RI People & Appointments, June 30: KLP, Mirova, UKSIF, Northern Trust, USS

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Annie Bersagel, the reigning US marathon champion, is filling in for Heidi Finskas at Norwegian insurer and asset manager KLP while she is on maternity leave. In the role as Advisor, Responsible Investments, Bersagel has a focus on potential breaches of KLP’s responsible investment guidelines related to international law. She is a member of the California Bar Association and holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School and an M.Phil in peace and conflict studies from the University of Oslo.

Christopher Wigley has joined Mirova, the specialist RI fund manager owned by Natixis Asset Management, as a fixed income portfolio manager based in Paris. Most recently, Wigley was an independent consultant focusing on ESG risks and opportunities in sovereign and corporate bonds.
Prior to that he was a Senior Fund Manager at Epworth Investment Management in London.

Caroline Escott, head of government relations at UKSIF, the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association, is to leave the organisation at the end of July. Escott, who has been at UKSIF since April 2012, told Responsible Investor that she was moving into a “more mainstream financial services lobbying consultancy” where she hoped to still fly the flag for SRI. Her successor, who is in the process of being appointed, will focus solely on public policy instead of government relations.

Heather Munroe-Blum has been appointed chair of the board of directors at the C$219.1bn (€150bn) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), taking over from Robert Astley, the CPPIB’s chair since 2008. Munroe-Blum has been a director of CPPIB since 2011 and has served on the boards of Four Seasons Hotels, Alcan, the Canada Forum of Rio Tinto Alcan, Yellow Media Inc., and Hydro One (Ontario), and is a former Principal of McGill University. She is currently a director of the Royal Bank of Canada.

Martin Cooper has been named as Interim Chief Executive of REC Solar, the Norwegian listed solar energy firm. Cooper is currently Chief Financial Officer and takes over from Øyvind Hasaas. Hasaas joined the company in 2007 from Norsk Hydro.

Geoffroy de Vienne is the new president of L’association Éthique et Investissement, the French ethical investment association that was formed in 1983 by a group of faith investors. He takes over from Marie-Laure Payen at the Paris-based organisation.Mamadou-Abou Sarr has been named global head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing at Northern Trust Asset Management, a newly created role, focusing on the global institutional and wealth management markets. Based in Abu-Dhabi, Sarr will report to Wayne Bowers, Head of Asset Management-EMEA & APAC (Europe, Middle East and Africa & Asia Pacific). He will also collaborate with Multi-Manager Investments on outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) solutions that include ESG considerations. Link

Bertrand Biragnet has joined the Universities Superannuation Scheme’s USS Investment Management as head of pan-European equities. He joins from RIT Capital Partners and takes over from Ben Levenstein who joined USS’s new private markets group last year. He previously held positions with Hermes Focus Asset Management and JP Morgan Asset Management. Link

Jifan Gao, chairman and chief executive at Trina Solar, has been elected as the first president of the newly-established China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA), the first accredited national level solar industry association established in China. The 149-member body consists of major Chinese PV enterprises such as Yingli, Canadian Solar, Jinko Solar, GCL, JA Solar as well as project developers.

James Watson has been named as the new CEO of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), the Brussels-based solar industry group. He was most recently director of public affairs for communications firm Weber Shandwick. Announcement

Sir Paul Ruddock, former chairman of alternatives group Lansdowne Partners, is reportedly set to join the investment board of Oxford University’s endowment fund. He joins in September and will become chairman in January, according to Financial News. The Endowment has an embedded responsible investment policy and is a signatory to the Stewardship Code. Ruddock takes over from Richard Oldfield, executive chairman of fund firm Oldfield Partners, the report added.