1 October 2021 / Company
On the Move: Invesco hires eight for ESG team
By ESG Clarity
Gresham House and Newton also announce new hires
ESG Clarity brings readers the latest hires and people moves in the responsible investment industry.
Invesco hires eight for ESG team
1 October 2021
Invesco has expanded its ESG team with eight appointments across different asset classes and regions, following a surge of inflows and activity within its responsible investment assets.
The group reported ESG assets had grown to $52.7bn as of 30 June 2021, and it had launched nine ESG ETFS in Europe and a further three in the US recently. It has also joined the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative.
As a result, Invesco has hired the following team members to strengthen resources, all reporting into global head of ESG Cathrine de Coninck-Lopez (pictured).
- Mayde Sykora (Atlanta): Senior ESG analyst, fixed income
- Mark Duffy (Boston): ESG analyst
- Alexander Chan (Hong Kong): Head of ESG client strategy, Asia Pacific
- Sophie Conyngham Greene (London): Junior ESG analyst
- James Sieyes (London): Junior ESG analyst
- Conor Hartnett (London): ESG client strategies manager
- Maximilian Kufer (London): Head of ESG – private markets
- Sudip Hazra (London): Director of ESG research
Commenting on the ESG activity de Coninck-Lopez said: “Invesco has a strong, time-tested ESG track record, with some products exceeding more than 15 years in the market.
“We work hard to understand our clients’ investment needs, which is central to our ability to deliver differentiated products that meet market demand.”
Lance DiLorio, head of investment specialised services for Invesco, added: “ESG is a commercial imperative for Invesco as we see increasing interest from our clients. We have a clear plan in place to accelerate our progress and expanding the team is just one important piece of the puzzle.
“I am excited to welcome eight additional members to the Invesco team and know these individuals will continue to help our clients meet their ESG investing goals.”
Gresham House strengthens sustainable infrastructure team
30 September 2021
Alternatives asset manager Gresham House has added to its sustainable infrastructure team with the appointment of Ana Janine as investment manager.
She will work across Gresham House’s British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund I (BSIF I) and British Sustainable Infrastructure Fund II (BSIF II), which target real assets-based solutions addressing pressing environmental and societal challenges aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Janine will focus on six key sub-sectors within sustainable infrastructure solutions – resource efficiency, digital inclusion, waste solutions, regeneration, decarbonisation, and health & education.
Prior to joining Gresham House, Janine worked as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, on private equity deals across numerous sectors, and was previously a tax lawyer in Portugal.
She commented on her new role: “This is an exciting time to join Gresham House’s Sustainable Infrastructure team, as we look to source attractive opportunities to invest in the underfunded mid-market UK infrastructure space – where our hands-on approach can enrich the lives of communities across the country. I look forward to working with Peter and his specialist, diverse team in supporting the origination and execution of new investments across key sectors of the market.”
Newton hires head of stewardship
30 September 2021
Newton Investment Management has hired Jennifer Law from BlackRock for the newly created role of head of stewardship.
She will be responsible for maintaining and expanding Newton’s efforts in relation to investor stewardship and ensure all stewardship activities are embedded further into the firm’s investment process, as well as further developing and promoting the stewardship policy, processes and practices.
Law will manage a team of stewardship analysts and in turn will report to Ian Burger, head of responsible investment in Newton’s responsible investment team.
At BlackRock, she worked in the corporate governance and responsible investment team responsible for voting and engagement with issuers.
Euan Munro, CEO at Newton, said: “Responsible investing means that we invest and behave responsibly, and act as active, engaged owners of our clients’ assets to meet our responsibilities to society as a whole – stewardship and engagement play a crucial role in that. Appointing Jennifer to this stewardship-specific role demonstrates our commitment to actively engaging with the companies we invest in on behalf of our clients, and to having a positive impact on the world around us.”
Newton’s Parry exits for JOHCM
16 September 2021
J O Hambro Capital Management (JOHCM) has recruited Newton Investment Management’s Andrew Parry as head of investments and member of the executive team.
He was previously head of sustainable investing, regularly writing for ESG Clarity as a member of our editorial panel, at Newton since taking the role in October 2019. Before that, he worked at Hermes Investment Management for five years, latterly as head of sustainable investing.
Overall, he has 30 years of asset management experience and is a member of the CFA UK Committee for Diversity & Inclusion and member of the Trafalgar House Pension Trust investment committee, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In his new role as head of investments at JOHCM, he will provide investment oversight to the firm’s 14 investment teams including responsible investment arm Regnan, as well as the trading functions based in London, New York and Singapore.
Alexandra Altinger, JOHCM’s CEO of UK, Europe and Asia, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Andrew to the group. Andrew is a respected thought leader in responsible investment and his expertise will add tremendous strength to our investment capabilities, whilst driving product innovation and helping us to build our solutions capabilities for our institutional clients.”
A statement from Newton IM said: “We can confirm Andrew Parry, head of sustainable investment at Newton IM, is leaving the firm to take up a wider head of investment role elsewhere. Andrew will remain with Newton until mid-February 2022 and will help with an orderly transition of responsibilities; he was not a portfolio manager on any Newton-managed strategies or funds. Recruitment for his replacement is currently underway.
“Responsible investment has been part of Newton’s DNA since the 1970s and it continues to invest in this area, through additional resourcesfor responsible investment research, engagement activities and ESG data analytics, while of course continuing to deliver investment capabilities to meet client’s needs. In addition to plans to more than double the responsible investment team by mid-2022, Newton will also shortly be announcing the hire of a new head of stewardship.”
Whitechurch hires academic to enhance ESG credentials
14 September 2021
UK wealth manager Whitechurch Securities has hired environmental specialist Dr Daniel Say.
Say has joined on the ESG side of the business to further enhance the firm’s responsible investing efforts at the company and portfolio level. Whitechurch has run a range of ethical portfolios since 2016 and recently launched a ‘responsible dynamic’ range of portfolios.
Say previously worked as an academic at the University of Bristol. He holds a master’s degree in chemistry and a Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry. In his previous role as a research associate, he spent four years working for the UK government on accurate reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions.
Whitechurch Securities investment director Amanda Tovey commented: “As climate change and its reporting within portfolios comes into focus as we move towards COP 26, and with the expansion of the ESG offering at Whitechurch, I am delighted we have recruited someone of Daniel’s calibre to work with us in this area.
Say added: “I’m delighted to have joined Whitechurch, a company with a proven track record in responsible investment. I’m looking forward to incorporating a science-based approach both to the Whitechurch ethical investment strategy, and the way in which we conduct ourselves as a business. In doing so, we can create a positive impact for our clients and the environment.”
Robeco’s recruitment drive sees eight appointments
14 September 2021
Robeco has hired eight investment professionals including a new manager for the RobecoSAM Smart Energy strategy, and seven equity analysts.
Based in Zurich, Roman Boner has joined as lead portfolio manager of the Smart Energy strategy from his role at Woodman Asset Management, where he built up its impact offering.
Among the new analysts is Michael Studer, who is appointed senior equity analyst focusing on technology. Analysts Mutlu Gundogan, Sanaa Hakim, Clément Chamboulive, Alyssa Cornuz, Simone Pozzi, and Diego Salvador Barrero have also joined the sustainable themes investment team.
Meanwhile, Pieter Busscher, who has worked at Robeco since 2007, has been promoted to lead portfolio manager of the RobecoSAM Smart Mobility strategy, having served as deputy portfolio Manager of this strategy since its launch in 2018.
Mark van der Kroft, CIO fundamental and quant equity at Robeco, commented: “Our Trends & Thematic investment offering has seen strong growth, and our dedication, ambition and commitment allows us to attract the best world-class professionals. The capability is now stronger than ever before and we will keep adding investment professionals to further strengthen our teams in order to help achieving our clients’ financial and sustainability goals.”
Rathbone Greenbank recruits for Scotland office ahead of COP26
14 September 2021
Rathbone Greenbank Investments has hired Craig Leslie as an investment director in the Edinburgh office.
He joins from Brown Shipley Private Bank in Edinburgh where he was senior investment manager responsible for providing bespoke investment portfolios for a wide variety of private clients and charities and also spent a decade at Murray Asset Management.
John David, head of Rathbone Greenbank Investments, said: “Craig’s expertise and experience in ESI investing are an asset to the Greenbank team and we look forward to him helping drive our position in Scotland, along with Joe who is now based in Glasgow. With COP26 around the corner, Craig joins at a pivotal time as we continue to charter the course for investors to align their investments with change they want to see in the world.”
Additionally, Greenbank has also promoted Joe Crehan, who is now based in the Glasgow office, to investment manager.
Angus Kerr, head of Scotland at Rathbone Investment Management, added: “We’re very excited to have both Craig and Joe join the Scotland offices with a specialist focus on ethical, sustainable, and impact investing, particularly as Glasgow will be hosting COP26 in November. All eyes will be on Scotland regarding the climate debate, and both appointments in the region emphasise Greenbank’s ambition to drive forward sustainability and institutional change through investing.”
McDonald exits HSBC to head up MSCI climate indexes
14 September 2021
MSCI has hired Melissa McDonald as global head of ESG and climate indexes, reporting to Diana Tidd, global head of index and chief responsibility officer, and Remy Briand, global head of ESG and climate.
She will be responsible for driving the growth of the ESG indexes globally and collaborate with the global product, client coverage, research, and technology teams across MSCI.
McDonald was previously global head of product, equities and responsible investment at HSBC Global Asset Management, and also worked as global head of responsible investment at AXA Investment Management.
She says: “We are in dire straits due to climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic and social inequalities. I am thrilled to be joining an innovative, vibrant, and market-leading firm like MSCI, which is uniquely positioned to support investors with their capital allocation decisions and the transition to a low-carbon world and a better future for all. I look forward to using my experience and energy to drive a positive impact in this new role.”
First Sentier Investors and MUFG announce head of sustainable institute
First Sentier Investors and MUFG have hired Velina Karadzhova to lead the recently-launched First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute.
Launched in May 2021, the institute publishes proprietary research on emerging sustainable investment topics that have yet to see significant industry focus. The groups said it aims to enhance industry awareness of these sustainable themes, report on market trends and best practice, and promote a greater understanding of how such issues can impact long-term investment performance.
In her new role, Karadzhova be responsible for developing the institute’s research programme including studies that look at how sustainable issues affect the performance of companies, sectors and economies and their influence on investor capital allocation. She will work closely with the institute’s external advisory board of prominent sustainability academics and industry leaders.
Will Oulton, global head of responsible investment at First Sentier Investors and chair of the institute, said: “Velina‘s considerable experience in the fields of ESG-related research will be invaluable in this new role to lead and further develop the institute’s sustainable investment research programme. The reports will promote critical, urgent and under-reported sustainability issues, while outlining actions the industry and broader society can take to help address these problems.”
Karadzhova was previously an ESG analyst and utilities sector lead at MSCI, and has also held roles at Moody’s and at PwC.
Willis Towers Watson recruits sustainable strategist
14 September 2021
Global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson has appointed Monique Mathys-Graaff in the new role of senior sustainable investment strategist.
Reporting to Mark Calnan, head of investments, EMEA, the position will see Mathys-Graaff working alongside Willis Towers Watson’s investment and client teams to further integrate sustainability into its investment process and embed sustainable investment thinking into client portfolios.
She joins from the Impact Management Project where she was senior adviser, and she has over 20 years’ experience in sustainability-focused roles.
Mathys-Graaff said: “Willis Towers Watson has leading capability and breadth of expertise in sustainable investment, through its work on climate, diversity and broader social responsibility. I am excited to be working with such a well-established and respected team to implement sustainability practices into our clients’ governance and investment decision-making, as their needs and requirements increase further.”
Kufer exits AXA for Invesco real assets role
14 September 2021
Maximilian Kufer has joined Invesco has head of ESG – private markets resoinsible for the integration of ESG into real assets and private alternative strategies globally.
Previously, Kufer was global sustainability manager at AXA Investment Managers – Alts, and is currently an active member of industry working groups and sits on the GRESB Benchmark Committee, ULI Sustainability Council as well as the GRI ESG & Impact Investment committee.
In his new role, he will report to Cathrine de Coninck-Lopez, global head of ESG at Invesco and be based in London.
Kufer said: “ESG has been become the defining investment criteria of this decade and will likely dominate the market approach for all investment firms across asset classes. Invesco has already developed an extensive and detailed programme and I’m honoured to be part of the team focused on delivering on our commitments for the benefit of all stakeholders.”
Mayfair Capital hires head of ESG
UK real estate investment manager Mayfair Capital Investment Management has appointed Christi Vosloo as head of ESG, UK.
Vosloo will help implement the firm’s ESG strategy and embed it across the business, supporting the firm’s thematic approach, which scores assets on change and disruption, climate and environment, communities and clustering, consumers and lifestyle, and connectivity.
She said: “There is immense momentum and understanding of the importance of ESG within the real estate sector and the pivotal role it has in mitigating climate change. I look forward to building upon the strong ESG foundations at Mayfair Capital and advancing the ambitions over the coming years.”
Prior to joining Mayfair Capital, Vosloo was an associate director at Jones Lang LaSalle in London where she advised clients on the development and implementation of ESG strategies. She was also responsible for the climate risk management and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures service, supporting clients with climate risk assessment, management, and disclosure.
Giles King, CEO of Mayfair Capital, said: “Christi brings a wealth of ESG experience and skills and joins us in a crucial role for our business, which will be advantageous for our clients as we confront the increasing reality of climate change and its impact on the built environment.”
Former DWS ESG head to lead AllianzGI’s new sustainability team
1 September 2021
Allianz Global Investors has created a new team within its risklab unit to advise clients on ESG and sustainability, and appointed former DWS head of ESG investment specialists, Americas, Gerold Koch as team lead.
The new team will help risklab integrate sustainability into its analysis and portfolio construction, working closely with Matt Christensen’s sustainable and impact investing team.
Tim Friederich, head of risklab, said: “We are pleased to announce the creation of a new, dedicated team within risklab that will provide holistic portfolio advice to clients around all aspects of ESG and sustainable investing.”
Waverton creates corporate sustainability manager role
1 September 2021
Waverton has hired Saskia Blyham into a new role as corporate sustainability manager to oversee the firm’s ESG journey.
Blyham joined on 1 September and will run internal training as well as helping the firm adapt and respond to new regulation, and fulfil current regulatory requirements, such as the stewardship code and those from the Principles of Responsible Investment.
She previously worked at the Charities Aid Foundation where she was corporate CSR adviser and programme manager for investment management portfolio.
Nick Tucker, CEO of Waverton, said: “As Waverton grows, it is essential that we are aligned both with our investment approach and our core values as a business. It’s clear that the role of corporate sustainability is central and warrants an experienced and dedicated resource.”
Blyham added: “I’m delighted to be joining Waverton in this new role and take its CSR and responsible investment strategies to the next phase. The investment management sector is instrumental in building a sustainable future for all.”
Neuberger Berman hires for new European ESG investing director role
31 August 2021
Neuberger Berman has appointed Sarah Peasey in the newly created position of director of European ESG investing.
Based in London, Peasey will report to head of ESG investing Jonathan Bailey, and be responsible for incorporating ESG across the firm.
