People & Appointments: Sasja Beslik quits J.Safra Sarasin

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Sasja Beslik has left his position as Managing Director Head of Sustainable Business Development at Bank J. Safra Sarasin in Switzerland. Beslik left last month after just under two years in the role.

He could not be reached for comment on his departure prior to publication. Before joining J.Safra Sarasin, Beslik, a well-known figure in sustainable finance, was Head of Sustainable Finance at Nordea Wealth Management in Stockholm, where he had been since 2009. Earlier this month, Beslik published in English a book titled Where the Money Tree Grows, originally published in Swedish in 2019.

Melissa McDonald has joined MSCI as its Global Head of ESG and Climate Indexes – a newly-established role. McDonald leaves her role as Global Head of Product, Equities and Responsible Investment at HSBC Global Asset Management. She has also been Global Head of Responsible Investment at AXA Investment Management.

Robeco has hired a slew of new asset managers and analysts for its sustainability work. Roman Boner has been appointed Lead Portfolio Manager on RobecoSAM’s Smart Energy strategy, leaving his role at Woodman Asset Management, while Pieter Busscher has been promoted from deputy to lead Portfolio Manager of the RobecoSAM Smart Mobility Strategy. Seven new equity analysts have been hired for Robeco’s sustainable themes investment teams: Michael Studer, Sanaa Hakim, Mutlu Gundogan, Clément Chamboulive, Alyssa Cornuz, Simone Pozzi and Diego Salvador Barrero.

Slavka Eley has left her role as Head of Banking Markets, Innovation and Products at the European Banking Authority to take up a new role as Head of Governance and Coordination at the European Labour Authority. Eley, who was at the EBA for eight years, chaired its network on sustainable finance. Prior to joining the EBA as its Head of Supervisory Convergence Unit, she spent a decade working at the Slovakian national bank.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has appointed Darian McBain as its Chief Sustainability Officer, heading up its new sustainability unit. McBain was most recently Chief Sustainability Officer for seafood conglomerate Thai Union Group.

Olivia Albrecht has joined US-based asset management house TCW as its Global Head of ESG. Albrecht leaves her role as Head of ESG Business Strategy at PIMCO, where she had worked for 10 years, also holding roles in its fixed-income team. She will not be replaced at PIMCO.

UNICEF is hiring a Switzerland-based consultant to support its investor engagement and collective action work on children’s rights.

Andrea Uy has been promoted to Senior Manager for global sustainable finance at ANZ bank. She moves from the debt capital markets team where she worked three years, and has previously held roles at Citi and HSBC.

Sentier Investors and MUFG have appointed Velina Karadzhova to head their recently launched joint Sustainable Investment Institute. Karadzhova leaves her role as ESG analyst and utilities sector lead at MSCI, and has held roles at Moody’s and PwC. 

Monique Mathys-Graaff has joined Willis Towers Watson as Senior Sustainable Investment Strategist. She leaves her role as Senior Advisor at the Impact Management Project.

Maximilian Kufer has joined Invesco as its new Head of ESG for private markets, leaving his role as Global Sustainability Manager at AXA IM Alts, where he had worked since 2016. He also sits on the GRESB Benchmark Committee, Urban Land Institute Sustainability Council and Global Reporting Initiative ESG and Impact Investment Committee.

Pieter van der Gaag, founder of sustainability consultancy Niet Onverschillig, has become Chairman of the Dutch Pension Fund Agreement on International Responsible Investment (IMVO). 

Green bond veteran Christopher Flensborg has been knighted by the King of Sweden for his sustainable finance work. Flensborg, who joins the Order of the Pole Star, is Head of Climate and Sustainable Finance at SEB, where he has worked for 18 years. He was involved in the development of the green bond market back in 2007. 

Frédéric Asseline has moved to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to head the programme team at the Multilateral Cooperation Centre for Development Finance. Asseline was previously Principal Climate FInance Specialist at the Asian Development Bank and has held roles at the World Bank and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

Nick Winser has been appointed as non-executive Director at Greencoat UK Wind. Former CEO of the UK’s National Grid and President of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, Winser is a member of the UK’s Net Zero Expert Group and a COP26 government advisory group.