RI People & Appointments, June 11: Christian Thimann leaves AXA to join Athora

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Christian Thimann has left his role as Senior Executive at the AXA Group (AXA), Paris, to take up a position as Chairman of the Management Board at Athora Insurance Holding Germany. AXA has confirmed it will not be replacing him with another Head of Regulation, Sustainability and Insurance Foresight. Alongside his work with AXA, Thimann chaired the EU’s High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance for the European Commission during 2017/8, as well as being Vice-Chair of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. He is also a member of the European Commission’s “High Level Stakeholder Platform” on implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals – a role he holds in a personal capacity. He was previously Director General and Adviser to the President at the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt.

Social investor Cordaid Investment Management (Cordaid) has appointed Hann Verheijen as its new Managing Director. Verheijen moves from worldwide cooperative and social investor Oikocredit, where he was Credit Director and a member of the Managing Board. Verheijen has spent most of his career at sustainable financial institutions, having held other senior positions at Oikocredit and Triodos Bank.

The UK government has appointed Aviva’s Kirsty Cooper as insurance and pensions champion for the expanded dormant assets scheme, which aims to reunite financial services customers with their money. Cooper, Aviva’s Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, previously supported an independent commission set up in late 2015 to look into extending the dormant assets scheme.

Finance for Tomorrow, an initiative led by the Paris EUROPLACE hub and the Paris Financial Centre to promote sustainable finance, has elected a new seven-member board for 2018-20. It comprises: Marine de Bazelaire (Head of Sustainability – Continental Europe and Head of Sustainability – France at HSBC); Tanguy Claquin (Crédit Agricole CIB Head of Sustainable Banking; Bernard Descreux (Head of Asset Management, EDF); Anne Chassagnette (Chief Sustainability Officer, ENGIE); Sophie Elkrief (MD, MAIF Investment Management); Fabrice Dumonteil (CEO, Eiffel Investment Group); and Pascal Canfin (WWF France).

Antonio Celeste has been appointed Sales Director and Head of ESG Business Development by Ossiam, the French smart beta investment manager and Natixis Investment Managers affiliate. He was recently Institutional Relations Director, Europe and Middle East, for Sustainalytics, where he worked for seven years. He previously held business development roles with Vigeo (now Vigeo-Eiris) in ESG research and services, and Effiscience, a developer of artificial Intelligence-driven solutions. He began his career as a R&D automotive engineer with Fiat in Italy. Ossiam CEO Bruno Poulin said, “Hiring someone of [Antonio’s] calibre is demonstration of the importance of ESG-based investment to the company.”

Teresa Ribera has been named as Minister for the Ecological Transition in the new Spanish government. She will leave her position as Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), the think tank facilitating the transition towards sustainable development, handing over to interim Director Lucien Chabason.Mark Anson, formerly CIO of CalPERS and CEO at both Hermes and the British Telecom Pension Scheme, has been appointed CEO of Commonfund, a non-profit, global institutional asset manager serving endowments, foundations and public sector investors. Anson succeeds Catherine Keating, who has been appointed CEO of BNY Mellon Wealth Management.

Mark Lewis, Global Head of Research at the Carbon Tracker Initiative, has joined the independent Investment Advisory Committee at sustainability specialist WHEB Asset Management.

The Swedish government has appointed Rose Marie Westman as new chairman of AP7’s board, replacing Bo Källstrand, who leaves the board after eight years. Westman has been a member of the board since 2012 and is chief economist at Burenstam & Partners. She was previously Vice President of ABB Treasury Center in New York, as well as a financial analyst and portfolio manager at Alecta Pension Insurance. The moves comes alongside the appointment of two new Members to AP7´s Board. Per Frennberg, former Asset Management Director at Alecta, and Emma Ihre, Sustainability Manager at Mannheimer Swartling Law Firm, replace Rose Marie Westman and Hellen Wohlin Lidgard. Announcement

Former pension fund manager for the UK’s Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Nick Greenwood, has joined sustainability specialist Osmosis Investment Management. He will focus on developing, delivering and overseeing the firm’s investment strategies, according to a statement. Osmosis has $1.4bn assets under management, and allocates to companies which “demonstrate superior long term financial performance thanks to their management teams’ relative performance in managing and reducing their carbon emissions, water consumption and waste creation compared to their same sector peers”. Greenwood also worked as an investment manager at the Environmental Agency.

Private equity investor body the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) has announced its 2018 Board of Directors, with members including: CalSTRS’ Rob Ross; Anne Fossemalle, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; John Hershey, Oregon State Treasury; and Kevin McDowell, Alberta Teachers’ Retirement Fund; and Jennifer Magaña, SouthOcean Investment Partners, LLC.

Chavon Sutton has been appointed to the new role of Director, Diversity & Inclusion within New York City’s Bureau of Asset Management (BAM). She was previously Corporate Banker at RBC Capital Markets, an Investment Advisor at J.P. Morgan Asset and Wealth Management, and most recently an independent advisor at a small emerging manager, Momentum Advisors, LLC. Link

Environmental data firm South Pole (SP) is recruiting a Principal Consultant, Sustainable Investments to lead its business development activities and guide and structure its climate risks and opportunities offering for the financial industry. The role will be based in either Amsterdam or London.

CDP Europe is recruiting an Account Manager for its Supply Chain program, which aims to drive change by helping large global companies engage with their supplier base to improve their environmental performance.