RI People & Appointments, April 7: Canada’s RBC names head of new governance & RI group

The latest ESG movers and shakers

RBC Global Asset Management, which manages approximately C$315bn (€208.6bn) in assets, has created a new Corporate Governance & Responsible Investing Group. Judy Cotte, the former Director of Policy Development and Chief Operating Officer at the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, has been appointed Vice President & Head, Corporate Governance and Responsible Investment. Jason Milne is named Manager, Corporate Governance & Responsible Investment. The team will oversee all activities related to corporate governance and responsible investment including the more formal integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process, proxy voting policy and ESG engagement with companies.

Susanne Røge Lund has joined PensionDanmark, the €16bn Danish labour market pension scheme, as its Head of Socially Responsible Investments (SRI). She reports to Jens-Christian Stougaard, Director of SRI. She joins from PKA, an administrator for five Danish pension funds from the health care and social services industries. Lund worked at PKA for 12 years, the last two as Head of Responsible Investments. Lund’s replacement at PKA is Pelle Pedersen.

Denise Saber, the former Head of Institutional European Business Development at Insight Investment who had spells with Craigmore Sustainables and Osmosis Investment Management, has been appointed Head of Institutional Business Development, Europe at First State Investments, the asset management firm with more than £98.5bn (€118.9bn) under management that has a focus on ESG. Chris Gower becomes Head of Client & Consultant Relations, EMEA. Jimmy Burns will join as a Senior Relationship Manager based in Edinburgh. Frank Glennon also joins and will report to Saber in the new role of European Business Development Manager.

John Scott, a former investment banker at Lazard, is taking over from Richard Bernays as chairman of Impax Environmental Markets Plc, the listed environmental investor. Bernays, the former CEO of Old Mutual International who is also chairman of Gartmore Global Trust plc and Throgmorton Trust plc, has chaired the company since its inception in 2002. Link

Sir Andrew Cahn, the former Chief of Staff to European Commission Vice President Neil Kinnock, has been named as the new chair of the trustee board at environmental NGO the WWF. Cahn, who is also Vice–Chairman at Nomura International, will succeed Ed Smith when he retires in June.John Geissinger, most recently a partner at investment consultant Hewitt EnnisKnupp, has been appointed as the new Chief Investment Officer of Christian Brothers Investment Services, the New York-based firm which specialises in socially responsible investing for Catholic institutions. He succeeds Frank Haines, who retired last August after 13 years as CIO. CBIS has more than $5bn in assets under management.

Matthew Welch has been named as the new Chief Operating Officer at the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), the US body that provides sustainability accounting standards for listed companies. He was formerly COO at educational software firm Junyo. Link

Mark Lerdal is to become chairman of Leaf Clean Energy, the renewable energy investor, replacing Peter Tom. Stephen Coe also becomes a director and takes over from Bran Keogh. Lerdal is a partner in MP2 Capital, the North American solar photovoltaic project-financing firm; he is also non-executive director of Trading Emissions. The move follows a call from investor Richard Bernstein of the Crystal Amber trust for Leaf to be wound up. Link

Charlotte Valeur, Chris Hunt and Conor Roche have been named as directors of NTR plc, the Dublin-based renewable energy investment group. Valeur is Managing Director of investment fund governance advisor GFG Ltd. and is a director at several companies including Renewable Energy Generation Ltd. and Ingenious Clean Energy Income Plc. Hunt, a former executive at of BP Alternative Energy, is a Managing Director of Riverstone, the investment firm with over $25bn under management. Roche, Business Development Director of NTR, joined the board in December 2013. Donal Tierney and Chris Nash retired from the board in March 2014.

Poppy Allonby, Managing Director and member of the Natural Resources Team at BlackRock Investment Management in the UK, has been appointed as a Church Commissioner. Graham Oldroyd, until recently Partner at European Private Equity fund manager Bridgepoint, also joins the Commissioners; both join the Commissioners’ Assets Committee and Securities Group. The Church Commissioners manage a £5.2bn investment portfolio derived from the Church’s historic resources.

Carsten Rodbertus has been removed from his post as CEO at Prokon, the embattled German wind energy firm that he founded. According to Dietmar Penzlin, the insolvency administrator that Rodbertus himself hired in January, the dismissal was necessary to ensure that he could carry on with his work. German press reports say that it is likely that Prokon, which shocked its investors by reporting huge losses last year, will be declared insolvent in May.