The EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development assists people and institutions to overcome the financial, educational and health-related challenges facing our society. It aims to make a positive change in local communities by supporting innovative and sustainable programs that increase the opportunities for those most in need. Since its establishment, the Foundation has adopted an integrated development approach as the most effective means of maximising both impact and return on the investment of scarce development funds.

The Naga’ El Fawal and El Deir Village project typifies the Foundation’s collaborative integrated development approach, but it also prioritises tangible impact on individual lives. The initial gap analysis for the project highlighted high poverty and unemployment rates, limited access to healthcare, poor housing conditions, inadequate infrastructure, a dearth of educational opportunities and little hope for the future. The Foundation takes a very personal approach to development: if a project cannot sustainably improve lives, both in the short-term as well as the long-term, then it is not fulfilling its goals.

September 2019 saw the launch of the village pre-school, the Young Scholars Academy. The preschool provides quality education and social skills previously unavailable anywhere in the vicinity and equips 70 children with a solid base that will allow them to thrive as they follow their educational path. Teachers at the Young Scholars Academy have been receiving training on the Montessori philosophy in early education since August 2017. The pre-school also offers a special programme catering to 20 children with special needs. The pre-school has successfully created 27 sustainable jobs, 23 of which are teaching positions.

Today’s vision: the ESG ecosystem

EFG Hermes has taken measured and consistent steps to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in every aspect of its operation, and create an ecosystem that supports the fulfilment of being the first financial services corporation to become a United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment signatory in Egypt. This ecosystem incorporates internal and external elements that are all interconnected and work together in a holistic multidisciplinary approach in pursuit of the common good.

Governance: EFG Hermes has a robust framework for governance that has helped to manage risk and achieve efficient growth and financial stability. Auditing forms an integral part of corporate governance at EFG Hermes. Both internal and external auditors play a key role in providing an independent assessment of our operations and internal controls. 

InvestmentsEFG Hermes’ adherence to the UN PRIs was considered a key regional advantage for the firm in demonstrating its commitment to ESG issues and creating investment opportunities. EFG Hermes is proud to have assembled an investment portfolio that includes initiatives that directly feed into the UN Sustainable Development Goals in areas ranging from education, healthcare and clean energy to micro-lending, leasing, mortgage financing and fintech solutions.

AdvocacyIt has always been EFG Hermes’ policy to engage with peers, policymakers, industry bodies, community members and regulators to promote good governance, responsible investing and environmental and social stewardship.

For more information, please click here.