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Australian Council of Superannuation Investors appoints Cbus’s ESG head as new CEO

Louise Davidson takes over from Gordon Hagart at ACSI

Louise Davidson, Environmental, Social and Governance Investment Manager at Australia’s $30bn (€21.5bn) construction industry superannuation fund Cbus, has been named as the new CEO of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), the body which promotes ESG factors at institutional investors.

Davidson, who is also Chair of the PRI Australia Network and Secretary of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), the Australasian investor body, takes over from Gordon Hagart in the role.

She is the long-standing chair of the Mother’s Day Classic fun run for breast cancer research and a finalist in the 2015 Australian of the Year Awards and has been listed in the Australian Financial Review’s ’100 Women of Influence’. Davidson has been at Cbus since January 2009, having joined from Industry Funds Management where she was Manager, Sustainability and Governance.

Hagart, a leading figure in the responsible investment sector having been involved in the genesis of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), announced his departure from ACSI earlier this year. He had agreed to stay until Easter to facilitate a smooth transfer to his successor. Hagart, who took over from Ann Byrne in 2013, is returning to Europe.

ACSI, whose members represent more than A$400bn in funds under management, provides research and advice to super funds on managing ESG investment risk.It comprises not just domestic institutions but overseas investors such as CalPERS, APG Asset Management, PGGM, Railpen and the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

“She will be a great asset to us.”

“Louise is well known in the nation’s boardrooms where much of ACSI’s important work is conducted,” said ACSI President Gerard Noonan. “She’s determined to improve corporate governance in listed companies as well as encourage company boards and management to take more seriously their environmental and social impact. She will be a great asset to us.”

Cbus welcomed Davidson’s appointment at ACSI, and also recognised the Hagart’s contribution. Cbus CEO David Atkin, who is a Director on the PRI Association Board, said Davidson had made “an enormous contribution” to the fund over the past six years, noting her “nationally recognised” leadership in responsible investment.

Atkin added that Cbus would carry forward her contribution and its commitment to sustainable investment as it looks to recruit her successor “in the near future”.

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