People & Appointments: BlackRock promotes Prasad to lead impact investing

The latest ESG movers and shakers: Zhang named head of ISSB Beijing office; Soubranne leaves Axa IM for corporate role.

BlackRock’s head of impact investing, Eric Rice, has announced his retirement. Rice joined the US manager from Wellington Management in 2019, where he headed impact investing for more than 22 years. Earlier in his career, he worked as an economist at the World Bank and a US diplomat in Rwanda. He is due to retire on 14 July.

Rice will be succeeded by Sheetal Prasad, an impact investing portfolio manager at BlackRock. Before joining the firm, she was a managing director at Jennison Associates for 14 years. Prasad has also worked in various positions at Palisade Capital Management, Deutsche Asset Management and Bear Stearns.

Zhengwei Zhang has been appointed to run the International Sustainability Standards Board’s (ISSB) new Beijing office and act as special adviser to ISSB chair Emmanuel Faber. Zhang most recently served as director-general at the Chinese ministry of finance. He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in international economic and financial cooperation, covering sustainable development, financial stability and regional economic cooperation and integration. Zhang also has experience in development finance, having worked for the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other investment institutions.

Céline Soubranne has left her role as ESG development director at AXA Investment Managers to become head of CSR at French corporate Lagardère Group. Soubranne took up the role at AXA IM in October last year, having spent four years as AXA Group’s chief corporate responsibility officer. She joined AXA in 2007.

Kelly Clark has been appointed as interim director of climate philanthropic fund Partners for a New Economy to cover director Jo Swinson while she takes parental leave. Clark, who is a senior adviser to the Green Finance Institute and spent three and a half years as director of finance capital market transformation at the Laudes Foundation, began her career in banking at UBS.

Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) is recruiting a nature manager to work in its environmental sustainability team. The successful candidate will assess and manage nature risks and opportunities for the organisation, as well as develop targets for LBG. Lloyds appointed ShareAction’s former head of biodiversity, Katie Leach, as head of nature in April. The deadline for applications is 2 July.

Emmet McNamee has been promoted to head of progression and innovation at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). He has worked at the organisation for more than four years in policy and stewardship roles, most recently as head of stewardship for active ownership. Prior to joining the PRI, McNamee was a research analyst at proxy adviser Glass Lewis.

BNP Paribas Asset Management CEO Sandro Pierri has been elected as the European Fund and Asset Management Association’s new president for a two-year term. Pierri has been CEO of BNP Paribas AM since 2021, having previously served as CEO of European investment giant Amundi (formerly Pioneer Investments) between 2012 and 2015.

Impax Asset Management has appointed Manish Bishnoi as co-portfolio manager for its Asia strategies. He will join Oscar Yang to manage Impax’s Asian environmental and opportunities strategies from October 2023. Bishnoi succeeds Kirsteen Morrison, who has been interim co-portfolio manager on both strategies since David Li died in October 2022. Bishnoi joins Impax from Macquarie Asset Management, where he was a portfolio manager on the Asian progress fund. He has more than a decade of experience in Asian equities, with expertise in portfolio management and ESG integration and stewardship.

The PRI is hiring a senior specialist on progression and innovation, as well as a specialist. The candidates will support the development of the progression pathways framework for signatories. They will research models of development frameworks, which can inform the PRI’s approach, as well as consult internally and with signatories on the framework design. The deadline to apply for both positions is 3 July.

The PRI is also seeking a head of responsible investment for Latin American responsible investment ecosystems. The candidate’s main duties will be to enhance responsible investment awareness and practices across the Latin America region, as well as set out a strategy on how best to develop responsible investment ecosystems. The role also involves coordinating the local implementation of global PRI initiatives and managing the PRI’s recruitment of new signatories in the region. The deadline for applications is 9 July.

Finally, the PRI is recruiting a director of ESG issues to manage and deliver the PRI’s research and priorities on ESG-related sustainability outcomes. The successful candidate will be responsible for contributing to the sustainable systems change plan for ESG teams, and guide the work of E, S and G senior leaders at the PRI to ensure a common approach across the organisation’s products and services for signatories.