RI People & Appointments, Nov. 10: World Bank seeking ESG portfolio manager for own pension funds

The latest ESG movers and shakers

The World Bank is seeking an ESG-focused portfolio manager for its own $22bn (€17.6bn) pension plans. It has advertised for a Principal Portfolio Manager who “will play a key role in continuing to develop and implement the integration of ESG factors into investment decision-making and risk-return analysis across asset classes”. Among the responsibilities of the role is to “sharpen the due diligence process” to enable thoughtful consideration of ESG risks and opportunities at the level of individual managers and funds by working with portfolio teams. The person will also be the point person for the group’s networks and relationships with peer institutions, asset managers, industry associations and various ESG fora and bodies. The role, in the bank’s Pension and Endowments Department, “represents a unique opportunity” to help shape the plans’ approach to responsible investing and ESG “at a critical juncture”. The vacancy for the Washington-based role closes on November 17.

John Oliphant, dismissed last week as Principal Executive Officer at South Africa’s Government Employees’ Pension Fund (GEPF), has said he will appeal the decision. “Mr Oliphant will appeal both the findings of guilt and the sanction of dismissal,” a statement issued on his behalf stated. It stressed he sought an “amicable resolution” to the matter. Oliphant, who currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), denies any wrongdoing related to supply chain matters, the statement added. It went on: “Mr Oliphant is confident that a proper exposition of the facts and events surrounding his dismissal will confirm that he is innocent and seeks, above all, to restore his reputation.”

Kevin McCullough is stepping down from the board of Greencoat UK Wind, the listed wind energy investment firm. McCullough, the former Chief Operating Officer at RWE Innogy and RWE npower who is currently CEO at Coal Mine Holdings, will step down as of December 31. Announcement

Steve Bolton has joined Trucost, the provider of corporate environmental performance data and analysis, as project manager for its North America office. He was previously the Sustainability Program Manager for CFA Institute, where he developed its sustainability strategy and operational footprint.

Peter Engberg Jensen, a former Chief Executive of Danish bank Nykredit, has been named Chairman of PFA Invest, a unit of the DKK400bn (€53.8bn) Danish commercial pensions provider. Established in 2012, PFA Invest is mostly targeted to retail clients who want to save for retirement using stock and bond investments managed by PFA. “I have worked in this field for the past 40 years, so I look forward to bringing the experience with me to PFA Invest,” said Jensen. Coinciding with Jensen’s appointment is the announcement that Poul Kobberup and Jesper Langmack are Co-Directors of PFA Asset Management, which has taken over full responsibility for all investments within the PFA group. Link to PFA release (Danish)*Terry Thornton has been named as Head of Online Learning* for the PRI Academy at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). He will be based in Washington and be responsible for providing day-to-day management of online courses and programmes offered by the PRI Academy, acquired recently from the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). Thornton, who joins from US SIF, where he is currently assistant director of education, will report to PRI Director of Operations and Finance, Mark Blair. Announcement

Robert Talbut is stepping down as Chief Investment Officer at Royal London Asset Management, the UK-based mutual life and pensions company with £77bn (€98bn) under management, at the end of the year to “pursue other interests”. Talbut, who is also Chairman of the Markets & Asset Management Committee at trade body the Investment Management Association, will be succeeded by Piers Hillier, who joins from Kames Capital, where he has worked since 2012 as Head of International Equities.

Edward Bonham Carter, former chief executive at UK fund manager Jupiter, has reportedly been appointed to the board of the Investor Forum. FT Advisor said Bonham Carter, who stepped down as chief executive in March of this year and is now Jupiter’s vice chairman, will work on the body that was set up to boost investor-corporate engagement. Meanwhile at the firm, Mark Evans has become sustainability investment analyst and Jon Wallace has become environmental and responsible investment analyst, reporting to Charlie Thomas, head of environment and sustainability investment strategy. Ashish Ray has been appointed governance research manager.

Søren Rasmussen has been named as the new general manager of the Danish Wind Export Association, taking over from Rikke Berg.

Sharon Valdettaro has been named as Head of Corporate Communication and Marketing at J. Safra Sarasin, the Swiss bank that specialises in sustainable investing. She joins from Swiss pharmaceuticals firm Roche, where she was a communications manager.

Index and ESG firm MSCI has advertised for a Global Head of Corporate Governance Research, to be based in New York. The successful candidate will “lead the development of a deep Corporate Governance research offering that will emphasize corporate behaviors that signal investment risks”. In August the firm advertised a similar role, though based in London. Link

Vigeo, the ESG research firm, is hiring a Communication and Institutional Relationships Manager for its Paris office. The position will be responsible for Vigeo’s studies and publications, the development of academic and institutional partnerships and communications. The company is also looking for a Paris-based Research Assistant for information linked to its company reviews. Link

The Asset Owners’ Disclosure Project, the independent non-profit organization with a new London base, is seeking intern/pro-bono financial analysts to help build the AODP 2015 Global Climate Index, which it says will help create accountability to pension members over climate change risk.