RI People & Appointments, August 20: Kofi Annan, AP3, Sparinvest, HSBC

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Tributes have poured in for Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary General who has died aged 80. Annan founded the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative and formally launched the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) at the New York Stock Exchange in April 2006. His appointment of Professor John Ruggie paved the way for the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights. Current Global Compact CEO Lise Kingo called him a “great leader and visionary”. Her predecessor Georg Kell said Annan was “the conscience of humanity”. Stephen Nolan, the CEO of Sustainable Nation Ireland who was an advisor to Annan’s ICT Task Force, called him “an inspiration”.

HSBC’s former head of green bonds, Ulrik Ross, has taken up a new role as Board Member at Nordic Transport Group, the Danish transport and logistic group. He is also currently Head of Group Treasury at Saxo Bank and Financial Advisor at GM Group.

Victoria Clarke, Head of Sustainable Bonds for EMEA at HSBC, has left the bank, RI understands. Clarke took over from Ulrik Ross last year, after he left as part of a broader restructuring process. Earlier this year he took up a position as Head of Group Treasury at Saxo Bank and last week announced on LinkedIn an additional role as a Board Member of Nordic Transport Group. Clarke, who declined to comment on whether she had taken up a position elsewhere, will be temporarily replaced by Farnam Bidgoli, who moved to HSBC last year as an associate, having previously worked on green bond second-party opinions for Sustainalytics for seven years.

Quinn Liu has left her role as ESG Analyst at HSBC Global Asset Management to pursue a Master of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School. She said on LinkedIn: “I truly believe in the value of ESG and I commit to promoting responsible investing. If investors are evaluating companies with a long-term perspective, the most relevant and material factors will be companies’ long-term strategies, out of which ESG plays an important role.”Kerim Kaskal has returned to AP3, the SEK345bn (€33bn) Third Swedish National Fund, as Acting CIO. The move follows the news that investment chief and deputy CEO Mårten Lindeborg had died after a short illness. Kaskal was CIO at the pension fund for just over two years before leaving to become Portfolio Manager at investment manager Ambrosia Fonder. Link

Also joining AP3 is Maria Björklund, named as Senior Portfolio Manager Alternative Investments. Björklund joins from Swedish pension fund provider AMF, where she had been Portfolio Manager, Alternative Investments since 2015.

Jørgen Søgaard-Andersen has been named CEO of Sparinvest, taking over from Per Noesgaard who is stepping down on September 1 after 22 years. Søgaard-Andersen has been both Deputy CEO and Investment Director since the turn of the year, having joined in 2016. Founded in Denmark in 1968, Sparinvest is now an international asset management group based in Luxembourg and owned by a broad range of Danish institutional shareholders. It is a signatory of the PRI.

Antonio Santoro has been appointed Head of Southern Europe at the Principles for Responsible Investment. He is based in Madrid. Santoro joined from CDP, where he worked as Senior Project Officer Southern European and Synergies out of Berlin.

Shoko Nakagawa has joined MSCI as a Senior Associate, ESG Research Sales based in Tokyo. She was formerly with S&P Global Market Intelligence as a senior relationship manager where she covered various financial data services. Prior to S&P Global, she worked for Nomura Securities’ Investment Banking Division.

Border to Coast Pensions Partnership chair and former Railpen CEO Chris Hitchen has rejoined the trustee board of the UK’s National Employment Savings Trust (NEST). He previously sat on the board between 2010 and 2015. His appointment is one of four, with Clive Elphick (National Rail), Martin Turner (ex-Lloyds and Barclays) and Mutaz Qubbaj (fintech firm Squirrel) also joining the board.

A Head of Legal & Compliance is being sought by RobecoSAM, the sustainable investing specialist that’s part of the Robeco group.