RI People & Appointments, April 4: Railpen’s Head of Corporate Governance Curtiss retires

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Frank Curtiss, Head of Corporate Governance at RPMI Railpen Investments, the UK’s railways pension administrator, is retiring. Curtiss, one of the leading figures in institutional governance in the UK, joined Railpen in 1990, acquiring responsibility for corporate governance in 1997. His career began with Williams & Glyn’s Bank in 1982 on graduating from University College London in English. He joined the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN) in 1998 and was elected to its board in 2009. Speaking at an event organized by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in London today, he said: “I shall continue to watch the industry as I become a full-time railway pensioner.”

Theresa Whitmarsh, executive director of the $104bn Washington State Investment Board, has been named as the new chair of the Council of Institutional Investors (CII), the US investment body. A former co-chair, she succeeds Michael McCauley of the Florida State Board of Administration. The new-co chairs are Dave Donlin (Target Corp.), Jennifer O’Dell (LIUNA Staff and Affiliates Pension Fund) and Gregory Smith (Colorado Public Employees Retirement System). Dale Johnson, investment officer with Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association becomes board treasurer. John Abraham, co-director of the American Federation of Teachers’ Center for Workers’ Benefits and Capital Strategies Research and Strategic Initiatives Department, was named board secretary.

German ESG research firm Oekom has confirmed the departure of Client Relations Manager Christopher Knapp. A spokesman said a replacement was currently being sought and that in the meantime, Karin Siemann, Senior Client Relations Manager, had taken over his duties. In related news, Oekom said that it had created a new four-member ‘Research Services Team’ headed by Philipp Rühle. It will assist investors in defining the investment universe along sustainable lines and with portfolio analysis.

John Elkington has been named as chairman of the recently established GRI Technology Consortium by the Global Reporting Initiative, the corporate sustainability reporting body. The new body was launched in December 2015 with the aim of convening the world’s technology leaders to ‘promote a conversation’ on how sustainability data can transform business and policy decision-making. Elkington, chairman of Volans since 2008, co-founded Environmental Data Services and co-founded SustainAbility, where he coined the term ‘triple bottom line’ in 1994.

Corinne Le Quéré, Director at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and Nick Chater, Professor at the Warwick Business School have been named as members of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), an independent advisory body to the UK Government.

Michael Molitor, an academic and former Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Senior Advisor at BP, McKinsey and the OECD, has been appointed
Senior Fellow at the US-based Ray C. Anderson Foundation. The Foundation is a not-for-profit body promoting and funding innovations in sustainability through educational and project-based initiatives.Natalie Compagner-Kearney, Head of Marketing at Triodos Investment Management, has left the Dutch sustainable banking specialist, and according to her LinkedIn page is currently “available soon for a new challenge”. Prior to joining Triodos she spent three years as Head of Segment Marketing for ING Investment Management and over 10 years working for ABN AMRO Bank in Amsterdam.

Martina Macpherson, the founder and Managing Partner of London-based Sustainable Investment Partners (SI Partners), has been named as a board director of the Network for Sustainable Financial Markets, the international, non-partisan network of finance sector professionals, academics and others. From 2015-16, Macpherson has worked at Hermes EOS, as an Associate Director, Corporate Engagement and Public Policy. Prior to this, she has held a range of global business, research and product development roles at MSCI, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, F&C and Deutsche Bank.

Gair Brisbane has been named as Senior Client Portfolio Manager at Standard Life Wealth. Reporting to Mike Connor, head of the fund firm’s Edinburgh office, he will have responsibility for managing the investment portfolios for charity clients. He joins from Brown Shipley Private Bank.

John Buckley, Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at BNY Mellon, has retired from his position at the US banking and custody giant after 25 years. Buckley served in numerous leadership positions related to major corporate change initiatives. Link

Russell Read, former chief investment officer at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), has been appointed CIO at Alaska’s $50bn state sovereign wealth fund, the Alaska Permanent Fund. Read, who also served as Deputy CIO at Deutsche Bank and later as CIO at the Kuwaiti-based Gulf Investment Corporation, replaces Jay Willoughby at the Fund. Willoughby left the fund last year to join the Investment Fund for Foundations (TIFF), an investment vehicle for the US not-for-profit sector.

Andrew Cairns, formerly Head, Customer Led Connections at Australian retail bank, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, has reportedly been named CEO at Community Sector Banking, an Australian not-for-profit bank formed as a 50:50 joint venture between shareholders Bendigo Bank and the Community 21 consortium of not-for-profit organisations including Oxfam, Scope and Yfoundations.

Karsten Mieth has been named Head of Asset Management at CHORUS Clean Energy. The German renewables investor said it reflected growing institutional demand for its renewable energy investments. He joins from Münchener Real I.S., the property investment unit of German Landesbank BayernLB. He was Executive Director of Sales at Real I.S. Link