Bailey said: “[Peasey] will work with our investment teams across the region to continue to innovate their approach to ESG investing.”
Peasey joins from Legal and General Investment Management (LGIM), where she was head of responsible investment strategy – investments. There she worked closely with the CIO to drive long-term responsible investment strategy, with a focus on research and portfolio management across all investment capabilities. Prior to that she was an investment strategist and head of fixed income investment specialists, also at LGIM.
Dik van Lomwel, head of EMEA and Latin America at Neuberger Berman, said: ‘‘With Sarah’s extensive experience, we hope to further generate sustainable, long-term returns for our clients through our approach to ESG.”
Downing hires from BMO GAM for new role
25 August 2021
Downing has hired Graham Brady to fill a new role of head of sustainability.
The investment manager hired Brady from BMO Global Asset Management where he was head of product strategy and played a part in the development of BMO’s Sustainable Investment business. He has also worked as product strategist for JP Morgan Asset Management, and for the UK Ministry of Defence and the British Army.
In his new role, Graham will lead Downing’s sustainability strategy, reporting to COO James Weaver who commented: “Graham is a key hire for Downing and the company will benefit greatly from his experience. As a business we are committed to developing our approach to sustainable investing and he will provide direction and leadership across our five principal business areas: Energy & Infrastructure, Development Capital, Property Lending, Ventures and Downing Fund Managers. It is a highly complex and rapidly evolving environment – it is important to us and is clearly becoming increasingly important to our investors.”
Brady added: “The pace of change driven by investor demand, regulatory change and the immediacy of a well-advanced climate emergency makes sustainability everyone’s business, not one person’s job. I’m excited to be joining Downing and look forward to helping bring together the great work that is already in motion.”
RadiantESG recruits former Rosenberg colleagues
23 August 2021
The co-founders of RadiantESG Global Investors have recruited three former colleagues following its launch last month.
The firm, which is backed by HSBC Asset Management and co-founded by Heidi Ridley and Kathryn McDonald, former CEO and head of sustainable investing for Rosenberg Equities respectively, has recruited Mauricio Bustos, Harry Prabandham and Kevin Lin.
Bustos joins as head of data and technology after a 22-year stint at Rosenberg Equities, while Prabandham becomes the firm’s CIO after spending 14 years with Rosenberg.
Finally, Lin joins as senior portfolio manager having spent 17 years at Rosenberg.
The trio will all be equity owners in RadiantESG.
Ridley commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to be reuniting with Mauricio, Harry and Kevin. Two decades of working together has led to the high level of trust and respect that allows for the candid and open discussions that we believe are the foundation for enhanced decision making. To be successful in one of the most competitive industries in the world where results are intensely scrutinized, we need to leverage the competitive advantage of diversity in backgrounds and perspectives and the benefits of an inclusive culture built on core principles.
“In doing so, we are confident we will attract and retain credible, experienced and forward-thinking investors who bring thoughtful and nuanced judgment to the art and science of investing that is critical in a rapidly changing environment characterized by material evolution in the expectations and needs of our constituents.”
DWS appoints global head of ESG for real estate
12 August 2021
DWS has appointed Aleksandra Njagulj as global head of ESG for real estate to expand the firm’s commitment to ESG in this part of the business.
Njagulj will be based in London and has previous experience as global head of ESG at CBRE Global Investors and as head of sustainability, R&D and innovation at Bouygues UK. At DWS she will report to Todd Henderson, head of real estate, Americas, and Clemens Schaefer, head of real estate, APAC and EMEA.
Schaefer said: “We are very excited to appoint Njagulj to lead our ESG efforts, her extensive industry achievements will prove integral in the next stage of our ESG journey. She will assume responsibility for further evolving our ESG real estate strategy as a continuation of our goal to achieve best practice globally across our real estate assets and portfolios.”
Henderson added: “As a global real estate manager, we believe we have created a solid foundation in factoring ESG principles into our investment process in support of DWS’s firm wide commitment. With the appointment of Njagulj, we hope to further elevate our ESG execution capability.”
Mercer creates global head of investment research role
9 August 2021
Mercer has appointed Sarika Goel to the newly created role of global head of sustainable investment research, and expanded its sustainability team to meet growing demand.
Goel joined Mercer in 2010 and has led the firm’s coverage of sustainable themed investment strategies within listed equities.
In her new role Goel will lead of manager research focusing on sustainable development, climate transition, impact investment and stewardship. She will also head up Mercer’s sustainable thought leadership.
Jo Holden, global head of investment research, said: “Sarika has been instrumental in driving the leadership and guidance that Mercer provides on sustainability in manager research.”
The firm has also expanded its sustainability capacity by 30%, including new hires based in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Switzerland, US and the UK.
Agnew succeeds Turner as head of philanthropy at Barclays
2 August 2021
Barclays Private Bank has hired Juliet Agnew to the role of head of philanthropy, supporting ultra high net worth clients and their families.
Agnew succeeds Emma Turner in the role, and will report to head of UK and crown dependencies Lisa Francis. Agnew was previously managing director at a UK family foundation and director of UBS Philanthropy services.
She praised the “philanthropic landscape” at Barclays Private Bank, and added: “Philanthropy plays such an important role in today’s work and I am delighted to be joining a team so committed to supporting clients in their philanthropic journey.”
Francis commented: “I’m extremely pleased to welcome Juliet to the Barclays Private Bank team and look forward to working with her to further develop our philanthropy service as we coninute to support clinets.”
Natixis hires global sustainability head from Mirova
2 August 2021
Asset manager Natixis has appointed Nathalie Wallace as global head of sustainable investing from 1 September to strengthen the firm’s ESG credentials and develop its sustainable solutions.
Wallace joins from Mirova US, where she was head of ESG strategy and development. She will work with the firm’s affiliate managers to ensure they all become UN PRI signatories by 2024, as well as supporting clients, and will report to Joseph Pinto, head of distribution for Europe, Latin America, Middle East and Asia Pacific, and will be based in Boston.
Natixis CEO Tim Ryan, said: “Having most recently worked at Mirova, our dedicated sustainable investment affiliate, Nathalie, with her deep knowledge and long industry experience, is ideally placed to lead our strategy to support clients in their journey to align their ESG beliefs with their investment goals, and to help us further our contribution to the transition to a more sustainable global economy”.
City Hive’s Shah appointed to Big Exchange board
29 July 2021
Bhavini ‘Bev’ Shah, City Hive’s CEO and editorial panellist for ESG Clarity, has joined the board of ESG and impact investment platform The Big Exchange.
Launched last year, the platform was co-founded by The Big Issue and 15 asset management partners to offer 46 funds seeking to protect the environment and provide equal opportunities for all.
Shah is joining the board as independent non-executive director to “help The Big Exchange achieve its mission of making investing more accessible.
“The democratisation of investing is key to helping to build a fair and equal society. Financial well-being is not a perk for the few but a right of the many,” she said.
Shah joins the board chaired by Campbell Fleming and includes Jill Jackson CEO of The Big Exchange, Nigel Kershaw chair of The Big Issue Group and Kevin Riches, director of Momenta Group and The Big Exchange.
Fleming commented: “We’re thrilled that Bev has agreed to join the Board of The Big Exchange. Her in depth experience of working for several blue-chip financial corporations, combined with her passion and flair as a dedicated and award winning social-entrepreneur; provides us with a rare asset within the sector of furthering our mission towards fair, sustainable and inclusive finance.”
Earlier this week, The Big Exchanged announced its first public crowdfund which has so far raised just under £280,000 (as at 29 July 2021) exceeding its initial target of £100,000.
BlueBay adds ESG pair
28 July 2021
BlueBay Asset Management has added a senior ESG analyst and ESG institutional portfolio manager to its team.
Emma Whiteacre has been appointed as a senior ESG analyst based in London. She will report to My-Linh Ngo, head of ESG investment, portfolio manager, and will contribute to BlueBay’s ongoing ESG investment management efforts, particularly in the area of climate change. Whiteacre was most previously a country risk analyst at Beazley Group.
Meanwhile, Elena Koycheva has been appointed to the newly created role of ESG institutional portfolio manager also based in London. Reporting to Simon Chennell, partner and institutional portfolio manager, Koycheva will focus on showcasing evidence of robust ESG integration and engagement across BlueBay’s strategies. She has worked at BlueBay for five years most recently in the role of senior RFP writer.
CIO Mark Dowding commented: “We’ve come a long way since we hired our first ESG consultant in 2013, having launched several ESG-dedicated funds and done some ground-breaking work on impact-aligned investing within fixed income. Last year, also saw ESG established as a firm-wide strategic filter with our ESG team moving from our risk to our investment function. The appointments of Emma and Elena personify the critical importance we place on ESG in future-proofing our business. We are delighted to have their insights further enhance our offering.”
Barings appoints European ESG real estate director
25 July 2021
Barings has hired Kristina Arsenievich as director, European real estate ESG.
Arsenievich is joining the London office to lead and enhance its ESG programme across the equity and debt portfolios, reporting to James Salmon, head of European real estate asset management.
She will also support the delivery of the firm’s net-zero ambitions and further integrate ESG that supports tenants and the value chain.
“Barings has a crucial role to play in leading by example and incentivising the European value chain to transition to a low carbon economy,” she said. “I am excited to be supporting the European real estate team with evolving their aspirational ESG strategy and advancing sustainable investment mechanisms that will continue to deliver the best long term outcomes to our clients and investors for years to come.”
First Sentier Investors names chief people and culture officer
19 July 2021
First Sentier Investors has appointed Melanie Halsey as its chief people and culture officer, reports ESG Clarity’s sister title Portfolio Adviser.
Based in London, Halsey will partner with the business to design and implement strategies to attract, engage and develop employees and “help the business build a high-performance culture”.
She will join the firm on 6 September and report to CEO Mark Steinberg.
Halsey has more than 20 years’ experience in senior HR roles, beginning her career at Fidelity International and eventually becoming head of HR, UK Financial Services. From there, she joined global venture capital firm Eight Roads, which is backed by Fidelity, and then went on to Colt Technology Services where she was executive vice president.
Commenting on her appointment Steinberg said: “At First Sentier Investors, we see an opportunity to further align our people programmes with our vision, purpose and growth ambitions. Ms Halsey has extensive experience in the operational areas of HR, and has led broad strategic cultural transformation programmes in the areas of D&I, CSR and employee engagement, which we know will play a pivotal role in our ongoing success.”
First Sentier Investors had more than $180.3bn (£131bn) in assets at the end of March. Last year, the Sydney headquartered fund group rebranded from First State Investments, following its acquisition by a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group in August 2019.
Chronos hires policy research manager specialising in climate and carbon
9 July 2021
Advisory firm Chronos Sustainability has hired environmental policy expert, Ella Harvey as manager, policy research.
Harvey’s career as a research analysts spans specialisms across climate change, aquatic toxicology, food systems, and corporate carbon performance. She joins from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment where she played a central role in developing the scoring methodology and supporting company engagement for the Climate Action 100 + Net Zero Company Benchmark.
In her new role at Chronos, she will focus on the design and delivery of policy and environmental research, supporting the continued growth of Chronos’ climate change and responsible investment programmes.
Dr Rory Sullivan, CEO, Chronos Sustainability, said: “The race to net zero is gaining pace, driven by investors, by rapid changes in public policy and by societal and consumer expectations. Few industries are unaffected and huge numbers of corporations toned to take action. Research rigour and deep knowledge have never been more important in ensuring that companies respond effectively to these pressures.
“Ella’s experience in corporate carbon performance analysis, in policy research and in corporate strategy further strengthen our capabilities in these areas. I am delighted to welcome her to the team.”
Jupiter recruits six to sustainable investment team
8 July 2021
Jupiter has doubled the size of its sustainable investment team with six new additions.
The team is led by head of sustainable investing and ESG Clarity editorial panellist Abbie Llewellyn-Waters and head of the environmental solutions Rhys Petheram. Jupiter’s responsible investment products include the Global Sustainable Equities Fund and the Environmental Solutions suite including Jupiter Ecology, Jupiter Global Ecology Growth and Jupiter Global Ecology Diversified Funds, and the Jupiter Green Investment Trust.
Maiken Anderberg returns to the company in a permanent role on the global sustainable equity team as equity analyst, having previously interned with the team in 2019. Anderberg will work closely with Llewellyn-Waters and analyst Freddie Woolfe with a focus on the Global Sustainable Equities fund.
In a newly created role, Noelle Guo has joined as equity analyst, environmental solutions supporting fund manager Jon Wallace and reporting into Petheram. Guo has eight years of equity research experience, joining from an investment analyst role at Pictet Asset Management before which she was at AB Bernstein.
Laura Conigliaro has been appointed to the team to fill the role of analyst, environmental solutions, with a particular focus on fixed income verification working with fixed income specialist Petheram. She joined Jupiter in 2019 as a member of Jupiter’s governance and sustainability team, and has previously worked at Inter-American Development Bank and sustainability management consultancy Critical Resource.
In another internal move, Jenna Zegleman joins the teams as investment director. She joined Jupiter in 2018 as a product specialist.
Finally, Anisha Arora and James Kearns have been recruited to Jupiter’s governance and sustainability team. Arora joins from Allianz Global Investors and has experience in applying ESG considerations to macroeconomic analysis, as well as to the sovereign debt investment process, while Kearns previously worked at BNP Paribas, where he was involved with their global markets division before moving to become a sustainable finance analyst.
Llewellyn-Waters commented: “As we navigate through this global pandemic, the importance of confronting the climate crisis, bridging social inequality and ensuring a sustainable future is more important than ever. By investing in companies leading a sustainable transition across our Global Sustainable Equities and Environmental Solutions strategies we are able to offer our clients a range of attractive and truly innovative solutions that deliver positive outcomes for planet, people and profit.”
HSBC appoints Leonard to lead new sustainability office
8 July 2021
HSBC Asset Management has created a sustainability office led by Erin Leonard, the newly appointed global head of sustainability.
Leonard will report to CEO Nicolas Moreau, as a member of his management committee. The new department will be responsible for the delivery of HSBC Asset Management’s sustainability strategy and the transition to sustainable investing. It will also oversee people-focused initiatives, including diversity and inclusion, as part of its ambition to embed a sustainability culture across the business.
Previously, Leonard was interim global head of institutional business while also leading the firm’s responsible investment initiative.
Melissa McDonald, formerly head of responsible investment, is departing HSBC at the end of August to pursue a new opportunity outside of the asset management industry.
She will be replaced by Stuart Kirk, currently global head of research & insights, who will take over in leading the team responsible for the integration of ESG risks and opportunities across asset classes, as well as the firm’s voting policy and engagement initiatives, reporting to global CIO, Xavier Baraton.
He will also lead the development of new ESG, climate change and thematic products and solutions, and the delivery of thematic research contributing to industry best practices and supporting thought leadership. Kirk joined HSBC in September 2020.
The group is looking to make additional hires focusing on stewardship, climate change and data.
Baraton commented on the changes: “Responsible investing underpins all of our investment decisions and I’m delighted to be appointing Stuart to lead our efforts in this important area. Stuart’s experience in managing research teams and on ESG and climate related issues make him ideally placed to lead our responsible investment team, continue to raise our standards and champion collaboration and innovation across our investment platform.”
