FTSE’s sustainability data head Kevin Bourne leaves after five years

Bourne spearheaded index firm’s Low Carbon Economy database

Kevin Bourne has left his role as head of sustainability data at index firm FTSE after five years, along with his colleague Gordon Morrison.

Bourne was Global Head of Database Services for the London Stock Exchange Group-owned firm, leading the development of its Low Carbon Economy database, as well as its sustainable investment fundamental and quant research and its ESG data models and indices.

According to his LinkedIn entry, he left the position last month. Morrison, an actuary and Managing Director of FTSE’s ESG Group, left at the same time.

The pair joined FTSE in 2012 when it created its ESG Service Unit. The unit incorporated the existing Responsible Investment team, which is still headed by David Harris, and a new ESG Analytics team. Initially, Bourne was brought on as Managing Director of the unit, while Morrison was head of the analytics arm.

Bourne’s LinkedIn profile says that until 2015, he “was the FTSE Russell Global Head of Sales to asset owners including pension funds, sovereign funds, endowments, investment consultants & OCIOs [outsourced chief investment officers]”.

Prior to this the pair co-founded LCE Risk, a firm created in 2010 to focus on sustainability data for quant investments, green investment themes and emerging industrial cycles.Both have also held senior roles at HSBC – Bourne was Global Head of Electronic Trading until 2010, while Morrison was Global Head of Client Analytics until 2011.

Bourne led HSBC’s work on its Climate Change Index, which launched in 2007 but was recently axed.

A spokesman for FTSE declined to comment on the moves. Neither Bourne nor Morrison responded to requests for comment at the time of publication, but their LinkedIn profiles state their only current positions are as managing directors of LCE Risk. LCE stands for Low-Carbon Economy, but it is unclear what link there is between the company and the Low-Carbon Economy database launched by Bourne and Morrison for FTSE last year.

RI understands that at least one pension fund is using the database – which is separate from its FTSE4Good index series – but that it struggled to gain much traction with investors, despite years of development. Insiders say a decision was made last year by senior figures at FTSE to revise the price of the database down to attract more interest.