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Gilles Rollet, Career Banker and Investor Launches Rollet Reefs Foundation Conservation Non-Profit

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The Rollet Reefs Foundation has launched with an aim to educate, support, collaborate, and initiate coral reef conservation efforts in developing countries.

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius, June 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Gilles Rollet, an investment banker with a prestigious 30-year international career in major financial institutions and the private banking sector, has announced the launch of his coral reef conversation non-profit organization, Rollet Rees Foundation (RRF). Rollet, a keen scuba diver, who has dived coral reef sites across the globe for much of his life, was startled by the damage and impact he's witnessed over the last few decades on these delicate underwater ecosystems – primarily as a result of coral bleaching, pollution, and over-fishing.

“My approach to investment is informed by a genuine comprehensive approach to environment, social and governance, ESG as it is called. However, when I personally witnessed the irreparable damage we've done to these fragile environs – it was profoundly disturbing. More importantly, this damage isn't just endangering isolated habitats, but entire planetary ecosystems that millions depend on – including humans. There comes a moment when as individuals, we are compelled to do more,” said Rollet explaining the drive behind establishing the Rollet Reefs Foundation.

Over the past 40 years, the world has lost over half of its reefs to coral bleaching. The destructive bleaching occurs when the water temperature is too warm for too long. The heated water induces the coral to expel the algae living inside it, leaving it colorless. The algae are vital to the reefs, as it provides their nutritional energy and if the water temperature doesn't return to normal, the coral dies. The Great Barrier Reef has suffered 6 major bleaching events over the past 20 years, with the last one just months ago in March. There seems little respite for reefs, when they start to heal, warmer waters can appear suddenly and without warning, killing the remaining surviving coral.

Rollet has chosen to focus the efforts of the Rollet Reefs Foundation on reefs in developing countries, in particular those in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. “The world-famous reefs, like the Great Barrier Reef and the exemplary work being done in the Florida Keys for restoration with coral nurseries, have broad support from scientists, marine conservationists and the public. The innovations and discoveries they've made are essential to the protection of reefs around the world. The Rollet Reefs Foundation's mission is to support reefs in countries, which often don't have the same financial resources, or where the needs of industry outweigh those of the environment,” states Rollet.

Rollet's non-profit has only just established itself but he and his foundation are committed to making a difference in the field. “I knew it was a personal calling to do something impactful for reef protection, and I spent a considerable time exploring how and where I could make a difference, which is in developing countries. We're looking at what partnerships we can put in place to help amplify the good work that others are doing, how we can expand regional and global educational opportunities, and work with local governments and communities to initiate more protective measures and regulations.” Rollet further explained that “bleaching has its roots in the amount of carbon we pump into the atmosphere. If we continue this way, it won't just be the reefs, it will be the organisms in the oceans dying that produce the air we need to breathe. We must find a better way to mass-produce goods without killing ourselves and the planet.” Rollet elaborated further on ESG and the investments the corporate world must commit to for future generations. “There's a lot of what we call green-washing in the industry, where companies misrepresent their commitments to the environment. ESG requires a sincere and dedicated commitment to change. Corporations and individuals alike must begin to act in a sustainable, socially, and environmentally conscious manner, so resources aren't exploited to exhaustion – leaving future generations with an unviable planet and our own potential extinction. Investments made today, must and can continue to provide sustainable returns over generations, but we must be willing to act now – together.”

About Rollet Reefs Foundation
Rollet Reefs Foundation (RRF) is a non-profit dedicated to the protection of coral reefs in developing countries such as the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. Its mission is to educate the public about the importance of these ecosystems, create awareness of reef damage and its lasting impacts, and work with local governments and communities to find the balance between industry needs, locally dependent livelihoods, and implementation of active coral conservation and rehabilitation efforts.

About Gilles Rollet
Gilles Rollet is a banker with several successful investments in the financial services industry. He started his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York. Subsequently, he held a number of senior management and country management positions at ABN AMRO, throughout Asia, South Africa, San Francisco, Geneva, and Dubai. He later set up and ran Mirabaud & Cie. in Dubai. In 2014, Gilles became an entrepreneur and launched an asset management firm in Dubai, which he successfully sold in 2017. In 2016, he founded a private bank in the US. Today, Mr. Rollet is a passive investor in firms active in asset management, banking, robotics, data banks, and public health.

Mr. Rollet holds a BA (Hons.) from Middlebury College and an MBA from INSEAD. He is a member of YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) and the current Chapter Chair of YPO Gold Mauritius.

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