RI People & Appointments, Jan. 27: Nick Robins steps down from HSBC climate change role

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Nick Robins, Head of HSBC’s Climate Change Centre of Excellence, is to leave the centre that he sat up and has run since 2007 as he embarks on a new initiative announced last week by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). A spokeswoman for HSBC confirmed that Robins was leaving the bank. The centre will continue and a new Head will be announced soon. RI reported last week that Robins will become one of the two Co-Directors of the UNEP-organised Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. The Inquiry will run for 18 months to mid-2015 and be led out of Geneva by Robins and Simon Zadek, ex-Chief Executive of AccountAbility and Senior Fellow of the Global Green Growth Institute and the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Prior to joining HSBC, Robins was Head of SRI Funds at Henderson Global Investors.

The US SIF: the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment has named four new board members. They are: Peter Coffin, Founder and President at fixed income firm Breckinridge Capital Advisors; Alyssa Greenspan, Chief Operating Officer, Community Capital Management; Hilary Irby, Executive Director in the Global Sustainable Finance (GSF) group and Head of the Investing with Impact Initiative at Morgan Stanley; and Mark Regier, Director of Stewardship Investing, Praxis Mutual Funds. Paul Hilton (Trillium Asset Management), Phil Kirshman (UBS Institutional Consulting) and Craig Metrick (Mercer) were re-elected to the board. Hilton was elected to the Board’s Executive Committee as Chair along with Sustainalytics’ Darragh Gallant (Vice Chair), Strategic Impact Solutions’ Betsy Zeidman (Secretary) and Metrick (Treasurer).

Ulf Linders is stepping down as Managing Director of the Norwegian Microfinance Initiative (NMI), the public-investor cooperation started in 2008. A recruitment process has been started to identify a successor, and CFO Ole Sandsbraaten has been appointed as Interim Managing Director. NMI’s backers include Norfund, the Norwegian Development Finance Institution, which represents the Government of Norway, and private investors DNB Livsforsikring, Ferd, KLP and Storebrand. NMI manages three funds and assets under Management are currently around US$130m. Announcement

Sir Win Bischoff, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group and former chairman and interim CEO at Citigroup, has been named to succeed Baroness Hogg as chair of the Financial Reporting Council, the UK watchdog. Bischoff will take up the post on May 1. Gay Huey Evans becomes Deputy Chairman at the FRC, succeeding Glenn Moreno.

Andrea Thomas, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at US retail giant Walmart, is moving on, according to a blog posting. She will be succeeded by Manuel Gómez Pena, who joins from Walmart Mexico. Thomas joined the company in 2007 and was named SVP of Sustainability in 2010.Peter Veldman has been named as the new Chief Operating Officer at Ownership Capital, the Amsterdam based long-horizon investment management firm founded by former Head of Investments, Responsible Equity Strategies at PGGM Investments, Alex van der Velden. Prior to Ownership Capital, Veldman worked at Cyrte Investment, a subsidiary of Delta Lloyd Asset Management, as COO. He also had spells with ABN AMRO Asset Management and the Dutch Central Bank (DNB).

Patrick O’Hara has joined Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) as an Analyst in the Responsible Investment Team. He will work on the continuing integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into investment decisions. Patrick previously worked as an ESG Analyst at Aviva Investors, and also previously held positions at the Financial Services Authority and the London Stock Exchange.

Andrew Grant is stepping down as chief executive of CO2 Group Ltd, Australia’s biggest carbon project developer, according to a Reuters report. It cited a company statement saying that recent changes in government policy and “continuing uncertainty in the carbon market” had led CO2 to reduce operations and pursue new growth areas. Grant had been in post since 2005.

Richard Davis, natural resources specialist at investment giant BlackRock, has reportedly relinquished fund management responsibilities. He has stepped down as co-manager of three funds: the offshore £122m (€135m) BlackRock World Agriculture as well as on- and offshore versions of the £20m Natural Resources Growth & Income strategy, Citywire reported.

Min Lin has been appointed as a non-executive director of China Hydroelectric Corporation, the New York-listed operator of hydroelectric power projects in China. Ms. Lin’s appointment fills in the vacancy stemming from the resignation of Shadron Stastney in September 2013. She is a partner at China Hydro shareholder NewQuest Capital Advisors; she was formerly a director focusing on China investments for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Asia Private Equity Group based in Hong Kong.

Change to Win (CtW) Investment Group is seeking a Senior Campaign Research Coordinator, to be based in Washington, DC. CtW Investment Group supports efforts by trustees and their pension funds to be responsible active owners and believes shareholder activism on corporate governance can enhance the assets of long-term investors.

Standard Life Wealth is recruiting a Senior Portfolio Manager – Charities. It said: “We are ambitious to grow the business and currently have £5.5bn under management.” The vacancy is open until February 5.