RI People & Appointments, Feb. 2: Ex-GEPF chief Oliphant sets up renewables focused infra firm

The latest ESG movers and shakers

John Oliphant, the former Principal Executive Officer at South Africa’s Government Employees’ Pension Fund (GEPF) who was dismissed last year following a 12-month inquiry into alleged misconduct, has set up a new firm. Gaia Investment Partners which will launch having concluded transactions of R1.3bn (€99m) in the South African renewable energy programme. Oliphant has teamed up with partners Botha Schabort and Leon De Wit, and Fieldstone Africa, a pan-African advisory firm. The firm will be formally launched in March 2015 with Oliphant as chief executive. Link

John Hak has resigned as chairman of the management board at Kempen & Co., the Dutch merchant bank and asset manager that is a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Hak is leaving over a “difference of opinion about the governance model of the group” said parent company Van Lanschot. Hak said in a statement: “We worked hard to resolve differences of opinion about the governance model. We did not succeed – much to my regret.”

André Bourbonnais has been named as the new president and chief executive of Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP), one of country’s largest pension fund managers. He joins PSP, which runs federal public service workers’ pensions, from Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), where he was head of private investments. He succeeds John Valentini, who was named interim CEO after Gordon Fyfe left last year to head up the British Columbia Investment Management Corp.

Andreas Nilsson, a former Director at the private equity businesses of UBS and EQT Partners, has founded a new Munich-based impact investment firm called Sonanz. According to Nilsson, Sonanz’s initial fund will invest in 10 to 15 fast-growing small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets whose business model is “socially beneficial.” Target investors for the fund include German pension funds. To assist him on distribution, Nilsson has recruited Nina Freudenberg, who previously worked at the Boston Consulting Group and obtained a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics. Link

Eric Warner has been named as managing director, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and head of the new London office of SAIL Capital Partners, the US private equity company which specializes in cleantech and water investments. Prior to joining SAIL, Warner was co-chief executive and head of investor relations at Altius Associates, the private equity advisory and funds of funds firm.Brandee McHale has been appointed President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship for Citi. She succeeds Pamela Flaherty, who is retiring after 46 years with the bank. Ed Skyler remains Chairman of the Citi Foundation. McHale first joined Citi in 1991 and was most recently Chief Operating Officer of the Citi Foundation. From 2004-2007, she worked at the Ford Foundation. Announcement

Paul Marsland has joined Manifest as Stewardship Services Manager, the governance advisory firm said, adding he has joined from rival firm PIRC. In this new role he will be co-coordinating between clients and the Manifest research team on policy issues as well as being product lead for the firm’s GovernanceWatch service. Research Operations Manager is now Nicola Slade, a long-standing Manifest employee who until recently was Assistant Manager in the research department.

Mike Furbank has been named as Trustee Services Delivery Manager at the Pensions Trust, the £6bn (€7.9bn) UK workplace pension fund. He has almost 30 years experience with Capita, Coal Pension Trustees and the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund.

Dale MacMaster has been named chief investment officer of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo), the C$80bn Canadian investor. He has been with AIMCo since 1998, most recently as executive vice president of public markets. AIMCo is part owner, with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, of proxy firm Glass Lewis. Link

A Manager, Shareholder Engagement is being sought by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC). The role is a member of the Equity Investments team, and is accountable for bcIMC’s corporate engagement on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues that have the potential to impact client assets under management. The deadline for applications is February 13. bcIMC careers site.

TIAACREF, the US financial services group, is seeking an analyst to join its corporate governance team, which looks after active ownership, public advocacy, thought leadership and proxy voting at the company. The firm is looking for someone with at least one year’s experience in ESG research, and three or more years are preferred. Link to the position advert.

A Standards Program Officer is being sought by the Climate Bonds Initiative, the investor-focused not-for-profit helping to accelerate the global transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy. “We need a Program Officer to join our London team to deliver quality assurance, verification, compliance and improvement systems under the Climate Bond Standard and Certification Scheme,” the group says.