People & Appointments: LA pension fund on the hunt for ESG specialist

The latest ESG movers and shakers

The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association is seeking a Finance Analyst specialising in ESG and corporate governance. The $60bn pension fund wants someone to “assist corporate governance engagements with portfolio companies and regulatory agencies, vote proxies, support ESG integration into investment due diligence of externally-managed portfolios in coordination with asset classes, collaborate with other institutional investors, and develop effective communication strategies for internal and external audiences.”

Preventable Surprises, the think tank founded by Raj Thamotheram to promote “forceful stewardship”, has appointed Laura Berry as Senior Advisor. She joins after almost a decade heading up the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and seventeen years as a Large Cap Value Portfolio Manager. 

Linda Freiner, Head of Sustainability at Zurich, has been elected to the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance Board. Freiner has spent over seven years at Zurich and previously served as Associate Director, Head of Community Engagement, Risk Response Network at the World Economic Forum.

Désirée Lucchese, ESG Consultant at MSCI ESG Research in Sydney, Australia, is joining Melbourne-based UEthical in early September as Ethics and Impact Manager reporting to the CIO and the Board. UEthical, is the ethical fund manager of the Uniting Church, an autonomous social enterprise with an independent board. Its first funds were established in 1985 and it now runs over A$1bn in assets.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the UK pension fund for university academics and a long-standing proponent of responsible investing, has announced the appointment of a new Chair of the Trustee Board. Dame Katharine Barker joined the Board in April as Chair-elect and will become Chair from September. She will replace Sir David Eastwood, who will retire from the board in August. Barker was Chief Economic Adviser at the CBI before serving as a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee between 2001 and 2010.

Namita Vikas has been appointed as Senior Advisor at the Climate Bonds Initiative. Vikas spent over eight years as a senior executive of Indian private bank, Yes Bank, helping to launch the country’s first green bond. She previously served in management positions at Marico, Microsoft & the Confederation of Indian Industry. 

Marion Enander has been named the first Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Australian Ethical. Enander was the interim National Head of Advice for the Shadforth Financial Group and previously served as the General Manager for Advice Delivery at Perpetual Limited. Maria Loyez is also joining the Sydney-based wealth management company as Chief Customer Officer. 

Francois Perrin has taken a new role as Head of ESG at Belgium-based investment firm Groupe Bruxelles Lambert. Perrin was previously at emerging markets specialist East Capital, most recently overseeing its Asia operations from Hong Kong. 

Professor of Accounting at Sheffield University, Prem Sikka, is to join the UK's House of Lords after being conferred a peerage. He was nominated by the Labour Party. Sikka, also an Emeritus Accounting Professor at Essex University, is a co-founder of the Tax Justice Network and a renowned corporate governance reform advocate. He contributed to shaping the Labour manifesto via his stakeholder-centric research on corporate governance and democratising corporations for their long-term success. RI understands he will accept the peerage.

The investment veteran and gender diversity campaigner who founded the 30% Club, Dame Helena Morrissey, will also join the House of Lords, after being nominated by the Conservative Party.