RI People & Appointments, February 13: SocGen, Carbon Tracker, Citi, SUSI Partners, Oikocredit, UBS

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Isabelle Millat has been named as Head of Sustainable Investment Solutions at Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking, a newly created position within the French bank’s Global Markets activities. Based in Paris, Millat reports to Marc Saffon, Head of Financial Engineering for Global Markets. Millat will be responsible for coordinating all sustainable and responsible investment initiatives across asset classes. She joined the group in 2006 and has held various roles within markets activities, notably as Chief Operating Officer for the Cross Asset Structured Products activity in NewYork. Since 2014, she has been a Financial Product Engineer in charge of developing cross asset investment strategies and index structuring for the Societe Generale Index franchise (SGI).

Carbon Tracker has completed a recruitment drive that has seen four hires, including former staff at Schroders, the Clinton Global Initiative and Credit Suisse. Sam Catalano has joined the London-based think-tank as co-head of institutional investor engagement, having previously been head of metals & mining research for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Nomura International, and a portfolio manager and equity analyst for global natural resources at Schroders. Kathy Ryan has been named fellow co-head of institutional engagement. Ryan founded Global Green Investments in 2014, to work with bodies including the World Bank to assess ways to raise private capital for renewable energy projects in emerging markets, and to analyse carbon footprinting methodologies. Matt Gray, who has worked as an advisor to Carbon Tracker since 2015, has now been appointed as a Senior Analyst. He will cover power generation technologies and the utilities sectors, having formerly been an analyst at the International Energy Agency, Jefferies, Credit Suisse and the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. Caroline Hermans has been hired for Carbon Tracker’s new New York operations. She was previously Head of Environmental Stewardship at the Clinton Global Initiative and a researcher at the US Geological Survey.

SUSI Partners, the Switzerland-based clean energy investment firm, has named Francisco Feito as Head of its Renewable Energy Investment Team and Gustavo Coito as Senior Vice President Energy Storage. Feito was formerly with BlackRock and Coito has had stints at Actis and Goldman Sachs.
Ecosphere+, set up by the Althelia Climate Fund in September 2016 to develop and scale the market for carbon assets, has named its full team. Ecosphere+ is headed by Lisa Walker, the former Vice President of Environment and Climate Change at BG Group (now part of Royal Dutch Shell), who was appointed CEO at launch. The team reporting to her will now include: Kate Dillon Levin (VP, North American Sales & Marketing); Jessica Verhagen (VP, Business Development & Strategy); Gustavo Gamio (Latin American Sales & Marketing); Lucy Arndt (Sales & Business Development Manager); and Naazia Ebrahim (Strategic Analyst). Anna Lehmann, an agronomist and natural resources expert, is also supporting Ecosphere+ as a Technical Adviser. And Andrew Mitchell, founder and former-CEO of the Global Canopy Programme, will join Ecosphere+ as a Senior Adviser and Chair of the Advisory Board.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the UK watchdog, has appointed Phil Fitz-Gerald as Director of the Financial Reporting Lab, which brings together companies and investors to support improvement and innovation in reporting. Fitz-Gerald has been at the FRC since 2009. Jennifer Sisson joins as Senior Investor Engagement Manager; she joins from PwC where she is a Senior Manager for Investor Engagement. Sue Harding has now left the lab to become Managing Director, Accounting & Governance at Citi Research.

Carl Renner has been appointed Executive Director of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators (IFIAR) Permanent Secretariat to be established in Tokyo as of April 1. He was most recently project director at the Financial Reporting Lab.Elaine Prior, the award-winning ESG analyst at Citi, is reportedly retiring from the firm. The Australian Financial Review was citing unnamed sources. Prior, who won the award for the best new piece of ESG research by an individual or team at the ESG Research Australia awards in 2015 and saw Citi named best ESG Broking Firm for six years in a row, joined Citi in 2006 having started her career as a petroleum engineer. Prior got the 2015 award for her ‘Modern Slavery & Child Labour: Assessing Risk in Global Industries and ASX-listed Companies’ and won in 2014 for her ‘Unburnable Carbon: A Catalyst for Debate’ research.

Thos Gieskes has been appointed as the new managing director of global impact investor Oikocredit. Gieskes, a Dutch national, has worked in international business and finance, particularly in rural lending and financing agribusinesses, for nearly 30 years. In his most recent position, he was CEO of Rabobank Australia and managing director for the Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group. Gieskes will be taking over the role from interim managing director Ging Ledesma, who will continue her role as investor relations and social performance director at Oikocredit.

Douglas Flint, the Chairman of HSBC Holdings, has been named non-executive chairman of the Just Finance Foundation, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s initiative to promote responsible lending. Former finance regulator Hector Sants, Chair of the former Archbishop’s Task Group and current Trustee of the foundation, said Flint’s “experience and commitment” would ensure the work of the TaskGroup is both taken forward and over time enhanced.

Christine Gugolz Kiefer has joined UBS asset management in Zurich as business manager in the Sustainable & Impact Investing team. Gugolz Kiefer was previously Head Client Strategy, Marketing and Client Services at RobecoSAM.

Judy Kuszewski, chief executive of sustainability consultancy Sancroft International, has been appointed chair of the GRI Global Sustainability Standards Board. New board members include: Evan Harvey (Nasdaq); Robyn Leeson (STR Consulting); Kenton Swift (University of Montana); Michel Washer (Solvay); Julia Wilson (Nielsen); and Atilla D. Yerlikaya (Coca-Cola İçecek). Board members Michael Nugent (former GSSB Vice-Chair), Hidemi Tomita, David Russel, Simeon Cheng, and Robin Edme stepped down from the GSSB at the end of 2016.

Jean Raby has been named to replace Pierre Servant as chief executive of Natixis Global Asset Management, the French asset manager that is parent to responsible investment specialist Mirova. Raby was most recently CFO at French telecoms group SFR. Servant remains with the group as senior advisor to Laurent Mignon, CEO of the Natixis group, the investment and financial services arm of French bank BPCE.

Ulrik Nødgaard, the former director of the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA), has been appointed (link, Danish) as a new supervisory board member for the Social Workers and Social Education Practitioners’ Pension Fund (Pensionskassen for Socialrådgivere og Socialpædagoger), one of the three social and healthcare sector pension funds that are run by labour market pension provider PKA. Nødgaard is currently director of Finans Danmark, the new banking trade association. Henriette Schütze, CFO of the Nordic Tankers group, takes a similar role on the trustee board of the Healthcare Professionals’ Pension Fund (Pensionskassen for Sundhedsfaglige). Nathali Degn, chairman of the DL trade union, joins the supervisory board of the third PKA pension fund, the Pension Fund for Nurses and Medical Secretaries (Pensionskassen for Sygeplejersker og Lægesekretærer).