BT Pension Scheme’s Helene Winch to join PRI as Director of Policy and Research

Respected asset owner figure to head up PRI’s policy push

Helene Winch, the Head of Policy at the UK’s largest pension fund – and founding Principles for Responsible Investment signatory – the £40bn (€46.3bn) BT Pension Scheme, has been named as the PRI’s new Director of Policy and Research.

The PRI said Winch will develop and implement its new policy and research work – supporting signatories to “identify and overcome” barriers that currently prevent financial markets from functioning more sustainably.

She will join the PRI in October 2013 and will report to Executive Director James Gifford. The PRI first advertised the role back in May last year.

The appointment comes as the PRI is seeking a replacement for the outgoing Chair of the PRI Advisory Council, Wolfgang Engshuber. The PRI is currently advertising this vacancy with the deadline for applications being August 9.

Before her current role, which she took in 2009, Winch spent two years at Hermes Investment Management in a commodities investment role.She was previously at Refco London managing pension scheme commodity allocations as well as ANZ Investment bank and Rabobank.

She has an MSc in Maths & Finance from Imperial College, London and an MA in Engineering Science from Cambridge University.

“We are delighted that Helene is joining the PRI team,” said Gifford.

“Her extensive investment and policy experience within one of the largest pension funds in the UK and her unique insights into the challenges asset owners face mean she is ideally placed to take up this new challenge.

“She will add a huge amount to the organisation and to signatories.”

Her two main focus areas at BTPS are engaging on investment policy issues and heading up the fund’s sustainability policy. She is a non-executive board member at Hermes Equity Ownership Services (EOS) and also sits on the board of the Institutional Investors Group for Climate Change.