We all have the ability to make a positive contribution in this world. You may not recognize this in yourself but regardless of who you are and what you do for a living, you can contribute to a brighter future if you only seek out the opportunity. As Head of Innovation at UK based D&FG Elements, Nikita Chirkov has made ample use of his skillset in bringing about positive change; the type of global change which is easily seen. While his brilliant mind in regards to finances has established a successful career, he’s leveraged this in seeking to support causes about which he’s passionate. Similarly, the international consumer is also driven more than ever to utilize their purchasing and investment power to support companies which partner their services with a cultural and environmental conscience. This is easier said than done but having someone as insightful and creative as Nikita makes manifesting this simply a matter of the right decisions and implementation.
Investment that leans towards ESG (environmental, social, and governance) factors is far more complicated than most, at least in the present day. Those individuals and companies who take it upon themselves to aim for goals that serve the global well-being as well as their own business ends necessitates the consideration of factors that can seem endless at times. Arriving at a decision that balances leaving a long-lasting positive impact on society while generating enough capital to keep the lights on and attract the best talent can seem nearly impossible. Due to his passion about climate change, Nikita was placed as head of the team at D&FG Elements which was investigating potential projects pointed in this direction. This search led to the company’s investment in Los Angeles based Aspiration. Filtered down to its basic element, Aspiration provides neo banking services to SMEs – as a pure Fintech play – and also plants one tree for each round-up to the nearest dollar of each bank transaction. Aspiration users gain an awareness of their own negative footprint by banking with a green neo bank. A Yoy increase of 500% and the inclusion of vocal investors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr confirms the genius of this direction. The Los Angeles Clippers recently signed a deal with Aspiration which will feature signs around their arena.
Nikita Chirkov is highly respected in the financial/investment community. As a judge at the Unicorn Battles, he assesses pitches from the most innovative and creative startups. Chirkov’s memberships in elite groups such as the UK Business Angels and others attests to the respect he has acquired as well as his desire to nurture the next wave of professionals and businesses of a global community. Nikita believes you can help others while still doing well yourself if you seek excellence as he relates, “I am a strong believer that a brave idea backed with solid fundamentals and strong execution can solve the hardest problems humanity has ever met. I was born in Moscow and raised in London and define myself as a citizen of the world. We all share a beautiful and extremely fragile home which we inherited and are responsible to pass it on to future generations. After the first time seeing great Siberian wildfires as a kid, I realized that our home is in danger. That feeling of despair and helplessness is deeply rooted in my memory. Back then, I could not estimate the scale but I felt that this was not going away and I needed to do everything in my power to prevent it from happening. I did not know the answers but committed myself to trying to find them. Solving this crisis is not a question of politics, this is a question of our own survival as a species. As an investor and entrepreneur, I believe that actions today must be taken not only in the best interest of shareholders but in the interest of future generations.”
Writer: Arlen Gann