RI People & Appointments, June 8: CalPERS’ Simpson gets ICGN lifetime achievement award

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Anne Simpson, Senior Portfolio Manager and Head of Corporate Governance at the $300bn (€266bn) California pension giant CalPERS, has been given a “Lifetime Achievement” award by the International Corporate Governance Network (ICGN), the investor-led organisation of governance professionals. Simpson told Responsible Investor: “This is an extraordinary honour. I feel deeply honoured to be in the same group as such (corporate governance) titans as Peggy Foran, Adrian Cadbury, Bob Monks, Nell Minow and Ira Millstein.” CalPERS recruited Simpson from the ICGN, where she was Executive Director, in January 2009. Since then, she has overseen the integration of ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors in all of the fund’s investing. Simpson is also a Director at the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and an advisory board member at the Center for Global Markets and Corporate Ownership at Columbia Law School

Hermes Equity Ownership Services, the governance advisory firm ultimately owned by the BT Pension Scheme and whose institutional clients together own 5% of Deutsche Bank, has welcomed the resignations of Deutsche Co-CEOs Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen as well as the announcement that John Cryan will succeed Jain on July 1. Hermes EOS Director Hans Hirt said: “It had become increasingly apparent in recent months that refreshment at the top of the management board was necessary in order to regain trust of investors and other stakeholders.” It follows a near 40% of Deutsche’s shareholders giving a vote of no confidence in the duo at the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM) on May 21.

Max Romer, incoming chairman of the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, has said furthering ESG practices in the private equity industry will be a key focus for him when his tenure starts this month. Founding partner of fund manager Quadriga Capital, he succeeds Anne Glover, chief executive and co-founder of Amadeus Capital.

Phil Spathis, who most recently was executive officer, governance and engagement at the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), has died after a long illness. He is survived by a wife and two children. “Very sad to hear of the passing of Phil Spathis. A true gentlemen and leading light in the superannuation and governance arena,” tweeted Principles for Responsible Investment Managing Director Fiona Reynolds.

Peter Freire has reportedly been appointed chief executive of the Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), the membership organization for private equity “Limited Partners”, typically institutional investors. He succeeds Kathy Jeramaz-Larson who has served as executive director for the past eight years. Freire has held senior roles at the CEB, formerly the Corporate Executive Board, and more recently with the World Economic Forum. Link

Stacey Cunningham has been named president of NYSE Governance Services, the arm of the New York Stock Exchange which provides corporate governance, risk, ethics and compliance services for companies. She was formerly head of sales and relationship management at the firm, and reports to NYSE President Thomas Farley. Announcement*Lesley Williams has been named* as the new chair of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the UK industry body. Williams, Group Pensions Director at Whitbread, the hotel and restaurant group, will succeed Ruston Smith when his two-year tenure ends in October.

Mary Schapiro, the former chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is to join New York-based engagement specialist firm Hudson Executive Capital. The firm was founded by Douglas Braunstein, former Vice Chairman at JPMorgan Chase and James Woolery, former Chairman-elect at law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.

Matthew Farnum-Schneider, a managing director at insurer Prudential, has been named as the first chairman of the new Global Infrastructure Investor Association (GIIA), according to a Reuters report. Henz Huizing, investment director of Dutch pension fund PGGM, and Andrew Caerhout, head of infrastructure for Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, were appointed deputy chairmen for Europe and North America respectively. GIIA represents 25 global infrastructure investors with more than €200bn.

UK social investment consultancy and fund manager Resonance, which helped structure the £57m (€78m) Real Lettings Property Fund providing accommodation for homeless families and individuals, has hired a new investment analyst. French native Jeremie Chotard joins Resonance’s Launceston office. He has a background in investment banks and brokerage.

Forum Nachhaltige Geldanlagen (FNG), the SIF for the four German-speaking lands, seeks a Managing Director for a new subsidiary that will market its new quality label for sustainable funds. Paris-based SRI think-tank Novethic is developing the label on behalf of the FNG. Criteria that investment funds must fulfil to qualify for the label include those that exclude controversial munitions, nuclear power and companies that violate human rights.

A Policy and Communications Director is being sought by the Global Network Initiative (GNI), the body founded in 2008 that brings together technology companies, civil society organizations, investors, and academics to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy rights in the ICT sector. The role will be based in Washington and report to the Executive Director based in Amsterdam.

AgDevCo, a social impact investor operating in the agriculture sector in Africa, is looking for
an impact and ESG manager based in London. It says the newly-created role is full-time and suitable for someone with experience in either impact evaluation or ESG management.

Third Sector Capital, a non-profit which works to help structure pay-for-success projects (or social impact bonds) in the US, has named Caroline Whistler and John Grossman as co-presidents. Both have worked as heads of Third Sector Capital’s regional offices in San Francisco and Boston respectively.