Last week, HSBC announced it had taken a stake in RadiantESG Global Investors, a female-owned, ESG and D&I focused independent asset management firm.
Lombard Odier IM hires manager for fixed income team
23 June 2021
Erika Wranegard has joined Lombard Odier Investment Managers as portfolio manager withing the fixed income team, with a focus on sustainability.
Reporting to Yannik Zufferey, CIO, fixed income, she will take over the reins of the firm’s TargetNetZero Global and European Investment Grade credit strategies, alongside Ashton Parker, Denise Yung and Jérôme Collet, which currently have CHF 270m in assets under management.
Wranegard joins from Swedish sustainable asset management firm, Öhman, where she managed its Crossover Green Bond and Investment Grade Sustainable Credit strategies since 2016, and was also responsible for developing the firm’s framework for ESG-integration within the fixed income investment process. Furthermore, she is also a member of the PRI Advisory Committee on Credit Risk and Rating, a working group that is focused on enhancing the transparent and systematic consideration of ESG factors in credit risk analysis.
Zufferey commented on her appointment: “We are delighted to welcome Erika to the team. We have a core conviction that sustainability is one of the most important investment considerations for fixed income investors. Erika’s passion and expertise in sustainable fixed income are a perfect fit for LOIM. We continue to expand our sustainable fixed income franchise and offer forward-looking strategies for clients that capture opportunity and avoid risk in the transition to net zero.”
Quilter recruits new head of inclusion and wellbeing
22 June 2021
UK wealth manager Quilter has appointed Tosin James-Odukoya as head of inclusion and wellbeing, succeeding Kate Richardson who leaves to pursue studies at the London School of Economics.
James-Odukoya will be based in London and responsible for building on Quilter’s inclusion and employee wellbeing programme that was put in place alongside when the business listed in 2018.
Previously, James-Odukoya was global lead of inclusion and diversity (I&D) at the mobile operator trade body, GSMA, and has also held HR roles at Alexander Mann Solutions, the New York Stock Exchange and HSBC.
Paul Feeney, CEO and executive sponsor of I&D at Quilter, said: “Creating an inclusive and diverse culture where all colleagues feel they can be themselves has always been a core tenet of our cultural agenda. It’s one of the key personal objectives I set myself when we listed.
“We have made a good start with our Thrive employee wellbeing initiative; the launch of employee-run networks providing forums for discussion; an enhanced suite of family-friendly policies; significantly improving our diversity data and implementing a diverse shortlist policy.
“However, I know we have more to do, particularly to ensure the diversity of our organisation reflects our commitment to inclusion. Tosin brings great experience to help us build on the foundations we have set, and I look forward to working with her on this important agenda.”
Polar Capital recruits Robeco sustainable energy team
22 June 2021
Polar Capital has hired a team running sustainable equity strategies from Robeco with plans to launch new products later this year.
Thiemo Lang and a team of three investment managers will join Polar Capital in September. A statement said they specialise in running strategies focused on the transformation and decarbonisation of the energy sector, and on the emerging electric vehicle theme.
Gavin Rochussen, CEO at Polar Capital, said: “Polar Capital has always attracted exceptional talent due to the culture, transparency and investment autonomy that the investment teams have. This team represents an excellent opportunity for us to partner with a highly skilled and experienced investment team and to expand the range of sustainable equity strategies which we can offer our clients.
“This is an area that is in its infancy and will be a growing part of any mandate in the coming years as the world looks to build a more sustainable future for the next generations. They are an excellent addition to Polar Capital, and I look forward to working with the team.”
Blackfinch recruits ESG manager
7 June 2021
Blackfinch Group is upping its focus on ESG with the appointment of a new ESG manager.
Steve John has 20 years of experience in ESG, sustainability, and community relations strategy development and communications, having worked in social investment and the corporate sector. In his new role he will be working with stakeholders to develop the firm’s ESG framework, internal processes and strategy.
Richard Cook, CEO and founder at Blackfinch, said: “Over the past 12 months, Blackfinch has undertaken a comprehensive integration of ESG principles and sustainability considerations across all our business areas (asset management, ventures, AIM portfolios, energy and property). Steve’s appointment as ESG manager is the crucial next step in our ESG evolution.
“We are determined that our ESG strategy remains fluid and that our approach stays relevant. Steve has the experience and the insight to help take us further in this exciting and essential undertaking.”
John added: “I am enormously excited by Blackfinch’s ambitions in this area. ESG is still relatively new, and often misunderstood within the financial services sector, but the potential to deliver solutions to global challenges is very real. I have spent some time at the coalface, and I’m aiming to bring that fresh and real-world perspective to Blackfinch so we can continue to make a positive impact.”
TransitionZero appoints LGIM sustainability head to board
7 June 2021
Climate analytics provider TransitionZero has appointed Meryam Omi to its board of directors in order to help the firm move more into the financial sector.
Legal and General Investment Management head of sustainability and responsible investment strategy Omi is developing the firm’s investment solutions and led the launch of L&G’s flagship climate funds, the L&G Future World Funds. She also led the firm’s Climate Impact Pledge programme, has been appointed as one of COP26’s UN High Level Champions for Climate Action and sits on the board of the Climate Group.
Matthew Gray, co-CEO of TransitionZero, said: “Meryam has an impressive track record of building successful climate-focused solutions in the finance sector. Her deep knowledge and expertise will be instrumental for us to draw upon as we look to grow TransitionZero’s presence in this space. We are thrilled to have her on our board.”
Omi added: “The role the finance sector plays in achieving climate targets is front and centre of the industry, particularly as we move towards COP26. However, the industry faces a shortage of data that is timely, granular and sector-specific, which is crucial in order to transition in a way that is economically feasible. As the finance industry looks to transition towards a zero-carbon economy, TransitionZero is able to bring its world-class analytics to decision-makers to help them reach their zero-carbon targets.”
Lombard Odier hires equity managers with sustainable experience
7 June 2021
Lombard Odier Investment Managers has hired two equity portfolio managers with experience in sustainable investing.
Arnaud d’Aligny joins from Sycomore Asset Management where he was partner and lead portfolio manager of sustainability focused strategies investing in all-cap European equities. From Geneva he will oversee Lombard Odier’s European equities strategy.
June Chua joins from Harvest Global where she was head of Asian equities. From Hong Kong she will work in the Asian/Emerging Markets equities team.
Didier Rabattu, global head of equities, said: “We are delighted to welcome June and Arnaud to LOIM. They bring invaluable expertise in managing sustainably orientated strategies across key markets and we look forward to their contribution.
“These appointments reinforce our commitment to be a leading global equity house and provide investors with differentiated high-conviction strategies that seek to deliver strong performance and help accelerate the transition to a more sustainable economy.”
Redington hires two sustainable investment specialists
2 June 2021
Redington has hired two sustainable investment specialists to expand the firm’s responsible investment proposition.
Paul Lee will work with the investment strategy committee to develop Redington’s sustainable investment strategy, including integration across the firm’s strategic asset allocation, model portfolios and risk modelling systems, as well as leading the implementation of its net-zero commitments. He will also work with the manager research team to develop a process for tracking and measuring fund managers’ ESG and stewardship activities.
Lee has been an independent consultant and was previously head of corporate governance – stewardship at Aberdeen Asset Management.
Anastasia Guha be lead the firm’s global sustainability strategy, integrating this across different business channels including Redington’s proprietary ADA technology platform, as well as expanding the organisation’s capabilities across new global markets and with a broader class of asset owners including endowments, foundations and charities. She will also be looking into developing global partnerships.
Guha joins from the PRI, where she was director for Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
David Bennett, managing director and chair of the investment strategy committee at Redington, said: “Both Anastasia and Paul are highly respected throughout the industry, acting as trusted advisers to regulators and companies alike. Their experience in developing, implementing and communicating effective sustainable investment and stewardship strategies will be invaluable as we work with our clients and the broader investment community to create a more sustainable future for all.”
Lee added: “Collaboration and knowledge sharing across the entire industry is the only way we will make tangible changes in ESG and help asset owners make the best possible decisions when it comes to buying ESG and stewardship services.”
Guha commented: “Over the years Redington has built up a reputation as a firm that takes sustainable investing seriously and strives to use its influence in a positive way, demonstrated most recently by its commitment to ensuring all advice delivered has a net-zero objective in mind. This is something I am very keen to be part of but, like myself, Redington recognises that no single organisation can drive the level of change our industry needs in isolation. I look forward to working with the team to engage with others across the sector and around the world to understand how we can make the most meaningful difference possible and give more people the assurance that their money is being invested in a responsible way.”
Ninety One nabs Aviva Investors’ Stephanie Niven to expand sustainable offering
28 May 2021
Ninety One has recruited Stephanie Niven from Aviva Investors as it looks to broaden its pipeline of global sustainable funds.
Niven joins as a portfolio manager in the fund group’s thematic equity team, which sits in its multi-asset division. From there she will spearhead the development of Ninety One’s global sustainable equity offering.
Ninety One said Niven’s appointment is a boon for the team’s sustainable investment credits and underscores its belief that “companies which respond successfully to global sustainability challenges will outperform over time”.
Currently it has one dedicated sustainable investing strategy for UK clients, Deirdre Cooper and Graeme Baker’s Ninety One Global Environment fund. The Oeic has seen assets balloon to £1.1bn since launch in December 2019 after a bumper 2020 in which it returned 47.8% versus the IA Global’s 15.3%.
“The broadening of our global sustainable equity offering will be another milestone in Ninety One’s drive to put sustainability at the core of our business,” Ninety One co-chief investment officer Mimi Ferrini said.
“Stephanie shares our vision for developing the firm’s sustainable investing capabilities, and her sustainable investing philosophy is absolutely aligned to ours.”
Niven has more than 16 years’ experience, including six years at Tesco Pension Investments as a global equity portfolio manager, as well as roles at Javelin Capital and Goldman Sachs, where she started her career.
In May 2019 she was promoted to a named manager on the Aviva Investors Global Equity Endurance fund. The £336.1m Oeic version of the fund has returned 57.1% since launch compared to the IA Global average of 40.7%.
She is also a member of the board of trustees for Humanism UK and the COIF Charity Funds.
Niven said she is excited to join Ninety One and build on the firm’s progress in developing sustainable investment solutions.
“Ninety One is clearly committed to sustainability with substance. We have a compelling opportunity to develop sustainable global equity capabilities with a differentiated approach to understanding externalities and how culture leads to sustainable competitive advantages.
“Our aim is to meet investors’ financial needs and contribute to positive environmental and social progress, while minimising negative impacts.”
HSBC AM creates climate technology team
24 May 2021
HSBC Asset Management has created a new climate technology team to invest in climate change solution start-ups.
It said the focus will be on companies across the energy, transportation, insurance, agriculture and supply chain sectors, with the first fund planned for this year.
The team will report into Remi Bourrette, head of venture and growth investments, who joined last year from HSBC Global Banking and Markets.
Christophe Defert joins as head of climate technology venture investments. He has more than 16 years’ experience in investment banking, private equity, corporate M&A, energy contracts and venture capital. Before joining HSBC Asset Management, Christophe spent 10 years at Centrica where he most recently built and led Centrica Innovations’ Venture effort globally.
Michael D’Aurizio joins as investment director of the strategy. Hehas more than 10 years’ experience in power, utilities, and clean energy including business strategy and venture capital, and previously led Centrica Innovations’ US activities.
Joanna Munro, global CIO, HSBC Asset Management, said: “Technology will play a major role in enabling the energy transition, funded by public money, private capital and philanthropic commitments like HSBC’s Climate Solutions Partnership with the World Resources Institute and WWF. The appointment of this team will allow us to provide clients with early exposure to sectors which are just emerging as such, but will become major sources of financial and environmental value over the decade.”
MSCI appoints chief diversity officer
11 May 2021
MSCI has appointed Tia Counts to the newly created role of chief diversity officer.
Counts joins from JP Morgan’s asset and wealth management business where she was global head of diversity and inclusion, and will be based in London.
She will report to Scott Crum, chief human resources officer, who said: “MSCI is deeply committed to making our firm a more diverse, inclusive and equitable place for all. In this new role, Tia will be responsible for building our brand for inclusion and diversity, helping the firm embed diversity and inclusion in the way we do business, as well as attract and retain the best diverse talent.
“In addition, she will be focused on increasing the impact of our internal workplace initiatives. Her wealth of experience, thought leadership and exceptional track record will enable her to build on the solid foundation we have created at MSCI, helping advance our culture of inclusion.”
AXA boosts responsible team with two hires
6 May 2021
AXA Investment Managers (AXA) has bolstered its ESG teams with two new appointments: head of climate and ESG analyst.
Olivier Eugène will join as head of climate, focusing on AXA’s net-zero targets. Eugène joined AXA in 2007 as an equity portfolio manager and was most recently co-portfolio manager on the AXA WF Framlington Sustainable Europe fund.
Liudmila Strakodonskaya has been appointed ESG analyst. Her ESG research will specifically focus on biodiversity, and green and sustainable bonds. She joins from Eleva Capital where she was an ESG/SRI specialist.
Both will report to Virginie Derue, head of ESG research.
WHEB brings investment team to six with new hire
4 May 2021
Impact asset manager WHEB has appointed Victoria MacLean as associate portfolio manager, bringing the investment team to six.
MacLean, who will join the team on 5 July, has worked at Aberdeen Standard Investments for more than 10 years, her last role there being investment director. She was also co-chair of the CFA Special Interest Group for Impact Investing.
Ted Franks, partner and fund manager, said “We are delighted that Victoria is joining the team here at WHEB. She brings outstanding investment experience and a real passion for impact, and a commitment to the issues that matter to our investors. We are looking forward to working with her on authentic impact-driven returns.”
MacLean added: “I am hugely excited to be joining the WHEB team. Asset managers play an important role in addressing global challenges and I also believe these challenges create exciting investment opportunities. I am looking forward to being part of an organisation leading the way in sustainable investing and contributing to positive change.”
Banque Hottinguer hires sustainable head from AXA
4 May 2021
European private bank Banque Hottinguer has hired Lise Moret as head of sustainable and impact investing.
Moret will join on 17 May from AXA Investment Managers, where she was head of ESG solutions, and head of climate strategy and stewardship. In her new role she will lead Banque Hottinguer’s ESG integration and bolster its stewardship practices. She will also help develop the bank’s impact investment product range.
Alongside her role, Moret will retain her positions as a member of the Commission Climat et Finance Durableat the AMF, the French Financial Market Authority, and as president of the French Sustainable Investment Forum Research Commission.
RLAM creates head of ESG research role
16 April 2021
Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) has hired Eli Haroush as head of ESG research.
Haroush joins RLAM’s nine-strong responsible investment team in this newly created role, bringing experience from holding investment roles at APG, Fidelity Investments, JP Morgan Investment Management, American Express Asset Management International and Alliance Bernstein.
He will report to Ashley Hamilton Claxton, head of responsible investment at RLAM and editorial panelist at ESG Clarity, who said: “RLAM has heavily invested in ESG resources in recent years. Eli’s hire is the latest addition to our growing team, and a proof of our long-standing commitment to responsible investment.
“With the extraordinary interest in responsible investment and ESG, building a high-quality team of in-house experts is now more important than ever.”
FE fundinfo hires ESG strategist as regulation increases
8 April 2021
Data group FE fundinfo has hired an ESG strategist.
