RI People & Appointments, Jan. 13: New York Common names sustainable investments director

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Andrew Siwo

The $210bn New York State Common Retirement Fund, headed by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, has named its first Director of Sustainable Investments and Climate Solutions. Andrew Siwo, is currently Investment Director and Head of Mission-Related Investing at New York based investment consultant, Colonial Consulting. Siwo, a former manager at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), will support the fund implement its new Climate Action Plan. Reporting to Chief Investment Officer Anastasia Titarchuk, Siwo will oversee the fund’s $12bn commitment to the Climate Solutions Program.

Mariëtte Doornekamp has started as Executive Chair of Dutch governance and sustainability platform Eumedion, succeeding Garmt Louw, the chair of the €30bn Dutch Shell Pensioenfonds. Doornekamp is also trustee at the country’s civil service pension fund ABP.

Sebastián Welisiejko has taken up the role of Chief Policy Officer at the Global Steering Group for Impact Investments (GSG), a membership body which seeks to catalyse impact investing across more than 30 country national advisory boards or NABs. Welisiejko, a development economist, joined GSG as an Executive Director in 2016.

Yong Pung Ho, the first Managing Director of Singaporean foreign reserve sovereign wealth fund GIC, has died according to an announcement from GIC. Under his tenure, GIC was incorporated as a private company and “a rigorous governance framework” was introduced. Although, the Singaporean government does not officially disclose the size of the fund, it is reportedly the eighth largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, with $390bn in assets according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute.

Kari Vatanen

Finnish pension insurer Veritas has nabbed Kari Vatanen from Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company for the position of CIO, according to media reports. Vatanen was head of cross asset derivative strategies and allocation at Varma, and replaces Niina Bergring, who is now Executive Vice President, Asset Management at Finland’s Aktia Bank. 

The International Emissions Trading Association has appointed carbon market “pioneers” Vikram Widge, Karen Degouve, and Dan Dudek as Honorary Fellows. Widge was most recently Global Head of Climate Finance and Policy at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, where his 25-year tenure included overseeing international carbon market development projects. Degouve is Head of Sustainable Business Development at Natixis, and Dudek is Vice President at the Environmental Defense Fund.

Desiree Cummings, who helped the State of New York prosecute JP Morgan Chase for its involvement with subprime mortgage-backed securities, has joined Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd, the US class action law firm, as Of Counsel. Cummings was formerly Assistant Attorney General in the Investor Protection Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office, where she led several noteworthy securities prosecutions. 

Eurosif, the European association for advancing sustainable and responsible investment in Europe, is recruiting an Executive Director to deliver its “ambitious growth strategy”. The Brussels-based role will include securing additional funding for the organisation, recruiting and managing a team, and coordinating with national SIFs. Applications close January 17, 2020.

Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) has hired three Robeco managers for its thematic equities team. Based in the firm’s new Rotterdam office, Henk Grootveld, Christian Vondenbusch, and Jeroen van Oerle will develop strategies to invest in companies providing solutions to global problems.

Karin MerkusKarin Merkus is now CIO and Executive Trustee for Balance Management at the €29bn Dutch Rabobank Pensioenfonds, where she succeeds Thijs Berenst.

The £4bn (€4.6bn) Superannuation Arrangements of the University of London (SAUL) is seeking a new Investment Committee member to help oversee the pension fund’s investment strategy, manager selection and portfolio management. Applicants should have “a thorough understanding of the latest developments in Responsible Investment and how to apply its principles to portfolio construction”.

Dr Xolani Humphrey Mkhwanazi, board member of the South African state-owned Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has passed away after a short illness. Mkhwanazi served on the PIC Board in various capacities, including Chairman of the Investment Committee, Deputy Chairperson and Acting Chairperson.

Tim Brennan, formerly Treasurer and CFO at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), has founded a new RI advisory firm, Responsible Investing Solutions. He stays on at the UUA as Special Advisor on Responsible Investing

Nadja Franssen has taken up a new role as Responsible Investment Officer as ACTIAM, the Dutch asset manager with €60bn under management. Franssen serves on various sustainability-focused committees, such as the UN’s Committee on SDGs in Active Ownership and the Responsible Investment Committee at VBA Society CFA Netherlands.

Lucy Byrne has been promoted to Senior ESG Analyst at BlueBay Asset Management, having joined the firm as an ESG Analyst in July 2018. She previously worked in KPMG’s Sustainability Services department as Sustainability Consultant and then Assistant Manager.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) is recruiting a Sustainable Finance Data Specialist for its Banking Markets, Innovation and Products Unit, to be based in Paris. The selected candidate will support the body’s policy work incorporating ESG risks in the regulatory framework for the EU banking sector. The deadline for applications is February 8, 2020. 

The Church of England is looking for a new Chair for its Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EIAG), the body charged with providing theologically infused advice and support to the Church’s national investment bodies, which are responsible for more than £12bn in assets. Current EIAG Chair David Walker, Bishop of Manchester will Chair the nominations committee. 

The Global Business Initiative on Human Rights (GBI) has appointed human rights and anti-corruption expert Jonathan Drimmer as Advisor for North America. Drimmer is currently partner at Paul Hastings’ Washington DC office where he focuses on cross-border compliance, enforcement and disputes.

US-based environmental advocacy non-profit the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is looking for an Executive Director to grow the NGO’s effectiveness in Europe. Applications close January 24, 2020.

The Institutional Investors Group of Climate Change (IIGCC) is recruiting a Programme Director to manage its policy programme, a two-year position based in London. The first year will include coordinating and delivering an IIGCC strategy to support COP26 in Glasgow in November 2020.

Planet Tracker, Mark Campanale and Nick Robins’ latest spinoff from the influential Carbon Tracker, is looking for a Quantitative Investment Analyst to join its research team. The role will boost the initiative’s work showing how environmental constraints impact financial performance and growth forecasts.