German social investment forum rejigs board following launch of Swiss peer

GES’s Wirth takes deputy head role at the FNG

Members of the FNG, the sustainable investment forum (SIF) for Germany, Austria, Switzerland have elected two new members to its Executive Board, including a deputy head for Switzerland and one for Germany.

The new Swiss deputy head is Patrick Wirth, Managing Director for Switzerland at GES Investment Services, the Stockholm-based engagement specialist. Wirth replaces Sabine Döbeli, who left the FNG in May to become the head of Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF), effectively a new SIF for that country.

The emergence of SSF has not prompted any of FNG’s Swiss members, including such sustainable asset managers as RobecoSAM, Bank J. Safra Sarasin and Notenstein, to leave the Berlin-based lobby group. Instead, they have decided to back both organisations (see previous story).

Wirth said: “I’m convinced that the importance of sustainability will continue to grow in the asset management industry, not least because a new generation of investors are very aware of theme and will expect fund managers to reflect this.” He added that in his new role, he would seek to support this trend through lobbying and education.The group’s new deputy head for Germany is Sabine Pex, a consultant who formerly worked at German private bank Bankhaus von der Heydt and at UniCreditbank in Munich as a specialist for sustainable investments. She replaces Robert Haßler, chief executive of German ESG firm Oekom Research, who has moved to the FNG’s seven-member Advisory Committee.

Meanwhile, Wolfgang Pinner, Chief Investment Officer at Vienna-based Raiffeisen Capital Management, was re-elected as FNG’s deputy head for the Austrian market. All three deputy heads serve three-year terms. Current FNG Board Chairman Volker Weber was not up for re-election during the SIF’s annual meeting, held last month in Frankfurt.

During the meeting, FNG’s 190-odd members also voted in favour of a proposal to extend its operations to Liechtenstein. The SIF has four members based in the Principality, including a financial advisor, a microfinance fund manager, an NGO promoting microfinance and a private bank.