RI People & Appointments, February 5: Metlife CEO Kandarian joins ExxonMobil board

The latest ESG movers and shakers.

Steven Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO (and former chief investment officer) of insurance giant MetLife, has joined the board of Exxon Mobil, which hailed his risk management and financial expertise. Before joining MetLife, Kandarian was executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. It comes as Exxon released its ‘Energy & Carbon Summary: Positioning for a Lower-Carbon Future’ and its ‘Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040’. The reports highlight its analysis of 2°C scenarios and include sensitivity analyses on electric vehicle penetration and renewables deployment. They are in response to a 2017 shareholder resolution. Edward Mason, the Head of Responsible Investment for the Church Commissioners, who co-filed the resolution, said in a tweet it was a “good basis for shareholder engagement”.

Regina Curry has been named Chief Diversity Officer at Legg Mason, the US asset management giant. She joins from McCormick & Company, where she was Senior Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion.

Lisa Davis has joined PGIM Real Estate, part of the $1trn global investment management businesses of Prudential Financial, as an executive director and portfolio manager to lead its impact-oriented real estate investment initiatives focused on affordable housing and “transformative developments” in the US. She was previously with the Ford Foundation in a similar role. Based in New York, Davis will report to Soultana Reigle, managing director and senior portfolio manager at PGIM Real Estate.

James Wates, Chairman of the Wates Group, a family-owned UK construction company, has been appointed as the Chair of the Coalition Group, which will set standards of corporate governance for large privately-owned companies. The body was created by the government and will comprise the Financial Reporting Council (as secretariat) and representatives from the Institute of Directors, the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute for Family Business, the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, the Institute of Business Ethics, the Investment Association, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board, ICSA: the Governance Institute and the Trades Union Congress.

Cornelia Richter, the former Managing Director and member of the Executive Committee of the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), has joined the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) as Vice-President.

Anna Murray, Vice President of Sustainability at US real estate advisory firm Bentall Kennedy, has been appointed to the Investment Committee of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). She will Co-Chair the Property Working Group of the UNEP FI, with a global mandate to drive adoption of sustainability in real estate investment and property management.Zaiga Strautmane has left her position as Head of ESG, Compliance Officer and lawyer at Unipension in Denmark, now known as MP Investment Management (which is the asset manager for MP Pension, the high school and university teachers’ and psychologists’ pension fund) after nine years in the post. Strautmane, who has a background as a commercial law attorney, was also one of the founding board members and Vice Chair of Dansif and a Chair of Client Advisory Board at Hermes EOS. Strautmane told RI that she was currently looking at future opportunities within the responsible investment sector.

Dutch pension investment giant APG says it is taking over the data analytics activities for sustainable investing from Deloitte Nederland, which it said is at the “cutting edge” of artificial intelligence, big data, and sustainable investing. The 13 employees will work for APG in an independent business unit and APG said the takeover would significantly accelerate its use of artificial intelligence and big data for sustainable and responsible investing. The new team will be tasked with identifying listed companies that make an important contribution to solutions for climate change, or for problems in the areas of health care and education.

Richard Brandweiner, Partner at global impact investment firm LeapFrog Investments, has reportedly been named CEO at Australian publically owned investment manager BT Investment Management. He replaces Michael Bargholz who is retiring from the manager – he joined as CEO in 2016. Prior to joining LeapFrog, Brandweiner was CEO at First State Super, the A$84bn Australian superannuation fund.

Kristin Fafard, Chief Investment Officer at $9bn wealth manager, Pathstone Federal Street, has been appointed Chief Investment Strategist at Community Capital Management, the Boston-based impact investing manager. She joins the firm with Paul Runge, who has been named Head of Distribution, joining from Los Angeles-based institutional investment manager Analytic Investors where was Director of US Institutional Sales.

William McDonough, the first chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has died aged 83. He was a former President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Samantha Lamb has been named Head of ESG, Fixed Income at Aberdeen Standard Investments as Head of ESG, Fixed Income. She was previously Investment Director at predecessor firm Standard Life Investments.

Ken Barclay, the former RBS Chair and senior executive, has reportedly been named Vice Chair of Social Investment Scotland (SIS) taking over from current Chairman, Nick Kuenssberg. SIS claims to be Scotland’s leading responsible finance provider, and has invested over £60m in social enterprises and charities across Scotland and the UK since it was established in 2001.