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The Lens – UK Responsible Business Podcast

BRISK: Risk, opportunity and sustainable finance

Season 3, Ep. 6

This month our host Oli Barrett MBE is joined by James Russell, Co-founder and CEO of Brisk and Carlotta Giacché, Associate, Coordinating Ambassador UK, One Young World.

In this episode our host Oli Barrett MBE gets an understanding of how insurance is changing to use data and technology to help businesses large and small save time and manage their risks, and meets a future leader with a passion for making money matter while it grows. 

And of course, our host asks both James and Carlotta who they’d most like to meet for coffee and which books they’ll be adding to the famous Lens Reading List.

Our Guests

James Russell is the CEO and co-founder of Having worked at Aviva for 17 years including four years as the MD of the internet auction business, James launched Brisk. Brisk aims to help small to medium-sized businesses and their advisers save time managing risk and cut through the complexity often found in protecting their business. Prior to Aviva, James was a supply chain consultant at Ernst & Young and Key Account Manager at Lucas Automotive.

Collaboration has the power to unlock the potential in people, businesses and the communities we are part of. That's why I left corporate life to focus on supporting small-medium sized businesses. I believe they are an under-served part of our economy and I want to support them to be stronger and more resilient. We launched Brisk in 2019 as a new way to protect businesses beyond just an insurance policy. We take a 360° approach - integrating risk monitoring with insurance in a single digital assistant -

If you work with business clients, you can now profile and monitor the businesses you work with and also complete ‘Know Your Customer’ and ‘Anti-Money Laundering’ checks on Directors. Instantly generate comprehensive credit and risk reports on any registered UK business with a cyber health report as well. I’m bringing my experience in Insurance, Consulting, Manufacturing and running an Internet auction business to support the backbone of the UK economy. Luckily, part of the ‘day job’ also means I get to use my ICF coaching qualification to unlock the hidden potential in people. I’m an active supporter of Young Enterprise and mentoring young students in high schools.

Carlotta Giacché is an Italian/German corporate banker, currently working with renewable energy and digital infrastructure projects in northern Europe. As part of her commitment towards sustainable finance, she's on a mission to explore how to make money matter while it grows – i.e. how positive change can be achieved with personal finances. By doing so, she's aiming to empower millennials to drive the demand for more transparent and consistent information on their investments, reducing "green washing" or "SDG window dressing".

Carlotta is also a member of various groups and networks, such as the Finance&Business 2030 Task Force, which promote thought leadership and new perspectives in this space. In today's environment there is an enormous discrepancy between global gross financial assets (estimated to be more than USD 200 trillion, 900 times the size of investments in impact funds of c. USD 228 billion) and funding channelled towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, Carlotta believe that in the current “decade of action” (2020-2030) it is crucial to start asking questions and reinstall our trust in financial institutions.

Carlotta is also the Coordinating Ambassador for One Young World in the UK, the global forum for young leaders which identifies, promotes and connects the world’s most impactful young talent. As part of her role, she provides the UK One Young World community with the tools they need to drive positive change and support them in maintaining the momentum and positive energy. She hold a BSc in Business Management from the University of Birmingham, as well as a double MSc in Finance & Strategy from Sciences Po Paris and the FGV EAESP in São Paulo.

The Lens Reading List

Carlotta chose The Person You Mean To Be by Dolly Chugh, an award-winning social psychologist at the New York University Stern School of Business, on how to confront difficult issues including sexism, racism, inequality, and injustice so that you can make the world (and yourself) better.

James chose Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, a remarkable series of challenging spiritual reflections and exercises developed as the emperor struggled to understand himself and make sense of the universe.

The Lens Podcast

Powered by Fujitsu, supported by McCann and in partnership with One Young World, The Lens represents the breadth, diversity and priorities of the responsible business agenda. From gender equality to zero hours contracts, learning on the factory floor to activist businesses, The Lens covers a range of topics from a host of varying perspectives. 

Each episode brings together a business and future leader to foster disruptive conversations and fresh connections. Innovators and CEOs join Oli Barrett in the studio for a unique conversation covering their journeys, lessons learned, advice, insight and of course, the inspirational person they’d most like to meet for coffee. 

Business in the Community is The Prince's Responsible Business Network. We convene a unique network of purposeful leaders to share insight, expertise and create innovative programmes that deliver impact. Together our ambition is to make the UK the world leader at responsible business. 

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