Mercer boosts responsible investment consulting team

Consultant nabs leading pension industry sustainability figure

Consulting firm Mercer has hired former London Pension Fund Authority responsible investing head Aled Jones as a consultant in its Responsible Investment team in the UK.

Jones, who left the £4bn (€4.6bn) LPFA at the end of September, will provide clients with manager research, stewardship and RI strategy formulation and implementation.
Jones is a board member of UKSIF, the sustainable investment and finance association and is a former member of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum’s Executive Committee.
At the LPFA he aligned investment policies with environmental, social and governance (ESG) best practice, monitored outsourced investment managers against ESG criteria and generated support for responsible investment activities. The LPFA has been one of the UK’s most active responsible investment advocates.It invests across a variety of innovative environmental solutions and has recently been building its shareholder voting and corporate engagement. In August it advertised for a replacement for Jones.

Jones was previously at pensions lifeboat fund the Pension Protection Fund in a similar role; before that he worked within the responsible investment teams at UK fund managers Jupiter and F&C. He is not to be confused with his namesake, Dr. Aled Jones, the Director of the new Global Sustainability Institute at the UK’s Anglia Ruskin University.

Will Oulton, European Head of Mercer’s Responsible Investment team, said Jones has “a very strong understanding of the responsible investment challenges and needs of asset owners”.

At a presentation yesterday to church investors, Oulton said he’s seen a “tangible change” in how pension funds are engaging with their asset managers on ESG issues.