People & Appointments, May 14: Ma Jun, Erik Solheim and Citi’s Brandee McHale join UNEP FI

The latest ESG movers and shakers

The UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative has appointed three new ESG heavyweights to its Global Steering Committee, including Citi’s Director of Corporate Citizenship Brandee McHale, who will join Axa’s Group Head of Regulation, Sustainability and Insurance Foresight, Christian Thimann as co-Chair. Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment and Under-Secretary-General of the UN, and Ma Jun, a driving force in China’s climate finance push and Director of the Center for Finance and Development at Tsinghua National Institute of Financial Research, were named as committee members. The steering committee provides strategic advice to UNEP FI, the partnership between United Nations Environment and the global financial sector, which includes more than 200 financial institutions.
Aris Prepoudis, CEO of RobecoSAM, the Swiss RI specialist, is to leave the company following an announcement that he and the company had “decided to part ways” at the same time as RobecoSAM and its sister Dutch fund manager Robeco announced a further strengthening of collaboration.
RobecoSAM said that pending regulatory approvals, RobecoSAM will be led by Co-CEOs, Marius Dorfmeister, currently Head of Global Clients and Marketing and Member of the ExCo, and Daniel Wild, currently Head of Sustainability Investing Research & Development and Member of the ExCo.
Hermes has expanded its fixed-income team, appointing Stephane Michel as Senior Portfolio Manager and Andrew Lennox as Asset-Backed Securities (ABS) Portfolio Manager. Michel will help the firm build out its Asset Based Lending platform and identify “wider Multi-Asset Credit capabilities”. He was previously consultant, having spent five years at UBS. Lennox will focus on European ABS, recommending investments and working on ways to monitor and analyse the asset class. He joins from BlackRock, where he was a Senior Portfolio Manager for European ABS. He has also held positions at ECM, Wells Fargo and Golman Sachs. Hermes Investment Management funds £33bn. It now has 26 people on its fixed-income team.
Morgan Stanley has selected two new members for its Institute for Sustainable Investing. Darren Walker, President of the $13bn Ford Foundation and Chair of the US Alliance on Impact Investing, and Geisha Williams, CEO and President of clean energy company PG&E Corporate and Director of Edison Electric Institute, will both join the institute’s Advisory Board. The board, which is made up of representatives from business, academia, and civil society, “guides the Institute for Sustainable Investing’s work and strategic priorities”. Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing works with members of the commercial teams to develop scalable solutions and tools to ESG issues.
Mercer has appointed Robert Baker as its Diversity and Inclusion Leader for Europe and the Pacific region. Baker, who has been an investment consultant for Mercer for two decades – including most recently its Global Client Director – will now head up its consultancy services for clients looking to improve diversity and inclusion in their workforces. He will also contribute to Mercer’s ‘When Women Thrive’ project, and help conduct research on parental leave, LGBT “benefits”, and pay equality. Baker is Co-President of the Board of Professional Women’s Network Global and an Ambassador for Mercer’s ‘Men Matter’ campaign.David Murray, CEO of responsible investment think-tank and advocacy group Preventable Surprises, is leaving the organisation at the end of May. He has a new role of managing director of Article 25, a charity that designs and builds sustainable architectural projects in areas of extreme poverty and disaster. Prior to joining Preventable Surprises, Murray was head of campaigns and communications at Cycling UK. Preventable Surprises is currently looking for a new Chair and a new CEO.
Beija Ma will replace Sarbjit Nahal as Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s head of Thematic Investment. RI reported last week that Nahal was leaving the role after nearly eight years. He will take up an opportunity on the buy-side, according to BAML. Ma has been at BAML for 10 years, moving from trading Equity Derivatives to joining the Thematic Investing Team in 2014. She will take up the reins at the team in July, and her role will include leading research into ESG. She will also cover new coverage from BAML on the ETF sector.
Richard Ferlauto, Co-Founder of the 50/50 Climate Project and former Deputy Director at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, has been posthumously awarded the Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The award is given annually by Trillium Asset Management and sustainable-investment NGO Ceres, “to honour inspiring global leaders working to move capital markets toward a system that balances economic prosperity with social and environmental issues”. Ferlauto passed away last May, aged 60. He was a former Director of Corporate Governance and Pension Investments for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees fund and launched the 50/50 Climate Project to persuade corporate boards to address climate change.
JP Morgan Private Bank has hired Jessica Matthews as its new Head of Sustainable Investing in Wealth Management. Matthews was previously head of the Mission-related Investing Practice at consultants Cambridge Associates, which specialises in SRI investment. In the newly-created position – created because of client demand for ESG investments – she will report to JP Morgan Private Bank’s Global Head of Multi-Asset and Portfolio Solutions, Monica Issar. The role is based in New York.
Pernille Holtedahl, who used to head up green bond development for second-party opinion provider DNV GL, has become an Associate Partner at the Menon Centre’s consultancy arm for Environmental and Resource Economics. Holtedahl left DNV in 2015 after nearly four years as a Principal Consultant in Business Assurance, joining consultancy Vivid Economics as an Engagement Manager on topics such as forests, sustainable land use, supply chain management, nature resources and public-private finance. She left last year to set up her own consultancy. The Associate Partner position began this month, and Holtedahl continues to be a freelance consultant, according to her LinkedIn.