People & Appointments: Fidelity’s Richards to step down as CEO in 2024

The latest ESG movers and shakers: M&G Investments taps Grayer to head climate investment; Rajchl to head green finance dept at Austria’s climate action ministry.

Fidelity International’s Anne Richards has announced her resignation after five years as CEO. In a LinkedIn post today, she said she would step down in 2024 and move into the role of vice chair. Industry veteran Richards was CEO of M&G Investments before taking the top job at Fidelity. She was also an executive director at Prudential for two years, spent more than 12 years as global chief investment officer at Abrdn, and held portfolio manager roles at Mercury Asset Management and JP Morgan Asset Management. Alongside this, Richards chaired the Financial Conduct Authority’s practitioner panel between 2013-19.

M&G Investments has promoted Oliver Grayer to head of climate investment and net zero. He replaces Phil Cliff, who left in January to join Fidelity International’s sustainable investing team. Grayer joined the asset manager in July as a stewardship director, following six years as a programme director at the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

Andreas Rajchl has been named head of the green finance and sustainable economy department at Austria’s Ministry for Climate Action. He leaves the European Commission after three years as a policy expert in sustainable finance. Rajchl replaces Michaela Seelig, who left in December 2022 to join the Inter-American Development Bank as a sector senior specialist.

Mirova has hired two business executives from fellow French asset manager TOBAM to support development in North America. It follows last week’s announcement by Mirova CEO Philippe Zaouati of plans to double the manager’s AUM to €60 billion by 2030.

Stéphane Detobel, who leaves TOBAM after 10 years of developing its US business, was formerly CEO of Amundi Distributors, where he ran its US activities for more than five years. He also spent four years at State Street as head of Northern Europe client relationship management. Francis Verpoucke also spent 10 at TOBAM, having joined from Amundi’s US office where he was managing director for business development. He has also held roles at Crédit Agricole Asset Management and State Street.

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is recruiting two heads of responsible ecosystems for the Middle East and North Africa, and for Africa. The successful candidates will be responsible for setting the strategy on how best to develop local responsible investment ecosystems, as well as for the co-ordination and local implementation of global PRI initiatives to drive progressive signatory action and recruitment. Applications close on 10 December for head of Africa, and on 24 December for head of Middle East and North Africa.

In the latest British cabinet reshuffle, Steve Barclay has been named as secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs, replacing Thérèse Coffey. Barclay was previously secretary of state for health and social care. Paul Maynard has been appointed as the new pensions minister, having previously served as under Secretary of State of Department for Transport. He replaces Laura Trott, who has been promoted to chief secretary to the treasury.

Guy Wilkinson has left La Française to join the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility as an investment engagement officer. He spent more than two years as an ESG analyst at the French manager, having previously been on the Climate Investment Challenge’s steering committee.

Ranjita Rajan has started as co-chair of the Race to Zero working group for professional service firms at High-Level Climate Champions. Rajan has been a business fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford since 2021.