RI People & Appointments, March 18: Aviva Investors, Rockefeller, World Resources Institute

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Paul LaCoursiere has been named Global Head of ESG Research at Aviva Investors. LaCoursiere, previously Global Head of Corporate Research at the London-based investment manager, will now be responsible for corporate ESG research, including the integration and monitoring of ESG criteria within Equities and Credit. Reporting to Chief Responsible Investment Officer Steve Waygood LaCoursiere will also be responsible for ESG integration across Multi-Asset & Macro and Real Assets portfolios.

Casey Clark has joined Rockefeller Asset Management as Head of ESG Investments, charged with leading ESG research and integration efforts across the asset management division, and managing a team of dedicated ESG analysts that supports investment analysis across equity, fixed income and dedicated ESG strategies. Prior to joining Rockefeller, Clark worked as Managing Director and Director of Sustainable and Impact Investing at Glenmede, where he helped launch and build Glenmede’s sustainable and impact investing business.

Former California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has joined The Nature Conservancy as a Senior Director for Environmental and Social Risk. The US-based charity is stepping up its work with insurers on the use of natural capital and natural infrastructure. Jones became a well-known figure in climate finance when he led controversial efforts to force insurance companies to disclose their exposure to climate risks. He served his maximum number of terms as Insurance Commissioner, stepping down at the end of last year.

Antonis Maggoutas and Magnus Kristensen are to be based in new offices in Frankfurt and Copenhagen for Hermes Investment Management. Maggoutas and Kristensen are respectively Director of Business Development for Austria and Germany and Director of Business Development for the Nordic Region. The firm said the new offices provides it “with a footprint in continental Europe”. Earlier this year, Hermes established an Irish domiciled management company, Hermes Fund Managers Ireland Limited (HFM Ireland), as part of its Brexit mitigation strategy, and broader plans for European expansion.

Japanese bank Nomura has reportedly appointed the first woman to lead its $458bn asset management business. Junko Nakagawa, executive managing director and chief risk officer, succeeds Kunio Watanabe, who is relocating to New York to be executive chairman in the Americas for Nomura Holdings America.

Skye Macpherson has reportedly been named as Head of Portfolio management at Westchester, the agricultural asset manager and Nuveen affiliate. She was previously at BlackRock, where she took over the management of its €100m World Agriculture fund in 2016.

Anna O’Donoghue is leaving Architas, AXA Group’s London-based diversified investment company, to join Schroders as Head of Operations and Governance for the UK intermediary business, according to the FT.

Deborah Hazell, CEO of HSBC Global Asset Management Americas, has accepted a Non-Executive Director position at Global Parametrics, which specialises in using technology, data and risk modelling to address natural disaster risk and financial resilience in emerging markets. Hazell said she was hoping to help “frame” conversations with the investor community “on a range of social issues such as climate-related risk and returns”.David Blood, who co-founded sustainability boutique Generation Investment Management with former US Vice President Al Gore, has been named Co-Chair of the World Resources Institute (WRI). The US-based think tank has also named four new members, including Stephen Brenninkmeijer, founder of impact investment firm, Willows Investment and Tammie Arnold a former Partner at Generation Investment Management.

Martijn Huijnen is leaving ASN Bank, which focuses on socially responsible and sustainable developments, to take charge of sustainability at Blue Sky Group. Huijnen joined ASN Bank as Senior Product Developer in 2013, moving from Dutch transport sector pension fund SPF Beheer, where he has been Portfolio Manager, Socially Responsible Investing since 2007.

BMO Global Asset Management (the former F&C) has bolstered its Responsible Investment team with three new appointments. Nina Roth joins from Germany’s development agency (GIZ), to become BMO’s Director of Responsible Investment; Alan Fitzpatrick joins from London based engagement house Hermes EOS Client Service to become Product Specialist; and Derek Ip has been named as an ESG analyst, joining from environment data firm Trucost.

The World Bank Group announced the loss of a staff member who was aboard the Ethiopian Airlines flight which crashed near Addis Ababa on March 10. Max Thabiso Edkins, a 35-year old national of both Germany and South Africa, was serving as a Communications Officer for Connect4Climate (C4C) – a multi-partner communications platform that advocates for climate action, especially among young people around the world. Well known within the international climate change community, he is survived by his wife Astrid and young son.

Harvard Business School professor George Serafeim has partnered with State Street Corp. to “advance its research agenda” in ESG. “I am excited about this opportunity to collaborate with State Street to move the ESG investing field forward,” he said. Details of the partnership weren’t disclosed.

Tamara Larsen is now heading up Mission Aligned Investment at Perella Weinberg Partners, having been promoted from her previous role as Co-Head of the practice. Replacing Jameela Pedicini, Larsen will be responsible for selecting ESG and mission aligned investments and integrating ESG issues into the investment process of the Agility platform – PWP’s outsourced investment solution. Larsen was at Russell Investments from 2008 to 2017, where she most recently served as Head of Private Markets Research.

There’s been a call for a Chief Diversity Officer to be installed at New York City’s City Hall by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and others. They say a CDO would play a “critical role” by expanding opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs).

The African Development Bank is funding the appointment of a Corporate Governance Consultant as part of a project run by the African Peer Review Mechanism. The project, called the African Peer Review Mechanism Institutional Support Project, requires a consultant to create a report highlighting best practice and key challenges faced by African member countries; conduct consultations with stakeholders in different countries; and produce an outline of a draft for a Guidance Note for the African Union.