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People & Appointments: Rio Tinto heads bow to investor pressure over destruction of Juukan Gorge

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Rio Tinto has announced the resignation of its Chief Executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, and two other senior executives after investor pressure following the destruction of a 46,000-year-old sacred Indigenous site at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia earlier this year. Despite leaving the company, all three will be entitled to long-term bonuses.

Finance Watch, the NGO fighting for public good in European finance, has poached Aleksandra Palinska from the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA). Palinska led EFAMA’s work on the EU Action Plan on Sustainable Finance. She will become Senior Research and Advocacy Office at Finance Watch. Peter Norwood will also join the NGO, having been seconded to the European Commission during his time at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority.

Marta Jankovic has taken up a role as Director of BlackRock Investment Stewardship. Jankovic has been with BlackRock for almost two years serving as EMEA Head of Sustainable iShares. She has also worked as Senior Responsible Investment and Governance Specialist and Head of ESG Integration Alternatives at APG Asset Management. In 2017 Jankovic was appointed Chair of the trade association Invest Europe.

Frank Elderson has been nominated by the Netherlands to sit on the European Central Bank’s Executive Board. According to Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra, Elderson, who has been Executive Director of Supervision at the Dutch central bank, DNB, has been chosen because “he has a great track record on topics that the ECB is also working on: sustainable finance and digital innovation”. 

Caroline Hill will join Lloyds Banking Group from Landsec to lead the group’s responsible business strategy and programmes. Hill has served as Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director at Landsec for five years. Land Securities Group is a commercial property development and investment company and is now recruiting for a newly-created Head of ESG and Sustainability role.

Citigroup has named Jane Fraser as its new CEO, making her the first female to head a Wall Street bank. Fraser currently serves as the bank’s President and Head of the Global Consumer Division and will take over from Michael Corbat when he retires in February after 37 years. Just 31 women held the top spots at major American companies listed on the S&P 500 index at the end of 2019. 

Ted Halstead, Founder and CEO of the Climate Leadership Council, has died following a hiking accident in Spain. Under Halstead’s leadership, the climate activism group brought together conservatives and companies including Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Mads Nipper has resigned as CEO of Grundfos, the world’s largest pump manufacturer, to become CEO of Danish energy company, Ørsted – often referred to as ‘the most sustainable company in the world’. He will step down at the end of 2020 after six years at Grundfos. Nipper previously spent more than two decades at Lego. He will take over from Henrik Poulsen at Ørsted. 

Anita McBain has left M&G Investments where she served as Head of Responsible Investment and ESG for over two years. Previously McBain was Head of Sustainability and a sustainability and climate change analyst at Permian Global and Director of Corporate Engagement at CFA UK.

Girls Who Invest has appointed Katherine Jollon Colsher as its new CEO. Most recently, Colsher served as Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and National Director at 10,000 Small Businesses. Girls Who Invest is a non-profit organisation dedicated to increasing the number of women in portfolio management and executive leadership in the asset management industry. Colsher succeeds Janet Cowell as CEO.

Gerard van Olphen, CEO of APG Asset Management will step down in Spring 2021. He has served as CEO of the in-house manager of Dutch pension fund Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP since 2016. APG’s supervisory board has started a search for a new CEO.

Federated Hermes has appointed Kate Hillyar as UK Business Development Director. Hillyar joins from Aberdeen Standard Investments and has also held roles at Macquarie Group, Credit Suisse, Nab Asset Management and NGS Super.

Myriam Vander Elst is joining private equity house 17Capital as a member of the Supervisory Board. She is currently Chief Engagement Officer for global non-profit Epic, where she has worked since its inception almost six years ago.

The US International Development Finance Corporation has named Anthony Zakel as the agency’s first Inspector General. Most recently, Zakel served as Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Aviation Audits at the US Department of Transportation.

Adam McGibbon is leaving Global Witness after three-and-a-half years working as a Senior Campaigner. McGibbon will set up a new UK office for climate activist group Market Forces.

Roksana Ciurysek-Gedir has been appointed Chair of White Oak Global Advisors’ new Impact Advisory Board. Before joining the asset manager, she served as Deputy CEO of the Bank Pekao S.A. and held roles at Edmond de Rothschild, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. White Oak will provide secured loans to SMEs “committed to high ESG standards and the SDGs framework in the UK, US, Canada and Australia”. 

Investment manager Sarasin & Partners has hired Matt Pumo as Head of Institutional. Pumo joins from Newton Investment Management, where he served as Head of UK Institutional Business for four years.