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RI People & Appointments, August 5: HSBC, ClientEarth, BlueOrchard and the Public Investment Corporation

The latest ESG movers and shakers

John Flint, the Chief Executive of HSBC, has stepped down “by mutual agreement” in a surprise announcement today after less than two years in the role. He is replaced in the interim by the bank’s Commercial Banking chief Noel Quinn. In his personal capacity, Flint serves as a commissioner for The New Climate Economy, an initiative supporting clean economic growth, with other business figures and former heads of state. HSBC also announced today a review of how it reports ESG targets due to a change in methodology by data supplier Sustainalytics.

Naïm Abou-Jaoudé, CEO of Luxembourg-based manager Candriam, is expected to leave the board of Swiss impact pioneer BlueOrchard after the acquisition of a majority stake by the Schroders group. Schroders refused to disclose which investor it had purchased the shares from. BlueOrchard has agreed to appoint to the board Schroders Group Chief Executive Peter Harrison, Global Head of Private Assets Georg Wunderlin, and Executive Chairman of Schroders’ private equity platform Adveq, Stephen Mills.

Alice Garton will be leaving her post as Head of Climate at environmental law non-profit ClientEarth to join the Foundation for International Law and the Environment (FILE) as Legal Director in October. ClientEarth is currently seeking a replacement. The organisation grabbed headlines recently after mounting a successful legal challenge against the construction of a major Polish power plant.

The Bank of England is looking to hire a Senior Climate Hub Economist, to help develop scenarios to analyse the impact of climate change on the wider economy, financial institutions and the financial system. The Climate Hub also leads the Bank’s involvement in the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System.

Rob Zochowski, a former Goldman Sachs VP, and Christine Johnson have respectively been named Director and Research Associate at Harvard Business School’s Impact Weighted Accounts Initiative, headed by George Serafeim. Zochowski’s role will straddle both industry engagement and research. The initiative is developing accounting systems that measure external corporate impact, for example on society and the environment. The concept of “impact-weighted financial accounts” was first mooted by impact investment pioneer Sir Ronald Cohen.

Vigeo Eiris is seeking a Japanese-speaking ESG Analyst to rate Japanese corporate performance in Brussels. The data provider is adding to its capabilities a few months after the acquisition of a majority stake by Moody’s.Reuel Khoza has reportedly been named chair of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), South Africa’s largest asset manager, ending a longstanding convention of appointing the Deputy Finance Minister to the role. The PIC is the focus of a judicial inquiry after being mired in a corruption scandal which saw the resignation of both its previous chief executive, Dan Matjila, and board.

Matthieu Bardout has joined S&P Global as an Account Director for ESG Sales. In his previous role at influential climate think-tank 2 Degrees Investing Initiative (2DII), Bardout was heading up a new, for-profit spin-off company, Asset Resolution, which will sell asset-level investment data for the energy-related sectors. He became Interim CEO of the firm late last year, but left for S&P last month.

Steven Nichols has joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch as Director, ESG Capital Markets. Nichols was poached from BNP Paribas, where he spearheaded Sustainable Finance in the US for corporate clients, in addition to structuring US-based Green Bonds and ESG-linked loans.

Steve Sawyer, a prominent figure in renewables and environmental activism, has passed away. He was the first Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council and represented the industry lobbying governments to scale-up the use of wind power. He previously helmed Greenpeace and oversaw some of its major achievements including a successful lawsuit against the French government for bombing a Greenpeace boat and making Antarctica off-limits for oil & gas exploration.

Gregory Elders has been named as a Director at Joele Frank, a financial communications consultancy, where he will assist companies to “better develop and articulate their ESG strategy”. Elders joins from JP Morgan where he was a VP of ESG Index Research and formerly held roles at the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Bloomberg.

Michiel van Hulten has joined anti-bribery body Transparency International as Director of its EU office in Brussels. Prior to joining Transparency International, he was working as a consultant in Brussels. A former MEP, he was the first managing director of VoteWatch Europe, the organisation that monitors the decision-making processes of the EU institutions. He takes over from Carl Dolan and interim director Nick Aiossa.