RI People & Appointments, Jan. 29: Ethos to transition to two chairs as Biedermann steps down

The latest ESG movers and shakers.

Ethos, the Geneva-based governance advisory firm backed by Swiss pension funds, is to transition to two new chairmen at the head of both the Ethos Foundation, which works on responsible investment with 225 Swiss pension funds, and Ethos Services, the subsidiary service provider that carries out the work of the Foundation. The move means the full retirement from the firm of Dominique Biedermann, a renowned figure in Swiss corporate governance and the founder of Ethos, who initially moved aside from the CEO role at Ethos Services in 2015 to be replaced by Vincent Kaufmann. Biedermann subsequently held the joint Chair role at both entities, but the board of Ethos has decided to appoint separate Chairs at its annual general meeting this year on June 14 when Biedermann will step down.

Ulrik Ross, the former Managing Director, Global Head of Public Sector and Sustainable Financing at HSBC, has been named Head of Group Treasury at Saxo Bank, the online multi-asset trading and investment specialist. He will assume the overall responsibility for all treasury activities, including managing the bank’s liquidity and professional bank and broker relations. Ross will report directly to Steen Blaafalk, Head of Group Finance & Risk.

Dominic Gibb, a former Senior executive at Lehman Brothers, has been named Chief Financial Officer at the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the UK’s fund for academics. He replaces Jennifer Halliday, who resigned from the role in March 2017, and who was temporarily replaced by Glen Lucken. Gibb, who will also be a member of the USS Group Executive Committee, will report to Group Chief Executive Officer, Bill Galvin. Whilst at Lehman Brothers, Gibb worked with the joint administrators on the insolvency of the UK group.

Eileen Haughey, Chief Executive of the UK-based BT Pension Scheme, has announced her decision to step down from the role, following the conclusion of the fund’s actuarial valuation, which is expected to conclude in the middle of 2018. She joined the scheme in 2013, joining from the ICI Pension Fund where she held the same role.

Corinne Bendersky has been named an Associate in S&P Global Ratings’ Sustainable Finance Team based in London. She transfers from San Francisco, where she has been an associate in the research and index provider’s Infrastructure & Renewables Team for the past two years, specialising in credit ratings for renewable energy and public private partnership projects. Bendersky will now work on environmental and climate risk research as well as the Green Evaluation, a new benchmark for the environmental contribution of financings.

Amit Mehta, former Portfolio Manager with fixed income giant Pimco, has been named Director and Senior Asia Analyst in Hermes Investment Management’s emerging markets team, under Gary Greenberg, Head of Emerging Markets. Mehta, who in a 20 year career has worked for PIMCO, Pictet, Insight Investment, Morgan Stanley and KPMG, will be based in London. Hermes Investment Management is the £30.8bn (€34.4bn) responsible investment house that is owned by the BT Pension Scheme.

BlueBay Asset Management, the London-based fixed income and alternatives specialist, is looking to recruit an ESG Data/Systems internship on a 12 month long paid programme. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2018.Michael Marshall, Responsible Investment Officer at the UK’s West Midlands Pension Fund, has been named Director of Responsible Investment and Engagement at LGPS Central, the £40bn investment pool that will manage assets for nine local authority pension fund clients, including West Midlands Pension Fund. He will report to CIO Jason Fletcher, the former head of North American equities and deputy head of equities at the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), who joined LGPS Central in October 2017 from West Midlands Pension Fund. LGPS Central is one of eight vehicles set up to pool investments of local authority funds across England and Wales, as mandated by the UK Government.

ESG research house Oekom has created a new Responsible Investment Advisory department, as it expands and restructures its Client Services, Sales, and Communications teams. The department, which combines Oekom’s client advisory and business development teams in Munich, Paris, London, New York, and Zurich, will be led by Oekom’s Julia Haake, Head of Responsible Investment Advisory. Till Jung, Head of Business Development, also joins the executive board of Oekom research as Chief Client Officer and will now oversee the activity of the Responsible Investment Advisory, Client Services and Marketing & Communications departments.

Erik Breen has been appointed Director, Socially Responsible Investing at Triodos Investment Management, the €3.3bn asset management arm of the Dutch sustainable bank. He was previously Head of SRI at the investment manager. Breen will now be responsible for the entire business line at the firm, which is “intensifying” its “SRI proposition”. Breen joined Triodos in early 2014 from Robeco where he was Senior Vice President and Head of Responsible Investment. He was formerly chairman of the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), treasurer of Dutch corporate governance platform Eumedion, and a member of the Council of the International Integrated Reporting Council.

Paul Pizzala, Business Development Manager at WHEB Asset Management, has left the UK-based sustainability fund. He will be replaced by Libby Stanley, who joins from Citywire Financial Publishers. Reporting to George Latham, Managing Partner, she will be responsible for helping to grow and manage WHEB’s client relationships, with a focus on UK wealth managers and intermediaries.

John Bernstein, head of US equity firm General Atlantic in Europe, Middle East and Africa, has joined Generation Investment Management, Al Gore’s sustainability boutique, as Partner and Chair of its Growth Equity Investment Committee. Bernstein will work closely with the Growth Equity team and will oversee the Investment Committee investments approach. 

Anand Mahindra, Group Chairman of the Indian car manufacturing giant Mahindra Group, has reportedly joined the Board of TPG’s private equity impact investment vehicle, The Rise Fund. He will help grow The Rise Fund’s presence in India and identify new investment opportunities for the $2bn fund. Founded by Bill McGlashan, Managing Partner at TPG Growth, The Rise Fund aims to achieve measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns.