RI People & Appointments, Oct. 16: Credit Suisse’s Seretis joins MSCI as Head of ESG Research, EMEA

This week’s round-up of moves and appointments.

Panos Seretis has joined MSCI ESG Research as Executive Director and Head of ESG Research in EMEA, based in London. He joins from Credit Suisse where he was Director, responsible for fundamental equity analysis based on HOLT methodology for European banks, consumer staples and real estate companies. He takes over a role previously held by Antti Savilaakso. Previous to Credit Suisse, Seretis worked at Procter & Gamble and General Electric. In August, MSCI appointed Guido Giese to its Equity Research team and Mervyn Tang as Head of ESG Research in APAC ex-Japan. They were previously at RobecoSAM and Fitch Ratings respectively.

Ross Piper has been named as the new CEO of Christian Super, the 100% ethical Australian super fund. He was previously Chief Operating Officer of World Vision Australia; he is a former Head of Corporate Risk at Macquarie Group. The fund says 100% of its investments are ethically screened based on values found in the Bible. Link

Mark Walker, Global Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director of the Univest Company, Unilever’s internal pension investment organisation, has reportedly been named CIO at the UK’s Coal Pension Trustee Services, which manages the closed Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme (combined assets of £20bn). He fills the role left vacant by the departure of Stefan Dunatov, who left in March 2017. Dunatov has since been appointed CIO at British Columbia Investment Management Corporation in Canada. Both are members of the 300 Club, an independent group founded by Hermes Investment Management CEO Saker Nusseibeh.

First Super, the A$2.6bn Australian superannuation fund, has appointed Indigenous leader and Djab Wurrung Elder, Tim Chatfield, as an Independent Director. Chatfield is also currently Chair of Aboriginal Housing Victoria and CEO of an Aboriginal controlled health clinic, serving indigenous and non-indigenous people in regional Victoria.

The winners of the 2017 Moskowitz Prize for Sustainable and Responsible Investing have been announced. The prize recognizes outstanding quantitative research in sustainable and responsible investing and went to ‘Corporate Governance and the Rise of Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Criteria in Executive Compensation: Effectiveness and Implications for Firm Outcomes’ that was released in September 2017. It was written by Assistant professors Caroline Flammer (Boston University), Bryan Hong (University of Western Ontario Ivey Business School) and Dylan Minor (Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management). In its 22nd year, the Moskowitz Prize also recognized another study ‘Why Do Investors Hold Socially Responsible Mutual Funds?’ with an honorable mention by authors Arno Riedl and Paul Smeets of Maastricht University.Brian Deese, former White House climate change advisor to President Obama, has been named head of BlackRock’s Sustainable Investing group, Reuters reports. Deese helped negotiate the Paris agreement on climate change and BlackRock’s sustainable unit reportedly manages $195bn, down from more than $225bn in February 2015 when BlackRock first announced plans to coordinate its efforts in the sustainability space.

Ben Caldecott, founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, has been appointed as a Senior Advisor to Highmore Group Advisors, the New York based global alternative asset management firm. Caldecott’s focus as advisor will be on the firm’s ESG and impact investment platform, Highmore Impact. He is also currently an Adviser to The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project, an Academic Visitor at the Bank of England, and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.

Tarek Soliman, Senior Analyst at environmental data body CDP, has joined HSBC Global Banking and Market’s Global Research team in London as Equity Analyst. He took up his new role at the banking group in September. Soliman left the CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, after two years.

Noel Fessey of Schroders Luxembourg will replace Thomas Seale as CEO of European Fund Administration, the Luxembourg-based fund administrator. Seale, who also chairs the LuxFlag labelling body, is to retire from EFA at the end of 2017.

Mike Craston is to become the new chairman of Aviva Investors, the asset management arm of UK insurance giant Aviva. He has joined the board as a non-executive director and will become chairman on November 17 — taking over from John Misselbrook. Craston is the former head of client solutions as the company.

Christy Hoffman has received the unanimously backing of the UNI Global Union’s World Executive Board to be the international trade union body’s next General Secretary. She currently serves as Deputy to current General Secretary, Philip Jennings, but will replace him next year in if she wins the vote at its next World Congress to held in Liverpool (June 2018). The UNI Global Union represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions.

The Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), the private equity investor body, has hired recruitment firm Arlington Partners International to lead the search to fill its vacant CEO position. The post has been filled on an interim basis by Mike Mazzola since the departure of previous CEO Peter Freire earlier this year.