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Obituary: Ebba Schmidt

Responsible Investor is saddened to report the death on November 30 of Ebba Schmidt of the UK’s Pension Protection Fund. The following is by Hermes EOS’s Emma Hunt:

Ebba Schmidt was one of our most loved responsible investment professionals and a tour de force within the industry. Born and educated in Germany, Ebba was a geophysicist by training, working on a range of scientific issues, most notably paleo climate change and seismic processing. Her professional career started at Schlumberger where she continued this work.

After five years she brought her skills to the investment sector, working with Trucost, an early pioneer in carbon footprinting, and later with PIRC broadening her horizons to include corporate governance where she particularly enjoyed working with the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum.

Since 2009 she led and implemented the responsible investment programme at the Pension Protection Fund, notably integrating responsible investment principles across all asset classes. She was a member of their alternative investments team, focussing on real assets, private equity and sustainable investments.

She initiated the farmland and timberland investment programme, an area that became one of Ebba’s strong passions. Ebba’s work did not stop there. She was an extensive commentator on responsible investment issues and was involved in many networks and industry groups, most recently as director of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets and chair of the fixed income work stream of the Principles for Responsible Investment. Her forthright, intelligent and authentic style was always delivered with great humour and wit and never failed to pack a punch.Ebba was loved and respected not only for the large intellectual contribution she made but also for the compassion and fun she brought to her working relationships. Ebba fizzed with ideas and had a voracious passion for life. It is this passion for life and the way she lived it that makes her passing even more poignant.

1972-2015: A life well lived

Ebba passed away on 30th November after a courageous battle with cancer. Ebba leaves behind many loved ones, notably her young daughter and her mother, father and sister. It is to Ebba’s loved ones that we offer our sympathies.

For those wishing to pay their respects, her family has asked that donations be made to St. Christopher’s Hospice. St Christopher’s cared for Ebba in her final weeks and has been a huge support to both Ebba and her family. You can donate directly to St. Christopher’s while dedicating it to Ebba via this website.

Her funeral will take place at 12:30 for 1pm start, 9th December 2015, St. Andrew’s Church, Torridon Road/ Sandhurst Road, Catford, London.

A service organised by the responsible investment community will be held to remember Ebba’s life and legacy on 27th January at 4.30pm at St Mary-le-Bow Church in London. For those wishing to attend please contact ebbaslegacy@gmail.com for further information.

Ebba, we thank you for the huge contribution you made to so many during your time with us. We stand together and applaud you.

The PPF’s Chief Executive Alan Rubenstein added: ““We are all saddened by the death of our friend and colleague Ebba Schmidt. Her contribution to the life of the PPF was an enormous one. Our thoughts and sympathies are with her loved ones at this time as we grieve with them.”