France’s FRR RI head to leave the fund

Nada Villermain-Lécolier to work on new initiative at France’s CDC.

Nada Villermain-Lécolier, Head of Responsible Investment (RI) at France’s €35bn French pensions reserve fund, FRR, is leaving the fund after eight years heading up the RI department. Villermain-Lécolier will depart next month to join France’s Caisse des dépôts (CDC), the long-term investment group, that manages part of the country’s treasury. In her new role she will focus on building an economic development division being set up under a government “investments for the future” programme funded by €35bn of public money. The investment fund aims to bring together industry, universities, government and private investors to invest in new technologies to create new jobs and enhance French competitiveness. Villermain-Lécolier told that the new position would still involve significant ESG research as the development projects selected for investment by CDC are judged on governance, human resources management and environmental impact. The FRR has not yet announced a replacement for Villermain-Lécolier, who was responsible for creating the fund’s RI strategy in 2008 and prior to that looked after its manager selection and monitoringactivities. Her departure follows that of Antoine de Salins, former executive director at FRR and previously on the board of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), who joined Groupama Asset Management as Chief Investment Officer in February.
De Salins’s replacement as FRR chief is expected to be announced in October. Prior to his departure from FRR, De Salins said the fund would maintain its responsible investment policy despite the French government initiating an early wind down of the fund where it is paying out about €2bn per annum from this year to cover France’s social security debt.
The FRR has to date been one of the world’s most prominent responsible investors with 85% of its assets subject to research integration on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. FRR initially invested about €600m in pure SRI mandates with asset managers in December 2006, but has also made sustainability factors a major part of its subsequent mandate tenders.