Steve Waygood has been named to the new role of Chief Responsible Investment Officer at Aviva Investors, Responsible Investor has learned.
Waygood, currently Aviva’s Head of Sustainability Research and Engagement, will be advised by Anita Skipper, one of the leading figures in institutional corporate governance, whose current title is Corporate Governance Director.
The news emerged in a letter from Aviva Investors’ London CEO Paul Abberley to UKSIF (the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association) seen by Responsible Investor.
It follows the announcement from Aviva this week that it plans to close its Sustainable Responsible Investing (SRI) equity team as part of a wider reorganization that could cost up to 160 jobs.
Waygood’s new Global Responsible Investment (GRI) team will include a further four members from Aviva’s existing SRI and Corporate Governance teams, Abberley added.He said the team would be augmented by a network of ‘Responsible Investment Officers’ throughout the firm who would work “a few days per month” on responsible investment issues in their own asset class and product range.
Abberley confirmed plans to look for a “new institutional home” for its SRI clients and the “majority of the team”. He said he would work to ensure the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors within all portfolios by all analysts and fund managers. They would be provided with investment information by its brokers and independent research providers. “I will expect them to be able to demonstrate engagement with these issues and will be rewarding them accordingly,” Abberley said.
Waygood previously worked at Insight Investment and F&C, is a former Chairman of the UK Sustainable Investment Forum (UKSIF) and was part of the expert group that wrote the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.