Sebastian Brinkmann joins from TruValue Labs, where he most recently held the position of head of ESG solutions for Europe at the San Francisco-headquartered ESG data specialist. In this new role he will work with both new and existing clients on their approaches to ESG including helping them with reporting.
“It’s a very exciting time to be joining FE fundinfo following the recent acquisition of CSSP and the wider expansion of the ESG offering across the product range,” Brinkmann said.
“ESG investing is entering a new phase with the introduction of greater regulatory obligations and I am looking forward to using my experience and expertise to position ourselves as market leaders.”
David Bower, global head of institutional sales at FE fundinfo, added: “ESG investing and the associated data and reporting are arguably the most important developments underway across the investment industry. Both retail and institutional clients are increasingly demanding sophisticated solutions to meet their needs, alongside regulators who are bringing new rules that will shape investing for decades ahead.
“We are focused on supporting our clients in ESG data provision, analysis and reporting. Sebastian’s appointment is an important step in further strengthening our capabilities, bringing international experience and deep knowledge of ESG investing.”
Epworth creates new head of ethics role
6 April 2021
UK charities investment manager Epworth Investment Management (Epworth) has appointed Reverend Andrew Harper in a newly created role as head of ethics.
Harper will be responsible for ethical thought leadership and performance, and the firm hopes this new role will “provide further capability to support our external engagement with churches, charities, and wider ethical networks”.
“The organisation’s outsized influence on its holdings and corporate conduct is a testament to the quality of their people and the work they do,” Harper said.
Previously director of global and learning innovation at Cliff College, Harper said he has seen the first-hand effects of modern slavery practices in some tea plantations, and has experience engaging with UK food manufacturers.
“We’re delighted to be welcoming Andrew to Epworth and the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church. His deep understanding of the theology of investment and practical experience in the field will be invaluable assets to our team and will support the evolution of our ethical understanding, standards and engagement,” said David Palmer, CEO of Epworth.
Citi recruits diversity chief from Goldman Sachs
31 March 2021
Citi has hired Erika Irish Brown as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer and global head of talent.
She was previously chief diversity offiver at Goldman Sachs where she helped launch their diversity goals, board diversity efforts and most recently the ‘One Million Black Women’ initiative. She has also worked as global head of diversity and inclusion at Bloomberg and within the leadership teams at Bank of America, Lehman Brothers, and Black Entertainment Television (BET).
Sara Wechter, head of human resources, commented: “Investing in our talent and culture is one of our top five priorities at Citi because we appreciate that Citi’s competitive advantage is our people. There is tremendous momentum behind our efforts to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture – from our pay equity work, representation goals, expansion of diverse interview panels and interview slates, unique engagement with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and more.
“I am thrilled to announce Erika Irish Brown will join the human resources leadership team as the new chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer and global head of talent. In addition to helping us achieve our representation goals, she will drive Citi’s agenda on talent planning, succession planning and leadership development while strengthening our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) work across Citi with new ideas and approaches to challenge us and help us grow.”
See also: – Recruitment trends: The shortage in ESG talent
PineBridge hires global head of corporate responsibility
1 April 2021
PineBridge Investments has created the role of global head of corporate responsibility for Kate Faraday, who has been promoted from head of client portfolio management.
Faraday has worked at PineBridge since 2007 across a number of roles including portfolio manager for the research enhanced quantitative equities strategies, as well as chair of PineBridge’s Culture Committee and a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and Company Responsibility Committee.
In her new role, Faraday will report to PineBridge’s CEO, Greg Ehret and will work closely with PineBridge’s Corporate Responsibility Steering Committee, which oversees the firm’s subcommittees. Those subcommittees are dedicated to ESG Investment, Diversity & Inclusion, Stewardship and Company Responsibility. She will also play an active role in each of these functions, ensuring alignment, collaboration and sharing of best practices across PineBridge.
CEO Ehret said: “As a culture and a firm, we have been committed to corporate responsibility efforts for many years and I am proud of the progress we have made. Kate’s appointment and the ongoing work of our Corporate Responsibility Committees reflect the increasing importance that ESG issues continue to play for our clients and our industry. I look forward to working with Kate to further develop the firm’s approach and corporate responsibility practices.”
Manulife hires timber and agriculture specialist
Eric Cooperström has joined Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG), part of Manulife Investyment Management, as managing director, impact investing and natural climate solutions.
In this newly created role, Cooperström will be responsible for enhancing the sustainability and responsible investing capabilities for Manulife’s timberland and agriculture teams, as well as collaborating with them to develop and support an investment thesis and value proposition for clients interested in impact investments.
Previously, Cooperström was senior director at NatureVest, the impact investment arm of The Nature Conservancy, where he was responsible for asset management and for developing the conservation impact investment strategy. He has also worked at the Skoll Foundation, Volta Capital and Capital Dynamics.
“We believe forests and farms are natural climate solutions, and we see removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it in trees and soils as a viable option for investors who are looking to optimize and prioritize carbon sequestration,” said Brian Kernohan, chief sustainability officer, private markets at Manulife.
“We are excited to have Eric onboard as his expertise and background will be integral in developing our impact-first investment strategies.”
Brown Advisory reunites Janus Capital trio to create sustainable bond range
31 March 2021
A trio of fixed income fund managers who previously worked together at Janus Capital have reunited at Brown Advisory to create a new range of products.
Chris Diaz, former co-head of global bonds at Janus Henderson, Ryan Myerberg, most recently head of absolute return fixed income at Amundi; and Colby Stilson who was a managing partner at the TIFIN Group have joined Brown Advisory as portfolio managers.
They will lead the firm’s global sustainable fixed income team, creating a new suite of solutions for clients on the back of increasing client demand.
Logie Fitzwilliams, head of international business and global head of sales at Brown Advisory, said: “We are delighted that we could bring this team back together to join us at Brown Advisory. The trio will bring a new global sustainable fixed income strategy to market later this year, combining many of Brown Advisory’s established fundamental and sustainable research methods, with their own extensive expertise.”
Westchester hires sustainability head for farmland investments
22 March 2021
Westchester Group Investment Management has hired Cristina Hastings Newsome as head of sustainability.
From 12 April Newsome will join the TIAA and Nuveen company to support managing farmland investments, in which the firm specialises.
Newsome joins from Louis Dreyfus Company in Switzerland where she was global sustainability lead, responsible for the sustainability strategy for the grains and oilseeds complex. She previously held roles at AstraZeneca, Proteus and Accenture.
She will report to Martin Davies, CEO and president of Westchester, who said: “Cristina brings with her a wealth of experience that will be integral to support sustainability efforts across our farmland portfolio. We continue to evolve our approach to ESG to meet our commitment to drive positive change and client demand, and Cristina’s appointment is testament to this.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of agriculture to everyday societies, with food essential to a growing population. The FAO estimate that $350bn of investment is needed annually by agriculture and the supply chain to develop sustainable food production systems. With a limited land resource base and focus on more efficient resource use stable supply-demand dynamics for agricultural produce are critical for a sustainable future.”
ASI recruits ESG manager from M&G
19 March 2021
Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) has hired Manuela Fumarola from M&G as ESG manager within its private markets and real estate team.
In hew new post, she will be responsible for developing, embedding and overseeing an ESG strategy for private markets investments, including private equity, infrastructure and private lending assets and report to Dan Grandage, head of ESG for private markets and real estate.
ASI has around £60bn in AUM in private markets solutions and Fumarola will work closely with the existing private markets ESG team and the investment teams to provide insight on ESG trends, manager selection, and client ESG reporting activities.
Neil Slater, global head of real estate and deputy head of private markets, said: “Together with the recent announcement of our net-zero carbon framework for real estate, this hire demonstrates our commitment to maintain and sustain an embedded ESG approach within our private markets investment process.”
Comgest boosts ESG research team with analyst hire
9 March 2021
Global asset management group Comgest has hired Petra Daroczi as an ESG analyst.
Daroczi joins from Aberdeen Standard Investments and is responsible for developed market companies, particularly US stocks.
This appointment bring the total ESG research team to six. Last year, Comgest hired Xing Xu, who joined from Fosun Group also as an ESG analyst, and focuses on Chinese companies. She has been awarded for outstanding investment research by the CFA Institute for her work on Chinese renewable energy.
At the end of 2019, Sabrina Achá Sanz joined Comgest as an ESG officer and coordinates internal and external ESG reporting, data providers and communication processes across the team.
The team, based in Paris, is lead by Sébastien Thévoux-Chabuel, who said: “Ensuring ESG considerations are embedded within our investment decisions is both a natural consequence of our quality growth investment style and of our commitment to responsible stewardship of our clients’ assets.
“Our new team members bring considerable depth and diversity to our ESG research and reporting capabilities. As a team we will continue to deliver our clients the highest standards in terms of ESG research, engagement and reporting on our activities in this important domain.”
Moody’s hires Ghosh to new ESG MD role
4 March 2021
Moody’s ESG Solutions Group has appointed Rahul Ghosh to the new role of managing director of ESG outreach and research.
Ghosh will lead research on ESG trends and themes, and oversee Moody’s ESG Solution Group’s outreach activities.
He moves from Moody’s credit strategy and standards group, and was most recently responsible for the firm’s global emerging market research, outreach and reports. He has also represented Moody’s on the UN PRI’s advisory committee on credit ratings and the Green Bond Principles working group.
Andrea Blackman, global head of Moody’s ESG Solutions, said: “Market practitioners are no longer viewing ESG solely through a risk lens; they are also recognising the huge opportunity to create long-term value. Having led a range of high-impact initiatives related to ESG and emerging markets since joining Moody’s in 2014, Rahul will bring a deep knowledge of global financial markets and sustainable finance to our holistic research and outreach efforts.”
BNP Paribas promotes Herskovich to global stewardship role
3 March 2021
BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has named Michael Herskovich as global head of stewardship within its sustainability centre.
Reporting to Jane Ambachtsheer, the group’s global head of sustainability, and based in Paris, Herskovich will lead the global stewardship team, which includes Adam Kanzer and Paul Milon, respectively head of stewardship Americas and head of stewardship Asia Pacific, together with Paris-based senior corporate governance analyst, Orsolya Gal.
Previously, Herskovich has been global head of corporate governance since 2009. responsible for implementing its stewardship policy, including proxy voting, issuer engagement and corporate governance analysis. BNPP AM also said he has played a key role in the development of its global sustainability strategy, governance & voting policy, ESG ratings and SRI analysis, and has worked closely with portfolio managers on proxy voting and engagement, a collaboration that will “become even closer” in his new role.
Ambachtsheer commented: “Herskovich is a long-standing expert in the field of stewardship, with strong relationships in the industry. He has been instrumental in the development of our ambitious approach to corporate governance and this new role reflects his expertise and ambition in terms of stewardship activity.”
He replaces Helena Viñes Fiestas, who will be leaving BNPP AM after 10 years to take up a new role as a board member of the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), the Spanish securities market regulator in Madrid on 1 May.
Capital Group recruits JPMAM’s Hardy as governance director
23 February 2021
Capital Group has hired Rob Hardy from JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) in the newly created role of corporate governance director.
Based in London, Hardy has joined Capital Groups ESG leadership team to oversee the corporate governance and stewardship policies, as well as further integrate ESG factors into the investment process for the $2.3trn in assets under management Capital Group runs.
Hardy has over 25 years of industry experience. He joined JPMAM in 1996 and was most recently head of investment stewardship for the EMEA region for the firm. Prior to joining JPMAM, Hardy was a corporate governance and proxy voting specialist at Phillips & Drew Fund Management.
Jessica Ground, global head of ESG at Capital Group, said: “Rob’s years of experience designing and implementing corporate governance and stewardship policies, and overseeing proxy voting activities for a large global asset manager make him an integral addition to our team, in this newly created role.”
Snowball appoints duo to board
18 February 2021
Impact investment vehicle Snowball has made two appointments to the board as it continues its expansion and growth plans.
Patricia Lewis joins the board bringing over 20 years global investment banking experience from her most recent role at Bank of America Merrill Lynch to the challenge of investing in solutions for inequality and the climate emergency. Meanwhile, Kelly Clark, director of finance & capital market transformation at The Laudes Foundation, has also been appointed to the board. She has spent the last decade working with family foundations to develop sustainable capital to preserve natural capital, and was previously managing director of Marmanie Consulting, impact investing advisory, and spent over 10 years in banking.
Daniela Barone Soares, CEO at Snowball, commented: “We’re delighted to add Patricia and Kelly to our board at a key time as we complete our first closes welcoming new investors to Snowball. They join our board of investment and impact leaders committed to change the way financial markets operate, and to remove the barriers to impact investing.”
Soares recently told ESG Clarity the team is targeting a minimum of £150m assets under management on Snowball, it is currently £12m, and beyond that there are aspirations to move into an investment trust structure.
Lewis commented on her new position: “Why Snowball in particular? Well, it had to be something I will invest in myself. First, the founding investors, board and management team are wholly committed to the mission and working to mainstream the adoption of impact investing. Second, answering this really brings out the banker in me – measurement. No one knows – yet – how to fully measure how impactful their investments are. This is coming, but in the meantime, Snowball has the robust framework and methodology required to evaluate impact. It’s not perfect, but in my opinion, it is market leading, and transparent enough for them to hold themselves and the funds they invest in accountable.”
Clark added: “A fund of funds approach like Snowball paves the way for this to be taken up on a whole portfolio level. The founding investors and team are highly committed to impact – not just in their work at Snowball, but in their leadership styles and how they live their lives.”
Chronos Sustainability adds leading authority on climate legislation to advisory network
18 February 2021
Specialist advisory firm Chronos Sustainability has expanded its global advisory network with the recruitment of Dr Michal Nachmany.
Joining as specialist for climate policy, Nachmany will support the Chronos advisory network in its work delivering programmes and initiatives that deliver sustainability outcomes and sharing knowledge on developing robust management frameworks surrounding responsible investment, climate change, animal welfare and food sustainability, plastics, water, corporate sustainability and multi-stakeholder processes and benchmarks.
Chronos said Nachmany is a respected authority on global climate legislation, policy and the low carbon transition. Her academic career was at the London School of Economics (LSE) where, as a member of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, she was a policy fellow and head of data products.
During her time at LSE, she led the development of Climate Change Laws of the World, a knowledge resource on global climate change legislation. She is also a principal advisor to Climate Action 100+ and the Transition Pathway Initiative. In February 2021, she founded Climate Policy Radar, a project to map and analyse the global climate policy landscape through digital technology and artificial intelligence.
Dr. Rory Sullivan, CEO of Chronos Sustainability, said: “Climate policy and legislation are the next frontiers in the global climate change landscape and in the race to net zero. Michal is quite simply one of the most informed, dynamic and motivated climate change specialists in the world. Her expertise and knowledge will significantly enhance the quality and the depth of the climate change advice we provide to our investment clients. I am delighted that she will be working with us.”
JP Morgan hires ex-Labour MP as head of ESG in Europe
10 February 2021
JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) has hired Yo Takatsuki from AXA Investment Managers as head of investment stewardship for EMEA, while the wider bank has recruited former UK Labour MP Chuka Umunna as head of ESG in Europe.
American bank JP Morgan confirmed reports Umunna will be joining to spearhead its environmental and ethical investment work across the continent.
