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People and appointments: Ingrid Holmes becomes Executive Director of UK’s Green Finance Institute

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Climate finance veteran Ingrid Holmes has become the Executive Director of the UK’s Green Finance Institute (GFI). After three years as Head of Policy and Advocacy at Federated Hermes, where she oversaw the development of the asset manager’s climate change policy and Net Zero Strategy, Holmes has joined the government-backed GFI. Before taking on her role at Federated Hermes, she spent eight years at environmental think-tank E3G, where she advised the European Commission on its Action Plan on Sustainable Finance. 

Randy O'Neil has left his role as Executive Director and Head of ESG Coverage at MSCI to join NextEra Energy as Senior Director for Integrated Clean Energy Solutions. O'Neil joined US-based SRI index provider KLD in 2004, which was subsequently purchased by MSCI in 2010. “My role will be to facilitate relationships with the largest companies in North America towards achieving their carbon transition goals,” he said on social media. “I hope to leverage my 16 years in the ESG research marketplace to not only promote solutions from carbon offsets to large scale electric fleet and solar/wind infrastructure but also spotlight the investor relations benefits of partnering with us”.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has announced his intention to run for mayor of New York. Stringer, who was elected to the role of Comptroller in 2013, has previously been a member of the New York State Assembly and Borough President of Manhattan. During his tenure, New York City’s pension funds have grown from $147bn to $240bn.

Innocent Chukwuma, Vice-Chair of the Impact Investors Foundation in Nigeria, has sadly passed away. Chukwuma served as a visiting lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, and was Director of the Ford Foundation’s West Africa office. He also founded the CLEEN Foundation. The Ford Foundation described Chukwuma as having “played a pivotal role in the growth of impact investing in West Africa to help leverage private sector resources towards meeting SDGs”. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague,” said the foundation’s President, Darren Walker. “We will forever cherish his memory as a champion for justice and equality in West Africa and around the world.”

Rathbones has poached Rahab Paracha from HSBC Asset Management, where she was most recently a Responsible Investment Specialist. She will now be a Sustainable Multi-asset Investment Specialist for Rathbones Greenbank. 

Jie Zhou has left her role as Learning Project and Research Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to lead the SINO-UK Sustainability Innovation Centre at the Cambridge University Institute for Sustainability Leadership. 

Nikki Gwilliam-Beeharee has quit as Director of ESG Research at Invesco to become Investor Engagement Lead at the World Benchmarking Alliance. Before joining Invesco, Gwilliam-Beeharee was at Vigeo Eiris, where she held a number of roles including Director of Research and Head of ESG Research.

Tobacco Free Portfolios is hiring for a USA Director to drive its reach in the US. Applications close on the 20th of April.

FE fundinfo has hired Sebastian Brinkmann as its new ESG strategist. Brinkmann, who has 15 years experience in the sustainable investment industry, joins from TrueValue Labs, where he was Head of ESG Solutions for Europe.

Rev. Andrew Harper has joined Epworth Investment Management as its Head of Ethics. Harper, who is ordained in the Methodist Church of Nigeria, will be responsible for the “ethical thought leadership and ethical performance” of Epworth and the Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church, which owns the investment manager.

Theresa Whitmarsh, Executive Director of the Washington State Investment Board, will chair the Board of non-profit FCLTGlobal, having sat on the board since 2016. She succeeds Mark Machin, former President and CEO of CPP Investments. 

Professor Sam Fankhauser has been appointed Professor of Climate Change Economics and Policy at the Smith School, Oxford. Fankhauser, who was previously Director of the Grantham Institute, which he joined at its foundation in 2008, is also Research Director for the Oxford Net Zero Initiative.