People and appointments: Japan sets up climate change office with Hideki Takada

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Green finance expert Hideki Takada has been named Principal Counsellor of Japan’s new Climate Change Office. Set up within the country’s Cabinet Secretariat Office, the unit will be run by Environment Minister Shinjirō Koizumi. Takada is Secretary General of the informal Green Finance Network Japan, which seeks to promote dialogue between the public and private sectors on sustainability issues. During his time at Japan's Ministry of Finance, he was seconded to the OECD as a Senior Policy Analyst and to the Cabinet Secretariat.  He returned to the Ministry of Finance last year as a Director within the Budget Bureau. 

Danone has ousted its CEO and Chairman, Emmanuel Faber, in what will be seen as a blow to the 'stakeholder capitalism' movement. Faber oversaw efforts last year to make the food giant a company with a 'social purpose', but has faced pressure from activist investors in recent months over its performance and concerns it is not prioritising shareholders. The board's decision to replace Faber was confirmed after a meeting over the weekend and he will step down from today (Monday). On Twitter, Hiro Mizuno, former CIO of Japanese pension fund GPIF and co-chair of Test of Corporate Purpose, said Faber's "legendary leadership in promoting stakeholder capitalism and ESG should be remembered among all who supported those philosophy".

James Wilde has left his role as Group Head of Sustainability at Lloyds Banking Group to take up the newly-created role of Chief Sustainability Officer at UK savings and insurance firm Phoenix Group. Before joining Lloyds in 2018, Wilde was Managing Director of the Carbon Trust, where he worked for 15 years. Lloyds is currently recruiting a replacement. 

Andrew Steer has stepped down as CEO and President of the World Resources Institute (WRI) to oversee Jeff Bezos’ $10bn Earth Fund as its first CEO. Steer was head of the WRI for more than eight years and oversaw the quadrupling of its budget. Executive Vice President and Managing Director Manish Bapna will take on the role as interim President and CEO while a replacement is sought.

Mark Thompson has been appointed Chair of Trustees for the M&G Pension Scheme. Thompson, who was previously Chief Investment Officer for the London local government pension scheme pool and the HSBC Pension Scheme, is also a trustee at Prudential Staff Charitable Trust and Executive Chairman of the UBS UK Pension Scheme Investment Committee.

Miyuki Zeniya has become co-chair of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s Investor Advisory Group for the APAC region. Zeniya, who is Head of Sustainable Finance at Dai-Ichi, is also on the PRI’s Infrastructure Advisory Committee and Japan Network Advisory Committee and is on the board of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment.

Impact specialist Civitas Investment Management has made three new appointments to its healthcare and investment teams. Vivienna Howell is to join as Healthcare Director, leaving her role at the Deloitte Healthcare Merger and Acquisitions team. She will be joined by Richard McKenzie, who left his role as CEO of the Christchurch Group in 2019 and will join as Healthcare Specialist. Adel Oucherif will join as European Investment Director from his role in the acquisitions team at Henderson Park.

Kyoko Sakuma-Keck has joined the EU’s sustainable investment forum, Eurosif, as a Senior Policy and Research Advisor. Sakuma-Keck leaves her role as an Associate Research at Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management.

Duncan Paterson has been appointed as the Global Head of ISS ESG’s ESG Thought Leadership Programme. Paterson founded Australian ESG research firm CAER, which was acquired by ISS in 2019. He has served as a Director of the Association for Sustainable & Responsible Investment Asia, and Chair of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

US non-profit Social Finance has appointed Deval Patrick, ex- Massachusetts governor and Chairman of TogetherFUND, and Lauten Smith, Chief Health Equity and Strategy Officer at the CDC Foundation, to its board of directors.