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RI People & Appointments, December 2: Sustainalytics hires NY funds’ Brauer for engagement role

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Rhonda Brauer has been hired by Sustainalytics as Director of Engagement Services for North America. According to the ESG data provider, it is in the process of adding to its engagement capabilities after the January acquisition of GES International, a provider of ownership services such as engagement, screening and voting. Brauer was previously Director of Corporate Engagement for the five public New York City Pension Funds, where she spearheaded New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s Boardroom Accountability Project 2.0. She is a former Secretary & Corporate Governance Officer for The New York Times Company and Senior Managing Director for Corporate Governance at proxy solicitation firm Georgeson. 

Separately, Sustainalytics has named Jodie Tapscott as Director of Client Relations and Head of Australasia. Tapscott previously led the Corporate Responsibility team at Colonial First State, the former asset management arm of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, now owned by Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation.

Mark Carney has been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres as UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance to the COP 26 climate summit which will be held in Scotland next year. Carney, who is due to step down from the BoE at the end of January, will serve the UN in a personal capacity.

Wim Borgdoff has been appointed interim CEO at Dutch sustainable investing boutique Actiam following the recent resignation of Hans van Houwelingen. Borgdoff, a former APG Managing Director, is a co-founder of real estate and alternatives investment manager AlpInvest Partners. Actiam, which manages €60bn, was sold to Bermuda insurance group Athora earlier this year.

Nigel Norman has been appointed by Hermes Investment Management to oversee distribution in the Middle East. Norman has spent more than two decades in the region and most recently ran the Abu Dhabi office of Aberdeen Standard Investments as Head of Middle East and Africa. Previously, Norman has held roles at Morgan Grenfell Asset Management and Deutsche Asset management.

Maria Rankka has been named Chair of Swedish ESG investing and strategy consultancy Ethos International – not to be confused with the similarly named Swiss pension fund-owned governance body Ethos. She is currently Executive Vice President (EVP) Business Development & Communications at Takura, a Swedish company which invests in stem cell technologies.

Natasha Buckley has been named as Vice President, ESG at private equity firm HarbourVest Partners after recently exiting the Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI). While at the PRI, she managed the private equity and property programmes within the Investment Practices team.

Audrey Forbes has been named to the executive team at OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest defined benefit pension plans, amid a wider restructuring by newly appointed President and CEO Peter Lindley. According to Lindley, the fund is in the process of hiring a Senior Managing Director to lead on sustainable investing, after the recent departure of Katharine Preston to OMERS. Details of the restructuring was first reported by Pension Pulse, a blog by Canada-based pension analyst Leo Kolivakis. 


Jacob Johansson-Ranelius has joined Swedish law firm Wigge & Partners from insurance group Folksam where he was Senior Analyst, Responsible Investments. Wigge recently advised Folksam on a SEK1.5bn (€120m) investment into Infranode II, an infrastructure fund investing in energy, social, infrastructure and transport assets. 

Roger Strevens, Head of Sustainability at Nordic logistics and shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen, will join the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s Advisory Group.

Sarah Pennells, a personal finance journalist, has been appointed Head of Financial Capability and Guidance at Royal London, the UK’s largest mutual insurer. Formerly with the BBC, Pennells founded and edited Savvy Women, a website providing financial advice for women. Savvy Woman is due to be shuttered as Pennells takes up the role at the end of the year.