Saker Nusseibeh, chief executive of Hermes Investment Management, has been named non-executive chairman of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, the influential environmental data NGO known for its work on unburnable carbon and stranded assets.
Nusseibeh, appointed CEO at BT Pension Scheme-owned Hermes in 2012, takes over as chair from environmentalist Jeremy Leggett, who steps down to focus on his solar portfolio.
Nusseibeh was involved when Carbon Tracker’s founders Mark Campanale and Nick Robins met with the Bank of England in its “formative years” to discuss climate risk.
This helped feed into BOE Governor Mark Carney’s now famous ‘tragedy of the horizon’ speech at Lloyd’s of London in 2015 — which in turn helped build the momentum for the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). It also paved the way for central banks to take on climate change as risk factor.
Just last week Klass Knot, the head of De Nederlandsche Bank called for more adequate carbon pricing in remarks from a central banker unthinkable a few years ago.
Also joining the Carbon Tracker board are well-known responsible investment figures Meg Brown and Emma Hunt.
Brown, director and head of sales outside of North America at Impax Asset Management, is a former Director of Climate and Sustainability Research at Citi.
Hunt is a former investment consultant who was most recently co-head of Hermes Equity Ownership Services, Hermes’ engagement arm.
Also joining the board is Paul Bodnar, a former aide to President Obama who is managing director of the Rocky Mountain Institute.Nusseibeh said: “Climate change is not something we can ignore. Since the Paris Agreement in 2015 we have seen some crucial climate change developments impacting the financial services industry. Central banks of the G20 countries have stated that climate change represents a systemic risk to the financial system.”
He founded the 300 Club, a group of leading investment professionals who seek to challenge investment orthodoxy and increase the benefits of financial services to society. He is a member of the CFA Institute’s Future of Finance Advisory Council, a member of the IIRC Council and sits on the Banking Standards Board.
He added: “We are seeing growing interest for low-carbon investments reflected in the growth in low-carbon products, services and technology and a budding interest from institutional investors in investment solutions that not only account for climate risks but also tap into opportunities.
“However, we need to push this further as well as continue to work to ensure that the world does not breach the scientifically-guided objectives we have set for ourselves on climate change.”
Campanale – who has since gone on to found Fish Tracker – said: “Saker as our new chair, first collaborated with us in meeting the Bank of England in our formative years to discuss climate risk.
“Meg, Emma and Paul each bring tremendous experience and insights on climate to help us in our next phase of development, assisting investors to understand the financial challenges of the low carbon energy transition.”
Nusseibeh’s appointment comes amid speculation that BTPS is looking to sell Hermes.