People & Appointments: French government creates body to ensure credibility of SRI fund label

The latest ESG movers and shakers

The French Government has appointed a new governance body to help it reform the rules for its longstanding SRI Label for investment funds. The group includes Victor van Hoorn, head of Europe’s Sustainable Investment Forum, Eurosif;  Laetitia Tankwe, Advisor to the President of French public sector pension scheme Ircantec and former Chair of Climate Action 100+; Brigitte Pisa, Vice President of the French supplementary pension scheme Agirc-Arrco; Marie-Pierre Peillon, Director of ESG Research for sustainability specialist Groupama Asset Management; Pascale Baussant, CEO of wealth management consultancy Baussant Conseil; Yves Dieulesaint, CSR advisor to Calcium Capital;  Sylvie Malecot, the Director of France’s Institutional Investment Association; Martine Leonard, President of the extra-financial unit of the French Society of Financial Analysts. The body, whose secretariat will be hosted within President Macron’s Finance for Tomorrow sustainability initiative, is to be led by Michèle Pappalardo, previously Director of Office for France’s former Ecology & Transition Ministers, Nicolas Hulot and François de Rugy. The label, used for more than €600bn of assets run by 145 asset managers, will be tightened to ensure credibility with savers.

BlackRock has hired Kristen Weldon to replace Teresa O’Flynn as its Global Head of Sustainable Investment for alternative assets, according to reports in New Private Markets. O’Flynn has reportedly left the role to become a founding member of Decarbonisation Partners – a new collaboration between BlackRock and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, Temasek. Weldon moves from her position as Head of ESG and Impact at Partners Capital, which she took on in February. Before that, she oversaw sustainability-focused investment activities at the Louis Dreyfus Company, with a particular focus on alternative proteins, aquaculture and specialty commodities. She was also Co-head of Blackstone’s London office for Head Fund Solutions.  

Low Carbon Investment Management has appointed John Graves to its investment committee to help its expansion into large-scale renewables worldwide. Graves has spent more than a decade as Assistant Senior Investment Officer at the Washington State Investment Board, where he helped oversee more than 24 fund vehicles, including a $1bn renewable energy portfolio. He has also been a senior hedge fund manager at JP Morgan Asset Management and a portfolio manager for the Rockefeller Family Office. Low Carbon Investment Management currently invests in the UK and continental Europe, and plans to enter Asia and the US. 

Denmark’s AkademikerPension is seeking an ESG Manager to join its responsible investment team. The fund, which primarily runs the pensions of public sector employees including schoolteachers, said the role would involve monitoring its external managers’ work on responsible investment, assessing new unlisted investment funds and working with bodies such at the PRI and Climate Action 100+. 

Real estate firm Hines has moved its Managing Director of Portfolio Management over to the role of European Head of ESG. In his new position, Daniel Chang will “ensure new initiatives focused on addressing carbon emissions and social equity across the built environment are embedded across Europe and for the benefit of its clients”. He will report to the firm’s Global Head of ESG, Peter Epping, who was appointed to the role in June. 

Jamie McAloon has left Abrdn to join Aegon Asset Management as a Responsible Investment Associate. He was a Private Equity Finance Analyst at Abrdn (formerly Standard Life Aberdeen), and his hire is one of three announced by Aegon last week. The firm has also taken on Andy Woods as a Responsible Investment Manager for equities and multi-asset investments. He joins from the Association of British Insurers, where he led the Institutional Voting Information Service. Curtis Zappala, previously a member of the sustainability team at United Parcel Service, has also joined the team with a focus on ESG integration and engagement for fixed income within Aegon’s US office. The hires bring Aegon Asset Management’s responsible investment team to 17 members globally. 

EY has strengthened its ESG team with the hire of Pallavi Singh in Mumbai, India. Singh joins as a Senior Management Consultant for Strategy and ESG, having been Associate Vice President of ESG Solutioning at UK-based business consultant SG Analytics. 

DBS Bank’s Head of Sustainability for Institutional Banking, Yulanda Ho Yan Chung, has joined the board of directors of TransitionZero. The climate analytics firm said Chung would contribute to its engagement with the finance sector and help it to expand into Asia – specifically China. 

Australia’s Sustainable Finance Institute (ASFI) has hired Kristy Graham as its inaugural Executive Officer. Graham has spent more than seven years at the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade, most recently as Director of Development Finance (Private Investment). “We are excited to be able to combine her experience, networks and commitment with those of ASFI members and the ASFI Board to drive forward implementation of the roadmap,” said the body, which is calling for board nominations for three seats covering insurance, banking and investment. Graham commences her new role on November 15. 

Investment house Cambridge Associated has appointed Melinda Wright as its first Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to “drive the firm’s agenda on talent planning and leadership development, and further integrate the organization’s DEI work across the business”. Wright moves from the Walton Family Foundation in the US, before which she spent a decade at non-profit Teach for America. She will report to Cambridge’s CEO, David Druley, as a member of the Executive Leadership Team.