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CDP names ex-Schroders RI head Stathers as new head of research

Asset management veteran takes over from James Magness.

The CDP, the investor-backed environmental data body, has appointed Rick Stathers, the former head of responsible investment at £300bn (€358bn) fund manager Schroders, as its head of research.

He takes on the role vacated by James Magness, the former HSBC cleantech analyst who left last month to join a boutique fund manager after less than two years in the role. Magness had been brought in to develop a research and analysis capability targeted at investors.

Stathers spent 16 years at Schroders, and was responsible for establishing the firm’s Global Climate Change fund. He was made redundant in February, as Schroders transferred his duties to its 10-strong ESG team. His contract finished in June. He was also a founding member of the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change.

Stathers will now head up a team of six analysts at CDP, including fellow new-recruit Drew Fryer, who has joined CDP as a senior analyst, having previously worked as head of MSCI ESG Research in EMEA. Fryer was also on Mercer’s responsible investment team.

Stathers said CDP was still looking to fill “a position or two”, as it further expands its research team.The team is expected to turn its focus to research into the steel, oil and gas sectors ahead of COP22 later this year, having already completed studies into high-emitting industries such as automobiles, chemicals, utilities, mining and cement.

“We’ve got politics, law, science and economics all supporting the need for this kind of research,” Stathers told RI. “I’m joining CDP to help take it to a broader range of investors – not just to ESG teams, but to their colleagues in mainstream departments of asset management houses, and the financial services industry in general.”

The first fruits of Magness’ work were published early last year with the No room for passengers: are auto manufacturers reducing emissions quickly enough? report on the car sector which ranked companies in a ‘super-league table’ of emissions-related metrics.

CDP runs an annual disclosure process on behalf of 822 institutional investors with combined assets in excess of $95trn and the idea behind the research initiative is to provide a series of in-depth sector analysis to, in the words of CDP Executive Chairman Paul Dickinson, “provide investors with the most comprehensive environmental data analysis in the market”.