Eurosif to be reorganised so that European national SIFs govern it directly

Brussels-based European ESG lobby group to get a Board and Executive Committee comprised of national SIF members.

Today’s (July 13) report in the RI People and Appointments alert that François Passant is resigning as Executive Director of Eurosif is only half the story. The other half is that Passant’s departure coincides with a sweeping reorganisation of the Brussels-based lobby for Europe’s sustainable investment industry.
The point of the reorganisation is to have Eurosif governed directly by the European SIFs (Sustainable Investment Forums) that back it. To this end, the SIFs – including UKSIF, FNG (Germany), Spainsif, FIR (France), VBDO (the Netherlands), Swesif (Sweden) and the Italian Forum for Sustainable Finance – have created a new Board and Executive Committee for the lobby.
According to statements released by FNG and UKSIF, Eurosif’s Board will comprise members from the six SIFs, with UKSIF Chairman Lesley Alexander already having been confirmed as one. The Board’s role will be to devise strategy, including, says UKSIF, “prioritising what the key themes are for the financial sector and policymakers.”
To implement Board decisions as well as manage the budget and personnel, a Eurosif Executive Committee has been formed. Like the Board, the Committee will draw on members from the national SIFs. UKSIF hasalready said Will Oulton, Head of Responsible Investment at First State Investments, will be its representative.
Who else will serve on Eurosif’s Board and Committee is not yet known. From 2016, Eurosif’s Board will be assisted by a new Advisory Council comprised of, as FNG put it, “prominent figures from the industry, science and society.”
Commenting on the changes, UKSIF said: “Access to Eurosif’s services will flow through us, providing a simplified single channel of information and influence.” Citing examples, the London-based lobby said its members could now inform, influence and benefit from such EU work as the “Engagement with the Long Term Investment Group of 60 MEPs” as well as “the continued push for a Sustainable Capital Markets Union with the European Commission.”
Despite the changes to Eurosif’s governance, a successor to Passant is to be recruited: “We are entering into a rigorous recruitment process for a successor to lead Eurosif version 2.0 and leverage these changes to grow the association’s influence in Brussels,” Passant was quoted in the UKSIF statement as saying.
In 2011, Eurosif shifted its office from Brussels to Paris with the aim of further influencing EU policy on ESG issues.