Stuart Kirk was already a well-known investor, analyst and financial commentator before his polemical speech in 2022. At a Financial Times conference, he suggested – without choosing his words carefully enough, perhaps – that the risk to investment returns from climate change was over-hyped, Miami becoming Amsterdam was nothing to worry about, and central bank doom-mongers were “nut-jobs”.
The speech went viral and is now considered by financial historians to be the moment when ESG’s pendulum began to swing the other way. What one prominent journalist calls “the most watched PowerPoint presentation” ever is approaching a quarter or a million views on You Tube alone. Twitter melted down. Overnight Stuart was a major general in the culture wars, generating acres of newspaper copy, hours of television debate, and a zillion Tweets. Even US senators weighed in.
Like all overnight sensations, Stuart has had a global audience for almost two decades, as an extremely successful journalist, analyst, and public speaker. He edited Lex at the Financial Times, arguably the most influential finance column in the world. During this period, which spanned the global financial crisis, Stuart was a daily presence on TV and radio in America.
His subsequent roles in banking were also high-profile, Stuart being hired specifically to write and present original and thought-provoking content. He was global head of multi-asset and thematic research at Deutsche Bank, head of the Research Institute at DWS, and most recently, global head of research and insights and responsible investing at HSBC Asset Management.
At Deutsche, he worked directly as an advisor to the chief executive, penning his briefing notes, speeches and presentations. Stuart also wrote one of the most widely read research reports on Wall Street while there, and his weekly at HSBC was much-loved by both retail and institutional clients all around the world. For the past ten years Stuart has been the go-to person to give keynote addresses at conferences or intimate talks at breakfast, lunch and dinner. His popularity comes from combining humour with deep and original research.
In previous lives Stuart has been a senior management consultant at Oliver Wyman in its highly regarded financial services practice, working on projects ranging from strategy reviews for global investment banks to restructuring the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds. He also spent eight years as a portfolio manager running global equity funds at Morgan Grenfell, where he honed his valuation skills as a stock analyst.
Stuart has a master’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge where he was President of the Union Society and a keen debater.