RI People & Appointments, March 12: NY State Retirement Fund appoints decarbonisation panel

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Walden Asset Management Director Tim Smith, Harvard Business School’s George Serafeim, and sustainable investing stalwart Cary Krosinsky are among the members of the first ever decarbonisation advisory panel for the management of the $209.1bn New York State Common Retirement Fund. Appointed by New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the panel will advise the Comptroller, as trustee of the fund, on how to optimise opportunities arising within the emerging low-carbon economy and reduce investment risk relating to climate change. Krosinsky co-founded the Carbon Tracker Initiative, Serafeim is a Professor at Harvard Business School and Smith is Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement at Walden. Other members of the new group include Bevis Longstreth, former Commissioner of the SEC and advisor to the Kentucky Teachers Pension Fund; Alicia Seiger, who leads sustainable and energy finance initiatives at Stanford Law School and is a board member of Ceres; and Joy Williams, senior advisor at Zizzo Strategy and the creator of Ontario Teachers Pension Plan’s responsible investment framework. In January, New York City’s pension funds committed to divesting from fossil fuels, throwing the spotlight onto New York State, with many urging it to do the same. Instead DiNapoli said the focus would be on decarbonisation and engagement.
The European Commission is calling for applications to join its new technical working group on sustainability, which will contribute to the development of a pan-European sustainability taxonomy and green bond standards. Some members of the High Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance are expected to join the working group, but other specialists will be needed, according to insiders.
Mike Bloomberg has been appointed UN Special Envoy for Climate Action. In his new role, the former New York Mayor and current Chair of the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) will push for climate action and help build momentum ahead of a Climate Summit next year at UN Headquarters. Former UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres tweeted: “Mike’s leadership helped get us over the line in Paris and is now essential in taking us to the next level.”
BNP Paribas’ CEO, Jean-Laurent Bonnafe, has joined an all-male gender diversity body called the HeForShe initiative, launched by the UN in 2014. Marking International Women’s Day last week, Bonnafe joined eight ‘thematic champions’ as part of commitments to gender equality. “The HeForShe Thematic Champions Initiative is a growing cohort of select world leaders who stand out as true visionaries on gender equality,” a press release said, adding: “They are spurring concrete action and central positioning gender quality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment”. Other members of the group are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, BBC Director General Lord Tony Hall, De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver, Exelon CEO Christopher Crane, Danone CEO Emmanuel Faber, Chief Constable of Sussex Police, Giles York and Chief Constable of Surrey Policy, Nick Ephgrave.Triodos Investment Management has announced that Kor Bosscher has become its Managing Director of Risk & Finance. Bosscher is former iPensions Solutions CEO and Chief Financial Risk Officer, and has replaced Laura Pool, who left in October to become Chief Risk Officer at Dutch social investor Oikocredit.
Shareholder advisory firm Camberview has made a series of appointments in recent weeks. Harry Etra joined the firm last month as a Principal, and a specialist on ESG topics. Formerly a Director of environmental consultancy CodeGreen Solutions, Etra will help companies measure, manage and communicate the risk and opportunity of sustainability initiatives, with a focus on disclosure and shareholder engagement. Lily Chen has also joined Camberview from Eaton Vance, were she was a US equities specialist. Starting this month, she will be an Associate of the firm. Finally, Tim Baer, ex- Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Target, has joined the company as a Senior Advisor.
Inflection Point Capital’s Thomas Woodfield has moved to Architas as an ESG Analyst, according to his LinkedIn profile. After four years at Inflection Point, most recently as a Sustainability Analyst, Woodfield has now joined the London-based investment house, which manages nearly £22bn in assets.
Victoria Heath, who spent 14 years at ESG research house EIRIS, has left to become Chief Operations Officer at Bohunt Education Trust. According to her LinkedIn profile, Heath – formerly Head of Sales and Head of Business Development at EIRIS, which merged with Vigeo to become Vigeo Eiris – left the company this year to pursue a new career.
The African Development Bank has appointed Stella Kilonzo as Senior Director at the Africa Investment Forum. As Division Manager of the bank’s Capital Markets Division since December 2013, she has been responsible for “driving innovation in capital markets in Africa to accelerate development”. Other appointments within the bank include: Olivier Eweck as Director of Syndication and Technical Services Department; Moono Mupotola as Director of Regional Integration; and Wambui Gichuri as Director of Water Development and Sanitation.