RI People & Appointments, August 24: AP3, MSCI ESG, RobecoSAM, J. Safra Sarasin

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Kerim Kaskal will resign as Chief Investment Officer of AP3, the SEK288.3bn (€30.3bn) Swedish buffer fund, on October 30. AP3 said he was leaving to start his own asset management business. Kaskal has been CIO of AP3, one of Sweden’s responsible investment stalwarts, since October 2013. His departure comes as the Swedish government moves to cut the number of AP buffer funds from five to three. It has already emerged that AP6 will be integrated into AP2, while a decision on which of the other schemes (AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4) should close will be taken in the fall. Announcement (Swedish)

Noora Viksten and Annika Manninen have joined MSCI ESG Research as senior associate and associate in the ESG client coverage London team respectively. They join from GES Investment Services and FactSet Research Systems respectively. The appointments are the latest at MSCI’s ESG London team including the recent appointment of Antti Savilaakso, European head of ESG research, from Nordea.

Olaf Martin has been named Senior Portfolio Manager for the RobecoSAM Sustainable Global Equities Strategy. Before joining RobecoSAM in May 2015, he spent eight years working for Zürcher Kantonalbank where he was responsible for the portfolio management of global Sustainability Investing and European equity funds. Prior to that, he managed global Sustainability Investing equity funds as well as an equity theme fund at Vontobel Asset Management from 2002 to 2007.

New Capital, a subsidiary of EFG Asset Management, has reportedly recruited former Hermes UK small caps manager John Leahy to launch a new UK equity fund. Investment Week said Leahy is a specialist UK fund manager and ran smaller company strategies at Hermes Investment Management for 14 years, before leaving the group, that is owned by the BT Pension Scheme, earlier this year.

Harry Conaway, currently Senior Partner with Mercer, has been appointed CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the Washington, DC-based nonprofit research institute. Dallas Salisbury, the body’s chief executive from 1978 to 2015, will become President Emeritus and resident fellow. Home Page

Michael Pennisi has been named as the new CEO of QSuper, the A$60bn (€37.7bn) superannuation fund for current and former Queensland Government employees. He is currently QSuper’s Chief Strategy Officer and replaces Rosemary Vilgan who is leaving the organisation in October after 27 years, including 18 years at the helm. Announcement

Brian Sng has joined Hermes Investment Management as Manager, Business Development. He will be based in Singapore and report into Jakob Nilsson, Head of Business Development, Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Hermes, he was a Client Relations Associate with M&G Investments.Agnes Neher is to join Bank J. Safra Sarasin as Sustainability Manager starting in October. She will focus on strategic sustainable investing projects across the bank. Previously, she has completed her PhD thesis on the financial materiality of ESG risks at the University of Hohenheim.

James Wyse has been named to the newly created role of National Sustainability Lead at the EEF, the UK manufacturers’ organization. “The move is part of a planned relaunch of EEF’s environmental sustainability service, which provides support for manufacturers looking to improve their performance in this vital field,” the body said. Wyse joined EEF in 2012 as a Climate and Environment Consultant.

Sir Merrick Cockell has been appointed acting chairman of the London Pensions Fund Authority. Cockell, a Conservative politician, is also chair of the UK Municipal Bonds Agency, an initiative formed by UK local government to assist with raising capital cost effectively. The move comes as the LPFA is moving towards a £10bn (€14bn) partnership with Lancashire County Pension Fund, which will initially be known as the Lancashire and London Pensions Partnership. Link

Felix Goedhart, Chief Executive of listed German renewable energy firm Capital Stage, will resign at the end of October for personal reasons. In a statement, Capital Stage said its board “regretted the decision, because the company’s successful development in recent years has been largely due to Mr Goedhart.” Klaus-Dieter Maubach has been named as Goedhart’s replacement.

A group of climate finance experts has been named to serve on the investment committee of PRIME Coalition, a US non-profit body “bringing philanthropy to fill capital gaps for energy innovation”. Committee members include: Kristina Burow, ARCH Venture Partners; Arun Majumdar, Stanford University and former ARPA-E Director; Dan Miller, The Roda Group; Matthew Nordan, MNL Partners; Nancy Pfund, DBL Partners; Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge Venture Partners; Dipender Saluja, Capricorn Investment Group; Jeffrey Weiss, Clean Energy Venture Group; and David Wells, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Mary Jo Cook has been appointed the new president and CEO of US impact investor Pacific Community Ventures (PCV). Most recently, Cook was chief impact officer at Fair Trade USA. PCV runs a small business loan fund, providing capital to create jobs in low-income community. The White House has used its policy work on impact investing. Link

The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics is recruiting a Research Officer (Environment and Development). Link