People & Appointments: GRI names Fries as next chair

The latest ESG movers and shakers: Invesco promotes Asseffar to EMEA sustainable and impact distribution head; ShareAction’s Uhlenbruch leaves director of financial sector standards role.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) has named Jessica Fries as the next chair of its supervisory board. She joined the board in 2019 and has spent two years as vice-chair. She replaces Jack Ehnes, former CEO of CalSTRS, who steps down from the board after five years, including two years as chair. Fries has been chair of Accounting for Sustainability for 16 years and is a council member of integrated reporting and connectivity at the IFRS Foundation. She is also on the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment’s global sustainable finance advisory council.

Bola Adeeko will take on the role of vice-chair at the GRI, having joined the board in 2021. He is currently director of special projects at food and beverage manufacturer Flour Mills of Nigeria.

Invesco has promoted Hamid Asseffar to sustainable and impact distribution head for EMEA. He joined the manager five years ago and was previously head of asset managers UK. He has also held roles at Amundi and Credit Suisse.

Peter Uhlenbruch is leaving ShareAction after six years, where he was most recently director of financial sector standards. He joined the NGO as a research officer, before taking on engagement positions, and then moving into financial sector standards. Prior to ShareAction, he spent six years at Ownership Matters as a corporate governance research assistant.

ShareAction is recruiting for Uhlenbruch’s position. The successful candidate will be responsible for delivering the financial sector standards directorate’s part of the organisation’s three-year strategy. This will include evolving teams’ approaches to engagement, campaigns and benchmarks to drive up RI practices, leading and facilitating impactful cross-team working opportunities and developing new and emerging workstreams in the areas of fixed income, private equity and responsible investment standards and expectations (RISE). The deadline for applications is 15 January.

NatureMetrics has expanded its advisory team with four new appointments. Hannah Skeates joins as director of nature strategy for finance and environmental markets, having previously held global sustainable investing leadership roles at Wells Fargo, S&P Global and BlackRock. Amy Sellers, Isadora Ferreira and Alison Jones have been appointed as principal consultants. Sellers leaves Deloitte’s risk advisory team where she was a climate and risk manager. Ferreira was also previously at Deloitte, working as a climate and sustainability strategy consultant. Jones, who was chief operating officer at Little Blue Research, has held several roles at the Natural Capital Coalition and was an environmental consultant at Arcadis.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) is hiring a sustainable investing principal for its climate and energy advisory. The successful candidate will work on climate change risk metrics and scenario analysis and portfolio resilience, covering both transition and physical risk.

Federated Hermes has poached Kerry Amies from T Rowe Price as its DE&I business partner. Amies spent eight years at T Rowe Price and was previously a senior DE&I manager. She is also an ambassador at The Diversity Project.

Rupal Sachdev Kantaria has been named vice-chair of The 30% Club UK, where she was previously global and UK strategic adviser and steering committee member. She is also a partner at Oliver Wyman’s finance practice, where she has worked for more than two decades. She has been co-chair of the International Women’s Day steering committee at the House of Commons since 2018.

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is seeking a transition policy specialist for its team in China. The successful candidate will work across regional and global teams to research, engage and build the capacity of local policymakers, government departments, regulators and investors to support the economic transition in China and Southeast Asia.

The PRI is also recruiting a stewardship sovereign engagement specialist to support the sovereign engagement programme lead. The successful candidate will help investors interact directly with policymakers and regulators to support action to achieve the Paris Agreement and better manage portfolio exposure to climate risks through sovereign debt and related investments. The deadline for both positions is 14 January.

Désirée Lucchese has left her role as head of ethics and impact at U Ethical Investors after three years. She has been a member of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) for two years, where she is part of the policy and advocacy technical expert group, and is an honorary associate at UTS Business School’s finance department. She was formerly an ESG consultant at MSCI.

John Firth is leaving WTW in February after two years as senior director of its climate and resilience hub. He will join Itaca Solutions, a company focused on climate adaptation financing, in February, as a part-time strategic adviser. Firth spent more than 16 years as CEO and co-founder of Acclimatise, before it was acquired by WTW in 2020.

Gabriel Labbate has been named co-chair of the expert panel of the Integrity Council for Voluntary Carbon Markets. He has worked at the UN Environment Programme for 19 years and is currently head of the climate mitigation unit and REDD+ global team leader.

Sustainable investment and operating company Generate Capital has appointed William Sonneborn as president. He joins from the International Finance Corporation, where he was global director and chair of the investment committee. He was formerly president of EIG Global Energy Partners and a senior adviser at KKR.

Elena Ladygina has joined impact investing wealth management firm Veris Wealth Partners as a senior adviser. She has nearly two decades of experience in wealth management, mostly recently at Withium Wealth Management.