RI People & Appointments, Nov. 16: Newton’s Carlisle voted onto PRI board for three-year term

The round-up of the latest ESG movers and shakers

Sandra Carlisle, Head of RI at Newton Investment Management and the candidate proposed by a group of asset managers critical of the strategy of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), has been voted onto the board of the initiative for a three-year term. Carlisle, who in her candidate statement said the PRI had “lost its way”, was voted in with 51.2% of the votes cast, beating Masuru Arai, the former Daiwa CIO (48.8%) to the single open asset manager slot. The two available asset owner positions went to Xander den Uhl of ABP (Netherlands) and Angela Emslie, Chair of Hesta Superfund (Australia). RI reported in September that a group of major fund managers had written to PRI Chairman Martin Skancke saying they want far more involvement in its direction. Skancke said of the election results: “I am pleased to welcome Xander, Angela and Sandra to the Board and look forward to working with them over the next few years, in particular as the PRI celebrates its 10th anniversary next year”. The three departing board members are Arai, David Atkin (Cbus), Daniel Simard (Batirente) and Eric Wetlaufer (CPPIB). Link

Jameela Pedicini, the inaugural vice president of sustainable investing at the Harvard Management Company, will leave in December for the New York-based Perella Weinberg Partners, the Harvard Crimson reports. In her new role, Pedicini will be the director of sustainable investment strategies for Perella Weinberg Partners Agility, a division that works with foundations, endowments, and not-for-profits. Perella Weinberg Partners recently facilitated fossil fuel divestment for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Robin Batchelor is reportedly leaving fund management giant BlackRock. Batchelor, who has spent 20 years at the firm, currently manages its World Energy fund and New Energy funds. Citywire, citing a communication to investors from the investment house, reported he has been replaced by portfolio manager Alastair Bishop, who joins co-manager Poppy Allonby. Batchelor would “pursue other business interests” it quoted the statement adding.

Elaine Ng has joined MSCI ESG Research as Executive Director, Client Coverage for Asia. Based in Hong Kong, She is responsible for promoting MSCI’s ESG Ratings, Screening and Impact Monitor products to Asian clients. She previously worked for MSCI’s Analytics business since 2011.

Monique Leroux, chair and CEO of Canada’s Desjardins Group, has been elected President of the International Co-operative Alliance, the Brussels-based body which promotes the cooperative movement worldwide. The election took place during the ICA’s General Assembly in Antalya, Turkey. Leroux, the first Canadian and first North American to be appointed to the role, replaces Dame Pauline Green who had been at the helm of the ICA since 2009.Response Global Media (RGM), the company behind Responsible Investor, is pleased to announce the appointment of Howard Pearce as an independent Non-Executive Director. Howard will provide strategic planning advice to its Board of Directors and will have no involvement in any day to day editorial or commercial decisions. Between 2003-2013 as Head of the Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF), Howard was the guiding mind behind its award winning RI and ESG strategies, policies, and communications. In 2013 he founded his own advisory company HowESG Limited and developed a portfolio of part time non-executive roles, including Director of Menhaden Capital PLC, Chair of the Responsible Investment Advisory Council of F&C (part of the Bank of Montreal), and independent Chair of the Boards of three LGPS pension funds. He is also a Board member of a major commercial port and trustee of a large health sector charity. Prior to his EAPF role, Howard held senior corporate planning roles in the water, leisure, and publishing sectors. Upon his appointment Tony Hay, Hugh Wheelan, and Fennell Betson the Directors of RGM said: “We are absolutely delighted that Howard has joined the Board of RGM and we think his insight, knowledge, experience and skills will help us in our mission to reach out to more asset owners and asset managers.”

The 300 Club, an independent group made up of leading investment professionals from across the globe, says Ronald Schmitz, Chief Investment Officer of the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) as its newest member. In his role with VRS, Ron Schmitz manages and oversees the investment program for the $68 billion fund that serves approximately 650,000 active members, retirees and beneficiaries. Prior to this, he was responsible for the investment at the $52bn Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund. Lars Dijkstra, Chairman of the 300 Club, commented: “Ron brings strong investment experience to the 300 Club, in both the private sector, and a wealth of experience from the public sector, which will be of great value to the 300 Club.”

Andrew Voysey, Director, Finance Sector at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Dr Farzad Saidi of Cambridge Judge Business School are chairing Climate Change: Implications for Finance and Investment on November 19. Link

Swedish state pension fund AP3 is looking for a director for its Group Risk Control & Yield Analysis team. The position reports to the fund’s Chief Financial Officer/Chief Risk Officer.