RI People & Appointments, May 6: CEO at engagement specialist fund firm GVO steps down

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Adam Steiner has stepped down as chief executive at GVO Investment Management, the UK fund manager which specialises in corporate engagement. It follows a takeover of the firm formerly known as SVG by Swiss-based Hansa AG. He will be replaced by Jamie Seaton, fund manager at the GVO UK Focus Fund. Jonathan Morgan will be succeeded as chairman by Christopher Chambers, the former CEO at Man Investments. Steiner’s LinkedIn page has him listed as a “gentleman of leisure (for a while)”, adding that he is currently exploring “a number of new opportunities”. Announcement

Jill Fisch and Hideki Kanda have been elected to the board of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI), the not-for-profit association. They are, respectively, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and Professor of Law at the University of Tokyo Graduate Schools for Law and Politics. They replace Guido Ferrarini and Katharina Pistor, whose terms have ended. The institute is seeking a new chairman following the death of Jörgen Holmquist, the former Swedish public administrator, on March 28.

Peter de Graaf, the former FTSE and Trucost executive who is now with sustainability consulting firm Carnstone Partners, will head the team reviewing how the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) initiative governs itself. New PRI Chairman Martin Skancke said in a message to signatories that London-based Carnstone beat two other short-listed firms following a tender announced in March. Its project team will be headed up by de Graaf, who was Managing Director at index firm FTSE from 2000-2005 and on the board at environmental data group Trucost from 2007 – 2008. Carnstone has already worked with the PRI, providing research for an engagement on fracking announced earlier this year.

Richard Fleck has been appointed as Chair of the Natural Capital Coalition’s Steering Group. He will oversee the tendering process for the proposals to develop and pilot test the Natural Capital Protocol and supporting guides. He is chairman of the Financial Reporting Review Panel and has been a member and director of the Financial Reporting Council since 2004. He is a former chairman of the Consultative Advisory Group of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. The Coalition was established in 2011 as the TEEB for Business Coalition to build the business case for natural capital measurement. Announcement

Sir Winfried Bischoff has joined the Financial Reporting Council, the UK watchdog, as its new chairman. Taking over from Baroness Hogg, he joins from Lloyds Banking Group where he was chairman from 2009 and said: “One of the things I will focus on is stewardship and governance to support the UK’s position as a global financial centre which is transparent and deals with investors fairly.” Gay Huey Evans has also taken up her role as Deputy Chairman. Link*Michael Davis, Director of Institutional Client Relationships* at Calvert Investments, the US sustainability specialist, has received the 2014 Heman Marion Sweatt Student Legacy Award from the University of Texas. The award is named after the first African American admitted to the University of Texas School of Law. Davis received the award for his efforts in establishing the Minority Information Center on the university’s campus in 1988. “I cannot fathom an honor of greater personal significance to me than this,” Davis said.

Sister Patricia Daly, executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, has been awarded the sixth-annual Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The announcement was made at the annual Ceres Conference in Boston. “A pioneer of socially responsible investing, for more than 35 years Daly has helped move companies such as General Electric, ExxonMobil and Ford to improve their sustainability practices and change the way they address environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks,” Ceres said.

Bill Hatanaka has resigned as chief executive of Canada’s C$16bn (€10.5bn) OPSEU Pension Trust (OPTrust), after less than two years in the role. He will leave effective September 30 and will work with the board to help “identify, select and transition to” the organization’s next CEO. Hatanaka, formerly Group Head of Wealth Management at TD Bank Financial Group, took over from Stephen Griggs, the former head of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, in November 2012. PRI-signatory OPTrust manages the pension assets of Ontario public sector workers who are members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. Griggs, who sued the fund for wrongful dismissal, went on to form activist investment firm Smoothwater Capital. Announcement

Investment consulting firm Mercer is seeking a US Responsible Investment Team member. The role, Responsible Associate/Senior Associate, will support senior colleagues with advice on strategies to incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions. Link (job number NEW005L7).

The Ontario Securities Commission is inviting applications for membership of its Investor Advisory Panel. The panel, which was established in 2010, is seeking new members for a two-year term to join the continuing members.

A Senior Renewable Energy Analyst is being sought by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a subsidiary of New York-listed natural gas and electric utilities firm PG&E. The role is based in San Francisco and “directly supports the company’s commitment to environmental leadership”. Link