Vis Raghavan, JP Morgan’s chief executive of EMEA, reportedly said in a memo to staff: “He has more than 20 years of private and public sector experience in managing ESG issues at a senior level and was recently named one of the top five ESG influencers in the UK.
“We welcome Chuka to the firm and look forward to supporting his efforts as we bolster our ESG commitment.”
JP Morgan confirmed the story was correct but did not give further detail.
Umunna was the MP for Streatham for almost a decade until 2019, and was responsible for various Labour shadow cabinet roles including business secretary.
Meanwhile, reporting to Jennifer Wu, global head of sustainable investing, Takatsuki will be responsible for leading JPMAM’s investment stewardship efforts in EMEA, including proxy voting, corporate engagement and stewardship reporting in his role as head of investment stewardship for EMEA based in London. He will work closely with JPMAM’s portfolio managers and research analysts across asset classes.
At AXA IM he led the firm’s Investment Stewardship and Active Ownership programme globally. He previously worked at BMO Global Asset Management for seven years focusing on governance and sustainable investing. Takatsuki previous roles include being a news producer and broadcast journalist for nearly a decade, holding roles at the BBC, Bloomberg and CNBC.
Wu commented on the appointment: “Yo’s extensive expertise as a sustainable investing specialist and track record in leading investor stewardship programmes positions him incredibly well for his new role, particularly as we continue to intensify our focus across our five global stewardship priorities.
“This will include engaging with companies to actively encourage enhanced disclosure of ESG and climate data, including transparency in their choice of metrics and targets, as well as alignment of their strategy to different climate transition pathways in line with TCFD recommendations and SASB standards, to help ensure asset managers and asset owners have useful and comparable information when making important investment decisions.”
Vanguard recruits head of ESG strategy from FTSE Russel
10 February 2021
Passive giant Vanguard has created a new role for Fong Yee Chan as head of ESG strategy for the UK and Europe.
Chan joins from FTSE Russell‘s Sustainable Investment Products team where she was a director responsible for its EMEA sustainable investment ETF strategy. She has also worked at eFront as ESG director and sits on the board of directors for the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association.
Sean Hagerty, head of Vanguard, Europe, said: “The ESG landscape is evolving rapidly with new regulation, an increasing number of investment offerings and different perspectives on the best way to approach ESG.
“I am delighted that Fong Yee has joined Vanguard. Her deep ESG expertise will help accelerate our efforts to inform investors about our perspective on ESG topics, and we will continue to seek ways to deliver value to investors.”
Vanguard has previously been criticised for “dragging its feet” when it comes to providing ESG solutions for investors.
Chelverton creates role for Quilter hire
10 February 2021
Chelverton Asset Management has announced the appointment of Sally Clifton in the newly created role of responsible investing manager.
The company, which specialises in investing AIM and unquoted SMEs, said Clifton has a 25-year career including roles such as head of UK equity investment management at National Provident Institution, and more recently as Quilter Investors as head of responsible investing.
In her new role, she will be tasked with increasing the transparency of Chelverton’s Responsible Investing activities. She said: “The challenge is to increase communication around our active stewardship activities and build out the ESG integration lens for our stock universe, for whom materiality is highly company specific and metric data much less available.”
Clifton is also currently completing an MBA programme at the University of Bath, having been awarded a ‘Women in Business Scholarship’ by the School of Management.
River and Mercantile adds new group head of ESG role
1 February 2021
River and Mercantile has hired Roger Lewis in a new role as group head of ESG.
Lewis joins from Aviva Investors, where he aligned the firm’s ESG strategy and factors with investment functions across its £47.3bn real assets platform, which invests in property, infrastructure and private debt. Prior to this, Lewis held roles at Legal & General Investment Management and J.P. Morgan.
Lewis said: “With approximately half of all asset managers’ ESG strategies allocated to listed equities, a unique position to influence asset owners through its investment consultant role and a commitment to long-term active management, River and Mercantile is extremely well positioned to capitalise on the opportunities, while mitigating risks, that ESG presents.
“Several sustainability mega-trends are emerging where financial institutions play an important role, like rapidly increasing awareness of climate change and drive to achieve 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.”
Group chief executive James Barham added: “ESG has been a key part of our investment thinking for many years as has our clients’ interest and awareness of the importance of sustainable investing. This appointment will enable us to enhance our commitments and continue to deliver exciting ESG investment opportunities to both current and future clients.”
Alpha FMC boosts ESG and responsible investment leadership team
1 February 2021
Alpha FMC has hired Troy Mortimer as a director as part of its ESG and responsible investment leadership team.
Mortimer joins from KPMG where he was head of sustainability and responsible investment. The firm said he brings extensive experience working globally across multiple asset classes and for various participants in the asset management industry.
Stuart McNulty, Alpha FMC global chief client officer and head of UK AWM, said: “Troy Mortimer has a fantastic reputation in the industry and brings a wealth of experience. Our expansion of the ESG & RI team reflects a fantastic opportunity for us to transform our industry towards a more sustainable future, and I am delighted to welcome Troy to the team.”
Mortimer added: “What impressed me most about Alpha is the combination of the team’s pipeline and track record in delivering top notch ESG and RI transformation projects for its clients; the integrity, authenticity and technical expertise of its people; and how Alpha as a corporate is ‘walking the talk’ of ESG by its commitment to report on its own performance using SASB.
“Globally, the wealth and asset management industry faces some significant challenges with respect to ESG data, regulation, evolving operating models and ever increasing stakeholder demands. I look forward to sharing my expertise in sustainability, responsible investment, due diligence, and reporting to help our clients confront these challenges and become exemplary responsible investors.”
EQ Investors hires Victoria Hasler to head fund research
27 January 2021
Hasler joins the wealth manager from Square Mile Investment Consulting and Research where she was research and consulting director. She left that position in April, as first revealed by Portfolio Adviser.
In her new role at EQ, Hasler will lead the team of analysts and be responsible for fund research. She will also research asset class and portfolio construction ideas for client portfolios and monitoring services provided to them.
Hasler has 20 years’ investment and research experience. Before Square Mile, she held roles at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, Rothschild Private Bank and Brewin Dolphin.
EQ head of investing Sophie Kennedy said Hasler had “built up an impressive career in fund and ESG research over many years”.
“We are very pleased Victoria has chosen to join EQ and are confident she will be a hugely valuable addition to the business,” she added.
Hasler said: “I am excited to be taking on this role at a time where EQ is undergoing rapid growth across its sustainable strategies and ESG is becoming a core part of the investment process.
“I look forward to building on EQ’s well-established research capability in this space and working with such a knowledgeable and passionate team.”
NN IP expands sustainable and impact equity team
26 January 2021
NN Investment Partners (NN IP) has made three appointments to its sustainable and impact equity team.
Paul Schofield, Jeremy Kent and Pieter van Diepen will join the team as of 1 April. They will be based in London and The Hague.
Schofield joins from Allianz Global Investor (AllianzGI) and will be head of sustainable and impact equity, leading a team of 19 experienced investment professionals.
Kent will also join from AllianzGI and will be senior portfolio manager of NN IP’s sustainable equity funds.
van Diepen joins from Aberdeen Standard Investments and has been appointed NN IP’s head of the sustainable and equity analyst team. The analyst team is also adding three new analysts to the team: Giovanna Petti (environmental solutions and materials), Dirk-Jan Dirksen (digital transformation) and Jeff Meys (consumer trends).
Jeroen Bos, head of specialised equity and responsible investing at NN Investment Partners, said: “We are very pleased to welcome six new members to our team. Paul, Jeremy and Pieter bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in equity investing and sustainability to NN IP and are fully aligned with our responsible investment philosophy. They are well-positioned to directly add value to our sustainable and impact equity investment processes, benefitting our clients.”
BMO appoints climate change expert Caldecott to advisory council
25 January 2021
BMO Global Asset Management has appointed climate change expert Ben Caldecott to its responsible investment advisory council (RIAC).
The RIAC is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the standards by which BMO GAM’s responsible investment funds are run, as well as providing advice on wider ethical and sustainability issues.
Caldecott specialises in environment, energy and sustainability issues, and has held roles including founding director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.
ESG Clarity is also delighted to announce Caldecott will be taking part in a Twitter Q&A for readers in March. More information will be released in due course.
Caldecott founded and co-chairs the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment, an alliance of global research universities promoting rigorous and impactful academic research on sustainable finance, and will be hosting a Twitter Q&A with ESG Clarity on 18 March 2021 at 2pm GMT.
Kristi Mitchem, CEO of BMO Global Asset Management, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben to BMO GAM’s responsible investment advisory council. His insights into the role finance can play in addressing critical sustainability issues will complement the existing council members, and we look forward to drawing on his expertise.
“Asset managers have a unique and critical role to play in addressing climate risk, and we remain committed to challenging and expanding our knowledge in support of the transition to net zero.”
Caldecott added: “The allocation of capital is a key lever in speeding up the transition to environmental sustainability. BMO Global Asset Management has a long heritage in responsible investment and I am excited at the prospect of being part of the council’s endeavours.”
Keep an eye out for more information about the Twitter Q&A with Caldecott on 18 March 2021, and make sure to follow @ESGClarity.
MainStreet Partners makes two new hires
25 January 2021
MainStreet Partners has hired two new team members to help strengthen the firm’s ESG solutions.
Director Matteo Balicco joins the team from State Street Global Advisors where he was responsible for developing thought leadership and executing custom projects for clients across EMEA in the fields of asset allocation and portfolio construction, as well as working with global portfolio managers and strategists to design multi-asset investment solutions.
Research analyst Liron Mannie joins from PwC’s sustainability and climate change consulting division. Mannie completed his MSc in environmental economics and climate change and holds CFA Level 1 and CFA ESG investing certifications.
Rodolfo Fracassi, managing director of MainStreet Partners, said: “Integrating ESG factors into investment strategies and solutions has been gathering pace over the past decade. It is fair to say that 2020 saw this interest take on a fever pitch. More and more investors are keen to understand the sustainability profile of their assets and develop investment strategies that lessen the environmental impact and contribute to sustainable, social and governance improvements.
“We aim to reduce the gap between data providers and investors, helping them to develop strong and clear principles, underpinned by robust investment practices. As this demand is only increasing, we are excited to welcome Matteo and Liron to ensure we provide all our clients the deepest level of data analytics and dedicated advisory necessary to build ESG solutions that stack up in principles and financially.”
EdenTree names Jupiter’s Charlie Thomas as CIO
20 January 2021
EdenTree Investment Management has named Charlie Thomas as its CIO following his exit from Jupiter after 20 years.
Thomas, who joins the business in Q2, has been tasked with “reinvigorating” EdenTree’s product range as the firm prepares for its next phase of growth.
He takes over from Sue Round, who had been acting CIO since last October, following Robin Hepworth’s decision to step back from the role after eight years to concentrate on his fund manager duties. Round remains at EdenTree in her primary role as deputy chairwoman, driving EdenTree’s focus on the responsible and sustainable investment space.
Thomas’s appointment came just hours after Jupiter announced he would be leaving the business after 20 years. He had been Jupiter’s head of strategy, environment and sustainability, and managed more than £800m worth of sustainable and ESG funds, including the group’s £672m Ecology fund.
Following his departure Abbie Llewellyn-Waters has been promoted to head of sustainable investing and former boss Edward Bonham Carter has taken on a new role focusing on the company’s stewardship and corporate responsibility activities.
EdenTree CEO Andy Clark said: “Charlie was one of the few industry figures that could bring such a high level of expertise and experience to a business that has led the responsible and sustainable investment market for more than 30 years under Sue’s guidance.
“We are committed to delivering excellence to our clients and Charlie further strengthens our ability to do that.”
Allianz GI installs new managers on £1.3bn sustainability fund
19 January 2021
Allianz Global Investors is installing new managers on its £1.3bn Global Sustainability strategy as portfolio leads Paul Schofield and Jeremy Kent gear up to leave the business at the end of Q1, reported ESG Clarity‘s sister title Portfolio Adviser.
The fund house confirmed Schofield and Kent would be leaving to “pursue other opportunities” at the end of March. Schofield has spent the last 20 years at Allianz GI, while Kent has 13 years under his belt at the asset manager.
Schofield has been involved with the Global Sustainability fund since 2001, with Kent stepping on as deputy manager in 2013 after nearly five years as an ESG analyst.
The €1.4bn Sicav has delivered returns of 7% versus the average fund’s 15.5% return compared with peers in the FO Equity – Ethical sector over the past year, according to data from Trustnet.
On a three- and five-year view, returns are consistent with the sector average at 34.8% and 107.3%.
The pair will be replaced on the fund by global director of research Gunnar Miller and portfolio manager Robbie Miles. Allianz GI said Schofield and Kent would be working closely with the incoming managers in the interim to “ensure a smooth handover”.
Allianz GI said in a statement: “Gunnar is not only very familiar with global equity markets but also with the sustainable investing approach of Global Sustainability.”
“As the global director of research, he has been instrumental to integrating the analysis of ESG factors across the investment platform.”
Miles has over 10 years of sustainable investing experience and was previously part of the research team, the firm added. He will be relocating back to London from San Francisco following his appointment.
Barclays appoints global head of ESG research
19 January 2021
Barclays has hired Marie Freier as managing director, global head of ESG research, from Sanford Bernstein.
Freier will be based in London and will lead the bank’s integration of ESG into fundamental research products, leading the collaboration across teams in different regions and asset classes.
Her role includes working alongside credit and equity analysts to assess how ESG attributes impact financial risks and valuations across sectors and companies.
Marie joins from Sanford Bernstein, where she worked for six years as head of European product management and, most recently, as both co-head of European sales and global head of ESG.
Commenting on the appointment global head of research at Barclays Jeff Meli said:
“We are thrilled to have someone with Marie’s calibre and experience joining Research and leading such a strategically important part of the business. Her appointment underscores our commitment to expanding and differentiating our ESG offering for clients.”
RWC hires head of sustainability and integration
11 January 2021
RWC Partners has appointed Chris Anker as head of sustainability and integration.
Anker joins from Columbia Threadneedle, where he was senior analyst, responsible investment policy, and will be responsible for leading and coordinating RWC’s ESG activities.
He will work closely with both RWC’s investment and central teams, and report to executive committee member Arthur Grigoryants, head of investment strategy and ESG.
Grigoryants said: “The regulatory and client environment in relation to ESG is rapidly evolving and presents one of the key opportunities for investment organisations and asset owners in coming years. RWC manages portfolios for some of the most advanced institutional ESG thinkers in the world. We are taking the opportunity to increase our resources devoted to collaboration, implementation and reporting of our ESG activities across our client portfolios.
“As a pure active manager, ESG considerations play a crucial part in every investment decision we make. Chris’ recruitment is a reflection of the opportunities we see to leverage our scale, enhance the quality of our ESG activities and develop our approach to collaboration.”
Aviva Investors hires impact analyst
11 January 2021
Aviva Investors has hired Vaidehee Sachdev in a new role as impact analyst on its global sustainable outcomes team.
Vaidehee joins from ShareAction, where she led a number of projects, including the Workforce Disclosure Initiative. In her new role she will be responsible for leading research and engagement campaigns on social issues as well as working with companies ranked in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark launched in December, and the Social Benchmark due to be launched this year by the World Benchmarking Alliance.
Prior to ShareAction, Vaidehee worked at Global Witness on supply chain and corruption and has several years’ experience within NGO’s and research consultancies focusing on social justice, human rights, labour rights, and environment.
Reporting to head of sustainable outcomes Marte Borhaug, Vaidehee’s work will strengthen Aviva Investor’s sustainable outcomes range.
Borhaug said: “We’re so pleased to welcome Vaidehee – as the social purpose of companies and markets are increasingly under scrutiny, her extensive experience and proven track record in tackling social issues by driving change with companies and investors will make sure Aviva Investors remains at the forefront of responsible investing.”
ODDO BHF hires new head of ESG strategy
6 January 2021
European asset manager ODDO BHF AM has hired Martina Macpherson in a new role as head of ESG strategy for asset management and private equity.
Macpherson has held several sustainability positions in Germany, Switzerland and the UK over the past 20 years. Most recently, she was senior vice-president ESG & engagement strategy at Moody’s. Prior to that she was in charge of ESG at various financial institutions including Foreign & Colonial and Insight IM in London.
This new role sees Macpherson join the firm’s executive committees and she will be responsible for further integrating ESG into the firm’s activities, as well as engaging in work towards a harmonised ESG framework in Europe.
Nicolas Chaput, CEO of ODDO BHF Asset Management and ODDO BHF Private Equity, said: “Thanks to her expertise, Martina will be our clients’ ally in integrating ESG criteria into portfolios and understanding their impact on the environment and society. We are convinced that taking these criteria into account is value-creating for the investment.”
Big Society Capital adds women’s champion to investment committee
6 January 2021
Big Society Capital has hired Lisa Hilder to its investment committee.
Hilder has championed women’s issues for more than 30 years. She is currently a director at the Hull Women’s Network (HWN) and has partnered with Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) to design the Social and Sustainable Housing fund, which has invested £3m for high-net-worth individuals to buy 49 properties for women fleeing domestic violence since launching in 2019.
She has also more recently worked with Big Society Capital and fund managers Resonance and Patron Capital to shape the Women in Safe Homes Fund, which launched in December 2020. It aims to raise £100m towards providing safe and affordable homes for women experiencing challenging circumstances, including domestic abuse.
Replacing Fiona Ellis, who joined the investment committee as an interim member in September 2020, Hilder will join the nine other members to meet once every fortnight to monitor performance and review upcoming investment ideas.
Hilder said: “I have an ongoing and committed interest in social investment and the potential for new funding models to help in the delivery of public sector services, placing responsibility and autonomy for delivery in the hands of local organisations – who know their communities, and have a unique insight into the challenges and opportunities they present.
“Being part of Big Society Capital’s Investment Committee will hopefully help me to shape investment that can generate the best possible impact for communities across the UK.”
Stephen Muers, CEO at Big Society Capital, added: “We had a fantastic field of candidates for the role, but Lisa stood out due to the relevance of her experience in co-designing social investment solutions to support a range of communities across the UK.
“We’re confident that she will make a strong contribution across the board, and I look forward to hearing her perspective, drawn from her extensive work with local communities to solve social issues.”
Aegon Asset Management creates new head of inclusion and diversity role
5 January 2021
Hudson joins from Invesco, where since 2018 she has been EMEA head of diversity and inclusion (D&I), establishing the firm’s D&I programme. In her new role Hudson will be responsible for engaging on D&I issues both internally and externally, and will be a member of Aegon’s senior management group, giving her access to the firm’s management board.
Aegon hopes by creating this new role, the company will be able to “underscore the importance of inclusion and diversity to our organisation”.
Jane Daniel, global chief risk and compliance officer, who Hudson will report to, said: “Ensuring we create a strategic and consistent approach to all inclusion and diversity initiatives will accelerate our efforts and also serve to boost and expand on the significant work of our inclusion and diversity teams to date.”
She added: “We are committed to embracing inclusion and diversity and affecting positive, enduring change. Becoming more inclusive and diverse is not only a key objective for our business but a duty to the societies in which we live and work.”
HSBC GAM’s director of responsible investment joins GAM for global role
10 December 2020
HSBC Global Asset Management’s director of responsible investment Stephanie Maier is to join GAM to head up its global sustainable and impact investments.
Maier had worked at HSBC GAM for three and a half years and previously spent almost seven years at Aviva Investors as head of responsible investment strategy and research, and head of corporate responsibility.
In the newly created role at GAM which she starts on 4 January, Maier will be responsible for leading the group’s sustainable investment and ESG strategy and strengthening the firm’s ESG proposition for clients.
She said: “We are now at an inflection point for sustainable investing and I am looking forward to joining the firm, working with some of the industry’s best investment talent, to harness GAM’s capabilities to deliver differentiated and impactful ESG solutions for clients.”
Peter Sanderson, group CEO at GAM, also commented: “Covid-19 has served to further reinforce the importance of ESG considerations both to GAM and to our clients and Stephanie’s appointment represents our continued commitment to providing the investment leadership, innovation and sustainable thinking required to meet our clients’ needs.”
CapGen recruits economist to chair ESG committee
2 December 2020
Investment advisory firm Capital Generation Partners has hired Dimitri Zenghelis as chair of its Responsible Wealth Committee.
Economist Zenghelis was until recently head of policy at the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics (LSE) and acting chief economist for the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. He also set up the Wealth Economy Project at the Bennett Institute at the University of Cambridge and is a senior visiting fellow at LSE.
Charlotte Thorne, founding partner at CapGen, commented on the appointment: “Dimitri is a leading force in the movement towards a more sustainable future through growth and innovation; an approach that echoes our own values as both business owners, and allocators of capital.
“We firmly believe that economic growth, investment, and innovation are likely to be the key drivers of sustainability in the future, and as such, we have a responsibility to help our clients to deploy capital in a way that supports these efforts over time. Dimitri’s deep expertise will be an invaluable support to us and our clients, and I sincerely look forward to working with him.”
Earlier this year, CapGen launched the Responsible Wealth initiative; a strategy led by Thorne to ensure the firm is positioned to meet and manage the social and environmental challenges the world faces in all parts of the business. The Responsible Wealth Committee is a key element of this initiative and, additionally, CapGen has become a signatory of the UN PRI, fully embedded ESG into its investment framework and had every member of the investment team sign up for the CFA Certificate in ESG Investing.
Thorne added: ““As allocators of family capital, we have three ultimate goals in mind; to compound capital, to avoid capital loss, and to do the right thing. Given the multitude of social and environmental challenges faced by the world today, this third tenet is a vital element of our work for clients.”
M&G hires head of stewardship and sustainability
26 November 2020
M&G has appointed Rob Marshall as head of its new stewardship and sustainability team.
The new 13-strong team will be supported, among others, by head of impact Ben Constable-Maxwell, who told ESG Clarity investors have a “major role to play in calling for better disclosures from companies”.
Jack Daniels, chief investment officer of M&G, said: “Our customers want to know that we’re investing in the right way: supporting their financial goals by considering how their investments affect – and are affected by – what’s happening in our society and environment.
“Our new stewardship and sustainability team will play a central role in ensuring ESG is at the heart of how we invest as a leading global asset manager and asset owner.”
Marshall has led M&G’s credit research team and more recently the global research equity and credit team since 2017.
He said: “We are rising to the unprecedented environmental and societal challenges the world faces by further building our capabilities to invest sustainably and responsibly while continuing to deliver the long term performance customers want; stepping up our active engagement with investee companies to ensure the right changes are being made, particularly on climate change risks; and continuing to innovate for our customers in the products and reporting we provide.”
Janus Henderson hires head of ESG
3 November 2020
Asset manager Janus Henderson has appointed Paul LaCoursiere as global head of ESG investments at the firm.
With the creation of this new role, the firm hopes to focus on ESG principles that support long-term sustainable business practices, and LaCoursiere will be responsible for the integration of ESG across all the firm’s strategies.
LaCoursiere joins from Aviva Investors, where he was global head of ESG research. Prior to that he LaCoursiere has held senior portfolio manager, client portfolio manager, and senior fixed income strategist roles with Chicago Equity Partners, Barclays Global Investors, and Munder Capital Management.
Enrique Chang, global chief investment officer at Janus Henderson, said: “There is a correlation between the evaluation of ESG factors and identifying companies that will grow and succeed in the future. With Paul’s hire, Janus Henderson is demonstrating how seriously we take ESG considerations.”
Polar Capital hires head of sustainability
26 October 2020
Specialist active asset manager Polar Capital has appointed Alexander Macdonald to a newly formed role as group head of sustainability.
Macdonald, who has been at Polar Capital for five years, takes up the role from his previous position in the client services team, where he has been increasingly focused on responsible investment and ESG. “Sustainability and ESG factors are essential to the investment community worldwide, as capital allocators and responsible stewards of our clients’ capital,” he said.
As well as leading Polar Capital’s focus on sustainability within the business, he will be in charge of further integrating ESG factors into the firms’ portfolios. He will also chair a new committee charged with identifying key regulatory and legal initiatives in sustainability and ESG.
Sandy Black, CIO of Polar Capital, said: “Zandy’s appointment is a vital step in Polar Capital’s integration of ESG factors into our investment strategy. Responsible investing is becoming ever more important in the financial industry.”
AllianceBernstein hires pair for responsible investment team
21 October 2020
AllianceBernstein has made two hires in London with Jodie Tapscott joining as director of strategy, responsible investing and Amelia Sexton filling the role of ESG product specialist.
The pair will be responsible for driving the firm’s responsible investing strategy, positioning and initiatives to meet growing client demand for responsible investing.
Joining with over 15 years in asset management experience, Tapscott moves across from director, client relations and head of Asia ex Japan at Sustainalytics where she was responsible for leading business development, client relations and ESG research in the region. She has also worked at Colonial First State, AMP Capital and Mercer Investments.
Meanwhile, Sexton was recently head of ethical, sustainable and thematic investment at Holden & Partners, where she developed and managers the group’s sustainable investment philosophy and selection criteria and facilitated the growth of these portfolios.
Tapscott will report into Michelle Dunstan, global head of responsible investing at AllianceBernstein, while Sexton will report into Scott Krauthamer, global head of product management and strategy.
“Our aim is to put responsible investing at the heart of what we do, through ESG integration across all our strategies, our portfolios for purpose, our thought leadership and our partnership with the Columbia Earth Institute.
“We are building an ESG team that can deliver the differentiated insight and results that today’s invest need. Jodie’s outstanding industry expertise and consistent focus on implementation, along with Amelia’s depth of knowledge, will be fantastic assets.”
T Rowe Price hires global diversity head
20 October 2020
T Rowe Price has hired Raymone Jackson as global head of diversity and inclusion, working from its Baltimore office.
In his new role, Jackson will be responsible for the firm’s global diversity and inclusion strategy, overseeing current diversity and inclusion programs and creating new strategies to help the group attraction, develop and retain diverse employees.
He will work with the firm’s management committee, Black Leadership Council and other employee-led groups that engage with female, LGBTQ+, Black, Latinx, Asian, and veteran associates to ensure T Rowe is running focused programs supporting these employees and the progress of the group.
Jackson moves across from Morgan Stanley where he was national diversity officer for the wealth management businesses. He also spent 17 years with Northwestern Mutual, including working as director of diversity and inclusion.
Bill Stromberg, T. Rowe Price president and CEO, said: “While we have made real progress over the last decade on our diversity journey, we know we have much further to go. We believe we are at an inflection point in that journey, and Raymone’s track record of success in attracting, developing, advancing, and retaining diverse talent in the financial services industry will accelerate our progress.”
AllianzGI recruits Christensen from AXA IM
8 October 2020
Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) has hired Matt Christensen as global head of sustainable and impact investing to accelerate the growth of the latter at the firm.
Based in the Paris office, Christensen will also be charged with leading the integrations of ESG factors across the group’s existing range of public market products, lead stewardship activities and support the development of new SRI strategies.
He is succeeding Beatrix Anton-Groenemeyer, who is retiring from her role as chief sustainability officer.
In his role of accelerating the growth of the company’s impact investing as part of its private markets platform, Christensen will have investment oversight of impact investments, which the group said is becoming an increasing part of its client proposition. AllianzGI said it will also be making further ESG hires to support Christensen in his new position.
Christensen will join in December from AXA Investment Managers, where he has been global head of responsible investment and impact strategy since 2011. He has also worked at think-tank Eurosif as founding executive director.
Deborah Zurkow, global head of investments for AllianzGI, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Matt Christensen to Allianz Global Investors. His reputation in impact and responsible Investing, together with his entrepreneurial spirit, make him a great fit for us and the direction we are committed to taking our client offering.
“Under his leadership, we will continue to invest in all aspects of sustainability from active stewardship and ESG integration to flagship impact strategies and more SRI-compliant products. Matt’s experience in impact investing is particularly significant given its position at the nexus of two strategic cornerstones for AllianzGI: the build-out of our private markets offering as well as sustainability.”
NN IP sustainable equity team set to join Neuberger Berman
2 October 2020
Neuberger Berman has recruited part of the global sustainable equity team from NN Investment Partners (NN IP), ESG Clarity understands.
A Morningstar analyst note revealed most of NNI IP’s sustainable equities team, that run the NN Global Sustainable Equity and NN Duurzaam Aandelen Fonds, are to leave the firm.
Team members set to join Neuberger Berman include lead manager of the above strategies Hendrik-Jan Boer, as well as two other portfolio managers Alex Zuiderwijk and Jeroen Brand. It is also understood that four analysts – Mark van der Geest, Aleksander Kushev, Camiel Mulders and Philip Chau – are also departing.
The Morningstar note said: “NN IP has announced that most team members of the group managing their sustainable equity strategies… will leave the firm. Following the departures, we place both funds ‘Under Review’.
“Hendrik-Jan Boer, who has been the long-tenured lead manager of these strategies since 2004 and who was instrumental to our conviction in this team given his vast experience in sustainable investing, has left NN IP. Alex Zuiderwijk and Jeroen Brand, the two other portfolio managers alongside Boer, resigned as well. Furthermore, four out of the seven dedicated analysts to these strategies also departed and will join the three portfolio managers at Neuberger Berman.
“The team lift is a very heavy loss for NN IP and especially for their sustainable equity strategies. Our main conviction in these funds was based on its team, as we especially held Boer in high regard.”
Neuberger Berman declined to comment on the appointments.
At NN IP, Morningstar said the departed team members have been replaced on an ad interim basis. Jeroen Bos, head of specialised equity and responsible investing, has taken over responsibility of leading the sustainable equity strategies, while day-to-day management of the strategies will be taken over by Ivo Luiten (currently portfolio manager on NN’s impact strategies), Pieter Schop (currently portfolio manager for NN IP’s global high dividend strategy), Hans Slob, and Oskar Tijs (currently both part of the dedicated analyst team for this strategy).
Neuberger Berman integrates ESG throughout its offerings and has some 150 ESG-focused analysts embedded across the portfolio management teams.
It also have four specific sustainable funds in its range including NB Japan Equity Engagement Fund, Emerging Markets Sustainable Equity Fund, Global High Yield Sustainable Action Fund and Emerging Market Debt Sustainable Investment Grade Bond Fund.
ESG Clarity has contacted NN IP for comment.
PRI’s Fabian appointed chair of European Platform on Sustainable Finance
2 October 2020
The European Commission (EC) has appointed Nathan Fabian, who has a senior role at the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment, as chair of the European Platform on Sustainable Finance.
Fabian will retain his role as chief responsible investment officer at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which he took over years ago after joining the PRI in 2015 as director of policy and research.
In his new role with the European Platform on Sustainable Finance, Fabian will lead 50 members to advise the EC on “the development of robust and science-based technical screening criteria for the EU Taxonomy, and policy development,”, the EC said in a statement.
“In response to the call for applications published in June 2020,” the statement continued, “the Commission selected 50 members and 9 special observers on the basis of their environmental, sustainable finance or social/human rights expertise.
“The Commission has also appointed Nathan Fabian, as chair of the Platform. Fabian has served as rapporteur for the taxonomy sub-group of the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG) and he has 15 years of professional experience in sustainable finance in government policy, investment research and ratings on companies, and the development of investment processes and tools.”
Fiona Reynolds, PRI CEO, commented: “We warmly congratulate Nathan Fabian on his appointment as chair of the European Commission’s Platform on Sustainable Finance, and are very pleased that he will also continue in his current role as Chief Responsible Investment Officer at PRI. The well-deserved appointment reflects Nathan’s tremendous depth of knowledge and experience in sustainable finance – including his time as Rapporteur for the Taxonomy Group of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance – will be a tremendous asset in the role.
“More broadly, the Platform is an important step forward for the EU, and sets a leading example for markets globally, in advancing responsible investment.”
In a blog entitled How good is good enough? Why the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance matters, Fabian said the Platform will respond to the “urgency of the sustainability transition by establishing a permanent public and private sector expert panel to develop sustainable finance policies and tools.”
He added the Platform’s mandate includes further development of the technical screening criteria for the EU’s Sustainable Taxonomy, as well as a review of potential social and significant harm criteria, as well as two further objectives – to monitor capital flows to sustainable finance and to undertake policy development on sustainable finance.
“For the first time, we will know how much of our capital is sustainable – and how much is not,” Fabian said.
Robeco recruits climate strategist
1 October 2020
Robeca has hired a climate strategist to help ensure further steps are taken in lowering the carbon footprint of the firm.
In his new role within the group’s SI Center of Expertise team, Lucian Peppelenbos will also chair gthe group’s climate change task force and also develop Robeco and RobecoSAM’s climate change strategy to ensure it remains leading practice.
He joins from APG Asset Management, where he was senior responsible investment and governance specialist, responsible for ESG integration in investment portfolios and engagement with investee companies with a focus on climate change.
“With his many years of experience we have found someone that can help further shape our climate strategy, and take our efforts to combat climate change aligned with the Paris Climate Agreement to the next level.”
Peppelenbos commented: “Robeco is a global leader in sustainable investing, and I am convinced that this, combined with my background, will lead to further concrete action for Robeco to progress towards a low-carbon economy.”
Robeco’s SI Center of Expertise brings together its investment professionals focused on sustainable investing. The center consists of four pillars: SI Thought Leadership, SI Client Portfolio Management, SI Research, and Active Ownership. The team is headed by van Lamoen, in addition to her role as Robeco’s head of active ownership.
Citi Research hires McBain from M&G
18 September 2020
Anita McBain has joined Citi Research as managing director, head of EMEA ESG research, after leaving her post at M&G Investments.
In her new role, McBain will work closely with research teams around the world including Zoe Whitton in Citi Research in Asia-Pacific and Jason Channell’s of Citi Global Insights in London.
Previously, she was head of responsible investment and ESG at M&G where she led ESG integration int the internal and external investment processes working with the equity and fixed income teams. Prior to M&G, McBain held a variety of roles in buy-side and sell-side firms in the climate change and sustainability sectors as well as in fixed income research.
HSBC GAM appoints head of fixed income ESG research
17 September 2020
HSBC Global Asset Management has promoted Rachida Mourahib to head of fixed income ESG and green research based in the Paris office.
She initially joined HSBC as ESG analyst in 2006 and has subsequently worked as an equity and credit analyst, specialising in pharmaceuticals and local authorities.
Sitting within the global credit research team in her new role, Mourahib will support all fixed income teams with ESG integration and engagement, and focus on thematic ESG research and delivering specific studies in relation to fixed income investments globally. She will also become a part of the firm’s global ESG fixed income and green bond approval committees.
Mourahib will report into global head of credit research Tina Radovic and also contribute to the firm’s global ESG research efforts headed by Xavier Desmadryl.
Xavier Baraton, global CIO of fixed income, private debt & alternatives, commented on the appointment: “Rachida’s appointment reinforces our commitment to constantly enhance ESG integration and further support the resilience and performance of clients’ portfolios. This role will also support our objective to provide our clients with pioneering solutions to enable them to make sustainable investments, notably in the transition to a lower carbon economy.”
HSBC GAM’s fixed income business represents $150bn in assets under management. Earlier this year, a group of major French institutional investors awarded its first Climate Objective Euro Fixed Income mandate to HSBC GAM France, with the aim to strengthen their action for carbon neutrality by 2050 by aligning their investment strategy with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Additionally, the group launched the HSBC Real Economy Green Investment Opportunity GEM Bond Fund in partnership with the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group.
PGIM Investments hires inaugural head of ESG research
11 September 2020
PGIM Investments has created the role of head of ESG research for new hire Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson.
Based in London, Unanyants-Jackson will be responsible for managing further strategic integration of ESG research across all elements of PGIM’s fixed income products. ESG considerations are fully integrated into this range with securities analysed using the firm’s proprietary ESG rating framework.
Unanyants-Jackson will also co-chair the ESG Committee alongside Temple Houston, head of global investment grade credit research.
Joining from Allianz Global Investors, where she was the global head of ESG research since 2016, Unanyants-Jackson will report to Rich Greenwood, head of credit and head of the London office for PGIM Fixed Income.
Greenwood said: “As more of our clients focus on the ESG credentials of their investments and seek more ESG-driven investment opportunities, we developed this role to broaden our ESG capabilities to provide our clients with the type of world class actively managed products they have come to expect from us.
“We are delighted that Eugenia has chosen to join us, bringing with her over a decade of specialist expertise in sustainable investment and ESG.”
Brooks Macdonald appoints head of responsible investment
8 September 2020
UK-listed wealth manager Brooks Macdonald has hired Ben Palmer as head of responsible investment.
This is a promotion for Palmer, who initially joined the firm via its graduate programme in 2011.
In his new role, he will lead Brooks Macdonald’s commitment to responsible investment, and work with advisers to better understand client aspirations and work to integrate these into the Responsible Investment Service (RIS) and decision-making processes. Palmer will also head up the RIS.
Brooks Macdonald has also announced the launch of a Sustainability Discussion Guide for advisers wishing to integrate their responsible investment preferences. It will identify strategies that match their clients’ responsible investment goals.
New head of responsible investment Palmer said: “We’ve already recognised that the pandemic has not diverted investors from responsible investing – if anything, it’s accelerated our ‘social’ awareness and we know we have a key role to play in helping advisers identify and provide suitable solutions for a growing number of clients. The evidence points to growth as we see businesses and organisations increasing their emphasis on sustainability and resilience, and responsible investment is very much tied to this economic trend, along with continuing government-led environmental policies.”
Caroline Connellan, CEO, added “We are delighted to appoint Ben Palmer as head of responsible investment and to lead the charge in the ESG and sustainability field. This is an exciting time for the business given the growth in the UK market for ESG and responsible investment. Brooks Macdonald is leading the way, bringing the best products and services to advisers and their clients, and ensuring we have the best people in place to lead this important offering.”
Ex-HSBC GAM boss takes Edentree CEO role
2 September 2020
Former HSBC Global Asset Management UK boss Andy Clark has landed at responsible asset manager Edentree Investment Management where he will take over as chief executive from Sue Round.
Clark exited HSBC Gam in March after eight years as chief executive of its UK fund arm amid an ongoing reshuffle of its senior management team and was replaced internally by Stuart White.
In his new role Clark will lead UK-based Edentree on its “next phase of growth as it seeks to expand its influence in the responsible and sustainable investment space,” a statement announcing his appointment said.
He takes the reins from acting chief executive Round from 14 September. Round will remain at the business, continuing as its deputy chairman and lead manager on the £115.8m Amity UK fund, which she launched in 1988.
Following his appointment Clark will also join the group management board of Ecclesiastical Insurance, Edentree’s parent company.
Ecclesiastical Insurance CEO Mark Hews said Clark was “the stand-out candidate to take on the baton” from Round and “embrace the future opportunities available to the business”.
Under Clark’s guidance HSBC Gam UK’s business grew its market share by expanding its external distribution channels and client partnerships, which helped it to become one of the top 10 asset managers from 2017 onwards, the press release said.
Prior to becoming the firm’s UK funds boss Clark was head of EMEA wholesale business. He was also previously DWS Investments’ CEO and head of retail distribution and worked as a UK sales director for Fidelity International.
Clark said he was proud to be joining Edentree which has been “leading the market in responsible and sustainable investing for more than 30 years” and has “set a strong growth mandate”.
He added: “What was immediately obvious to me was the strong culture at Edentree of existing to contribute to the greater good of society. Not just in terms of investment strategy but also in its unique charitable ownership structure. This leads to a proven authenticity, which clients want to see from their investment manager.”
PAM hires HSBC GAM multi-asset manager for SRI funds
17 August 2020
Pacific Asset Management (PAM) has hired Will Thomson from HSBC Global Asset Management (HSBC GAM) as a portfolio manager within the team responsible for the firm’s multi-asset SRI funds.
Reporting to PAM chief investment officer William Bartleet, Thompson will work on the SRI Cautious Growth and SRI Balanced Growth portfolios, alongside five other specialists.
At HSBC GAM, Thompson worked as senior portfolio manager on the multi-asset team from 2014, and was responsible for running HSBC Multi-Asset Sustainable, HSBC World Selection and HSBC Global Strategy funds. His career has also included stints as an intern analyst at the Bank of England and as analyst for Asset Risk Consultants.
Matthew Lamb, CEO of Pacific Asset Management, commented on the appointment:
“Pacific Asset Management continues to evolve into a truly sustainable fund management company, not just in terms of the funds we offer, but also how we conduct our business and engage with others.
“We believe that in years to come all investment will be sustainable without the need for separate ESG buckets and we want to be at the forefront of how that is implemented.
“Will brings huge experience of ESG multi-asset investing and will build on the very strong track record of our existing SRI funds, offering institutional-quality ESG investment management to the retail market.”
New joiner Thompson added: “I am very excited to join the team at Pacific. The entrepreneurial nature of the business and the huge support available to the investment managers makes this a unique opportunity to develop the suite of SRI multi-asset funds to meet the needs of different risk profiles, but also to help with the adoption of a more integrated approach to ESG throughout the business.”
GIG adds three to strengthen ESG practices
14 August 2020
Macquarie’s Green Investment Group (GIG) has recruited three industry figures to add to its responsible investment team expertise.
Professor David Viner has joined to lead the green impact advisory team. He will be responsible for developing the advisory team’s services, which provides methodology for best practise impact disclosure. It is used by all GIG investment teams and is now available for third-parties.
Vina has 25 years’ experience in climate science and is the lead author for the IPCC’s Working Group 2 Sixth Assessment Report and the IPCC’s Special report on Climate Change and Land use.
Meanwhile, Chris Morrison has joined to lead GIG’s distributed energy and energy technology activities in Europe. He will work alongside Edward Northam, GIG’s European head, and Greg Callman, GIG’s global head of energy technologies on the department’s initiatives including storage and e-mobility in the European market. Morrison was previously at Vitol, where he ran the UK energy storage business.
Thirdly, GIG has hired Ole Bigum Nielsen to lead the business’ asset creation and management team, as well as oversee GIG’s global offshore wind project delivery activities. He was formerly CEO of Vattenfall Vindkraft and joins GIG from Statkfraft where he was responsible for the delivery of the company’s development and construction projects.
Edward Northam, head of GIG Europe, said: “These new appointments not only strengthen the depth of expertise at GIG, but also highlight the increasing breadth of activity that we are pursuing. From pioneering green impact reporting, to project development and the creation of commercial solutions for cutting edge technologies, GIG continues to evolve its offering to meet the needs of this fast-moving market. David, Chris and Ole bring a wealth of experience in their respective fields and their appointments will ensure GIG remains a driving force of the green transition.”
Federated Hermes expands impact team with double hire
23 July 2020
Federated Hermes has made two new hires to its Impact Opportunities team from Jupiter Asset Management and Titan Capital Management, in response to increasing demand for sustainable investment solutions.
Amélie Thévenet will join the team from Jupiter in September and will be a director, with a view to becoming a co-manager on the Federated Hermes Impact Opportunities fund in due course.
Jordan Patel joins in July from Titan Capital as senior analyst. Both will be based on London and report to Ingrid Kukuljan, head of impact investing.
Thévenet will be responsible for making investment decisions and work closely with Kukuljan and co-manager Martin Todd to pick stocks for the fund. She previously worked together with Kukuljan at Jupiter, where she spent 13 years in total, latterly as a global emerging market equities manager.
Patel’s role will be to provide company-specific and thematic research which will include the analysis of SDG-related themes for incorporation into investment appraisals. He was an equity analyst at Titan for three years.
Eoin Murray, head of investment at the international business of Federated Hermes, said: “Demand for sustainable investing has been on the rise and we have seen this accelerated further as the pandemic has put the need for sustainable solutions under the spotlight.
“The addition of Amélie and Jordan to the Impact team firmly bolsters what is an already heavy-weight franchise. Their core beliefs of finding impactful companies to generate long-term wealth is highly aligned with that of our clients and prospects and I am excited to see what this team is able to achieve with this added firepower.”
Morningstar promotes Bioy to director of sustainability research
21 July 2020
Hortense Bioy has been promoted to Morningstar’s director of sustainability research for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC) regions.
Bioy, who is also editorial panellist for ESG Clarity, most recently served as Morningstar’s director of passive strategies and sustainability research, Europe.
In her new role, she will be responsible for driving the group’s sustainability research across EMEA and APAC. The firm said it created this role to reflect its growing commitment to ESG research including the recently completed acquisition of Sustainalytics.
Bioy is based in London and will report to Jeffrey Ptak, head of manager of research. He said: “Given Hortense’s passion for ESG and our ambitions in this area, we felt now was a logical time to fully dedicate her to sustainability research. We’re excited about Hortense helping us to further advance our goal of imprinting ‘investors first’ values on sustainable investing through insightful analysis and thought leadership in her new role.”
JPMAM hires Amundi veteran for Japan stewardship role
21 July 2020
JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) has appointed Shizuko Ohmi as head of investment stewardship for Japan.
She joins following a 17-year stint at Amundi Japan where she was head of equity research and strategy, and most recently head of the group’s ESG department since its inception in 2015. During this time, JPMAM said she has actively led engagement with Japanese companies on sustaibaility issues, with a focus on climate change and diversity.
Ohmi has also previously been a member of Japan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry working group where she formed guidance on climate risk disclosure to ensure compliance with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, and worked with Japan’s Cabinet Office to research women’s advancement.
In her new role with JPMAM, she will be based in Tokyo reporting to Jennifer Wu, global head of sustainable investing.
Wu said: “Ohmi-san has extensive expertise from more than 20 years as an equity research analyst, much of it covering industries such as chemicals, textiles and oil exploration and refineries. With a dedicated focus on ESG since 2015, she brings impressive technical and analytical knowledge together with a dedicated focus on sustainability and corporate governance.”
Gresham House recruits sustainable investment director
14 July 2020
Gresham House has hired Rebecca Craddock-Taylor in the newly-created role of director of sustainable investment, reports Portfolio Adviser.
Craddock-Taylor will develop and integrate the company’s sustainable investment policies across its strategic equity and real assets products.
She joins from Univest where she was an ESG strategist, developing the company’s sustainability framework across its investment approach. Prior to this, she was an investment consultant and responsible investment adviser at pensions consultancy Hymans Robertson, where she helped clients develop and enhance their responsible investment and ESG approach.
In March, Gresham House announced a five-year strategy, GH25, to become a recognised leader in sustainable investment. The company’s investment process is aligned to the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and it is a signatory of the Principles of Responsible Investment.
In the past year, the company has established a sustainable investing committee which ensures sustainable investment policies are ingrained across each stage of the investment process and across stakeholder groups.
Gresham House chief executive Tony Dalwood said: “We’re delighted to welcome Rebecca to the senior team at a time when Gresham House is taking meaningful steps to ensure that sustainable investing is embedded across the business.”
Craddock-Taylor said: “Gresham House has an authentic commitment to sustainability and I am excited to be joining the firm at a time when environmental and social factors have been shown to have such a profound effect on our economic systems.
“My dedication to sustainability will ensure I support Gresham House’s plans to become a leader in sustainable investment. I thoroughly look forward to taking our current approach into the next phase of development.”
Rathbones hires duo for Greenbank Investments
14 July 2020
Rathbone Greenbank Investments has made two hires to its ethical, sustainable and impact investment team.
Sophie Lawrence joins Greenbank’s in-house research team as a senior researcher, responsible for assessing the social and environmental performance of investments as well as conducting bespoke ESG and impact reporting for clients. She will also managfe engagement activities on topics such as climate change and healthy food.
Previously, Lawrence worked at Barclays Bank and most recently at KKS Advisors, where she specialised in sustainable investment.
Meanwhile, David Nicholsby has joined the investment team as an investment manager specialising in managing ethical portfolios on behalf of private clients, trusts and charities. He previously worked at Courtiers Asset Management where he was responsible for researching global equities, developing equity screening models, monitoring collective investment funds and managing Courtiers’ ethical strategy.
John David, head of Rathbone Greenbank Investments, commented: “Sophie and David both share our ambition to facilitate deeper, long-term human, business, and institutional change through investing in organisations that are consistent with a low-carbon, healthy and equitable society.
“They join us at a pivotal time, as we continue to push the frontier in ethical, sustainable and impact investment forward. Our vision is to become the natural home for investors seeking to align their investments with the change they want to see in the world.”
Aegon AM adds to responsible investment team
6 July 2020
Aegon Asset Management (Aegon AM) has made some changes to its responsible investment (RI) team including two new hires.
Miranda Beacham has been promoted to senior responsible investment manager, having previously co-founded the UK RI team. She has worked at Kames Capital, soone to become Aegon AM, in 1995. Working with the Edinburgh-based team, she will support ESG research and solutions for the group’s equity investment platform, but primarily lead stewardship activities in the UK.
Meanwhile, Aegon AM has hired Retno Kusumaningtyas as a senior responsible investment associate, based in The Hague to work on ESG and impact research for the firm’s fixed income investment platform, as well as supporting the new ESG partnership with ABN AMRO. Kusumaningtyas joins from consultancy firm Profundo Research and Advice.
Both Beacham and Kusumaningtyas will report to Brunno Maradei, global head of responsible investment.
|Also joining the Edinburgh office, Georgina Laird has been recruited into the role of sustainable investment analyst, reporting to Beacham. Her responsibilities include monitoring and analysing ESG factors within the company’s Global Sustainable Equity strategy. She previously worked within Kames Capital’s ESG research team in 2017, before moving to Australia where she worked at Uniting Ethical Investors as ethics and impact manager. |
Maradei said: “Miranda’s expertise has played a key role in the evolution of our responsible investment capabilities, including the development of our ethical strategies, engaging and voting on our active equity positions, driving ESG integration across investment processes and the development of our Global Sustainable Equity strategy.
“Both Retno and Georgina are experienced responsible investment specialists with wide-reaching skills and knowledge. We are delighted to have Georgina back and to welcome Retno to the Aegon Asset Management team.”
Polar emerging market team boosts ESG credentials with Newton hire
6 July 2020
Polar Capital has hired Newton fund manager Naomi Waistell to boost its Emerging Market Stars team’s ESG credentials after its shift from Nordea Asset Management in 2018.
Waistell spent 10 years at Newton Investment Management, most recently as a fund manager in the emerging market and Asian equities team with a focus on ESG.
She has become co-manager on the £91.3m Polar Capital Emerging Market Stars fund, launched in July 2018, reporting directly to Jorry Nøddekær who joined Polar in June 2018 along with a three-strong team from Nordea Asset Management.
Chelsea Financial Services managing director Darius McDermott said the Emerging Market Stars team has always had ESG in its process but was previously fed centrally from Nordea’s ESG team. “They don’t have that at Polar and hence the addition to the team,” he added.
At Newton, Waistell co-chaired several investment theme groups and was part of the firm’s sustainable investor group.
She began her career as an associate at Praefinium Partners Investment Management in 2007 before moving to the financial consultancy arm of the Capita Group in 2009.
Polar Capital chief executive Gavin Rochussen said Waistell’s appointment “will provide additional depth and experience to the Emerging Market Stars team”.
“Her fundamental focus on ESG is core to the team’s philosophy and makes her a perfect fit for Polar Capital,” he added. “Her investment approach is fully aligned with that of Jorry and the team, complementing their strategy.”
Waistell said: “I strongly believe in the team’s investment approach and principles and am looking forward to bringing my experience and knowledge of responsible investing to the business.”
Capital Group names Schroders’ Jessica Ground as global head of ESG
19 June 2020
Capital Group has named Jessica Ground as global head of ESG, a day after it was announced she is leaving Schroders after 20 years.
Ground will join Capital Group’s London office in September and be responsible for incorporating its ESG approach into the investment process globally. She will work with teams across investment groups, distribution, marketing and technology.
On Wednesday Schroders announced Ground, who has been with the firm since 1997, was leaving her role as global head of stewardship to “take the next step in her career”. Head of sustainable research Andy Howard has been promoted to global head of sustainable investment.
At Schroders, Ground was responsible for leading a team of ESG analysts and corporate governance specialists integrating ESG across geographies and asset classes. During her two decades at the firm, she worked as a fund manager on the UK equity team and as a research analyst covering financials and utilities.
Ground is also chair of the Investment Association’s stewardship committee and board member of the Investor Forum.
Capital Group vice chairman Rob Lovelace said: “We’re delighted to appoint someone of Jessica’s calibre and experience to work with our teams to further integrate ESG at Capital Group. ESG is an area of great strategic importance for us and our clients, and we will continue to invest resources to it.”
Ground added: “Investors increasingly place ESG considerations as a top priority to inform their investment decisions. I look forward to working alongside the experienced Capital Group team to further integrate ESG factors into the firm’s investment process and deliver services that align with clients’ growing expectations.”
McSherry joins Neuberger Berman ESG team
18 June 2020
Neuberger Berman has appointed Caitlin McSherry as director of investment stewardship on the investing team.
She will work directly with the group’s portfolio managers and research analysts on engaging with companies, and also oversee the firm’s proxy voting processes. She reports to Jonathan Bailey, head of ESG investing at Neuberger Berman.
McSherry joins from State Street Global Advisors where she developed and implemented the firm’s global proxy voting guidelines and led engagements with management and board in her role as vice president and ESG analyst.
Bailey commented: “As an active manager, engagement is at the heart of our investment processes across asset classes. Caitlin will be an important partner to our portfolio managers in seeking to affect positive change while delivering value for clients. We look forward to her continuing our industry-leading innovation in proxy voting and engagement.”
DWS hires group sustainability officer
18 June 2020
European asset manager DWS has recruited Desiree Fixler from US alternative investment specialist ZAIS as group sustainability officer.
Fixler takes the newly-created role in the London office in August, and will report to CEO Asoka Woehrmann.
She will be charged with ensuring the firm’s ESG cstrategy is implemented and consistent across all regions, as well as orchestrating all of DWS’s sustainability efforts globally across the entire value chain.
As well as working at ZAIS, where was portfolio manager and managing director for impact investing, her career has included stints at JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch.
CEO Woehrmann said: “The appointment of our GSO is a huge step for us in creating a holistic approach to ESG at DWS. Desiree has a fantastic track record in responsible investing, as well as valuable experience in global capital markets and product innovation. Her proven ability to develop ESG risk management, policy and reporting frameworks also makes her the perfect fit to elevate DWS’s status to become a leading ESG asset manager globally.”
Schroders’ Howard steps up to lead ESG team
17 June 2020
Schroders global head of stewardship Jessica Ground is leaving the business after more than 20 years.
The firm announced on Wednesday that Ground, who joined Schroders as a graduate in 1997, is leaving to “take the next step in her career”.
Head of sustainable research Andy Howard has been promoted to global head of sustainable investment and will take on leadership of the sustainable investment team, reporting to global head of investment Charles Prideaux.
Ground has held several roles within Schroders’ investment division and the firm said she had been influential in the evolution of its approach to stewardship and its sustainability credentials.
“She leaves with our thanks and best wishes for the future,” a press release said.
Howard joined Schroders in 2016 and played a key role in the development of the company’s proprietary ESG toolkit which contains SustainEx, its impact measurement tool.
Prideaux said: “We recognise that our ability to deliver value to our clients hinges on developing and applying sustainability insights that will strengthen performance and meet their increasing ESG outcome requirements.
“Andy Howard’s appointment will ensure our sustainable investment strategy continues to focus on developing these insights and integrating them into our investment platform as well as into our stewardship agenda.
“We would like to thank Jessica Ground for all her hard work and dedication to Schroders and wish her the very best in the future.”
JPMAM adds four to sustainable investing team
3 June 2020
JP Morgan Asset Management (JPMAM) has recruited four new hires to its global sustainable investing team.
The group unveiled a series of initiatives earlier this year to boost its commitment to sustainable investments including the development of a proprietary ESG framework, prioritising investment stewardship work in five key areas, as well as signing up to Climate Action 100+.
The most recent hires build on that commitment, said Jennifer Wu, global head of sustainable investing at the firm, as it advances its sustainable investing solutions for clients.
After 22 years at JPMAM, Carlos Varela has joined the sustainable investing team as global strategist for Sustainable Investing. Based in Madrid, he will lead a team responsible for developing JPMAM’s suite of sustainable products and work with clients to create tailored investment solutions. He will report into Wu.
Meanwhile, Juan Lois joins JPMAM from Wespath Benefits and Investments as strategist for sustainable investing covering the Americas. In his previous role, Lois led the firm’s sustainable investing activities including overseeing ESG integration, as well as research and product design for its impact investments.
Based in New York in his new role, he will report into Carela and focus on sustainable investing solutions for the Americas.
Furthermore, JPMAM has hired two global sustainable investing research and data analysts, Caspar Siegert and Angelo Drei, to support the build-out of JPMAM’s proprietary ESG scoring framework.
Siegert joins from the Bank of England, where he was responsible for assessing risks across a wide range of asset classes, and Drei joins from Amundi where he worked as quantitative research analyst. Both are based in London and report into Wu.
She said: “As we broaden our sustainable investing platform globally, building on the depth of ESG integration across our global buy-side research analysts, we will continue to invest in our climate research and analytics capabilities and in enhancing our Investment Stewardship efforts. This will include continuing to add talent as we further strengthen our corporate engagement.”
Gresham House hires forestry investment director
2 June 2020
David Gardner has joined Gresham House as investor director of its forestry division.
Reporting to managing director of the forestry division Olly Hughes, Gardner will be responsible for leading the international expansion of the business.
He will also support the distribution and asset management of the investment portfolio. Gresham House manages approximately 135,000 hectares worth in excess of £1.3bn, and runs a 4,074-hectare forestry portfolio in Ireland for AXA Investment Managers.
Gardner joins from US-based timberland investment managers Global Forest Partners where he was partner and director of investments for Asia for a decade. He has also held roles over his 30-year career at Pӧyry Management Consulting in both Malaysia and Singapore, Sappi Forests in South Africa, and the Economic Forestry Group in the UK.
Shaftesbury appoints head of sustainability
8 May 2020
Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Shaftesbury has hired Matt Smith from The Crown Estate as its new head of sustainability.
In the newly created role, Smith will report to the CEO Brian Bickell and focus on ensure the business continues to develop and implement its long-term sustainability and engagement strategy.
At The Crown Estate, Smith was head of sustainability (real estate) and was involved in the development of net zero carbon strategies and the creation of places that had a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing.
CEO Bickell commented: “Smith’s extensive experience will be extremely valuable to us as we continue to address all aspects of sustainability across our business. We are committed to operating in an environmentally sustainable way and minimising the environmental impact of both our operations, and those of our occupiers”.
HSBC GAM recruits Ridley for responsible investment role
6 May 2020
HSBC Global Asset Management has hired Michael Ridley as senior responsible investment specialist as the group sets its sights on impact investing products.
In the newly created role, Ridley will report to head of responsible investment Melissa McDonald and focus on further building the firm’s sustainable proposition including the development of an impact investing capability, defining the sustainable investment criteria and setting market standards for sustainable infrastructure.
He will also lead the engagement with partners in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and development finance institutions in establishing the Principles for Sustainable Infrastructure as an asset class.
Ridley joins from HSBC’s global banking and markets business where he was global head of ESG fixed income research and has also worked at German development agency GIZ, Mizuho International, Amias Berman, The Carbon Trust and Citigroup.
Morgan Stanley IM hires sustainability heads
6 May 2020
Morgan Stanley Investment Management’s (MSIM) has made two appointments to head up its sustainability strategies in London and New York.
Emily Chew has joined MSIM’s New York office as global head of sustainability to lead the investment business’ sustainability strategy and governance efforts. She is tasked with leading a centralised team that will develop MSIM’s ESG investment integration standards, help to launch ESG thematic product, advise clients on sustainability matters, and produce sustainability data, tools and research in support of MSIM investment teams.
She will report into Ted Eliopoulos and Rui de Figueiredo, and co-report to Audrey Choi as well as working closely with the group’s global sustainable finance team.
Chew was previously the global head of ESG for Manulife Investment Management and the Chair of the Steering Committee for Climate Action 100+, and is a member of PRI’s Listed Equities Integration Subcommittee.
Meanwhile, Navindu Katugampola has recently joined MSIM’s London office as the global head of sustainability for fixed income. He has been at Morgan Stanley since 2004 and most recently was the head of green and sustainability bonds within global capital markets, where he was a pioneer in establishing the market for green, social and sustainability bonds and led $80bn of bonds.
Part of the Bonhill Group.