RI People & Appointments, Oct. 20: F&C names Pearce as chair of new responsible investment panel

The latest ESG movers & shakers

Howard Pearce, the former chief of the £2.4bn (€3bn) Environment Agency Pension Fund, has been appointed Chair of F&C’s new Responsible Investment Advisory Council. London-based F&C said he would begin working for it immediately as an advisor and chair the Council from January 1. The Council advises on ethical and sustainability criteria for F&C’s funds. Said Vicki Bakhshi, Head of F&C’s Governance and Sustainable Investment team: “Howard’s experience and insight will be vital to the Council’s advice on ethical and sustainability criteria.” F&C, acquired by the Bank of Montreal earlier this year, has £83bn in assets under management.

Adam Verwey, a co-founder and executive director of the new Future Super Group which offers a range of ethical financial services products, has joined the committee of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), the not-for-profit association. Verwey was previously at Australian Ethical Investment where he was the Senior Relationships Manager.

Greg Taxin, co-founder of proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis, has reportedly left Clinton Group the $1.5bn New York hedge fund. The Wall Street Journal cited an email distributed to friends as saying he was “excited” about a new venture in the “activist space”. Taxin, was CEO at Glass Lewis until 2007.

Micheline Bourny-Thamiaux has taken up a lead role for project communication at French charity Secours Catholique (Catholic Support) after leaving her position at Amundi Expertise ISR, the SRI division of the French fund manager, in June this year, after more than ten years in the post. Bourny-Thamiaux has been closely involved in the work of the FIR, French SIF.

Gabriela Diezhandino has joined the European Fund and Asset Management Association, the Brussels-based fund trade group, as head of public policy. She was formerly Head of Public Affairs at industry body Insurance Europe.

Per Bolund, an MP from Sweden’s Green Party, has been named as the country’s new Minister for Financial Markets, replacing former pension executive Peter Norman. Bolund was the Greens’ parliamentary spokesman for economic policy and a member of a parliamentary finance committee. Like Norman before him, Bolund oversees Sweden’s AP funds, created to finance the country’s pay-as-you-go pension scheme. Link

Kalina Lazarova, has joined F&C Investments as Associate Director, Governance and Sustainable Investment. She joins from GES Investment Services AB, where she was Senior Engagement Manager.Leslie Swynghedauw and Alan Brett have joined MSCI, the former as an Associate in the ESG Ratings research team, the latter as a Vice President to head up the Governance Ratings Research team. Prior to joining MSCI, Swynghedauw worked for several years with EIRIS as a research analyst. Brett joins MSCI after a 12-year stint at Manifest, where he headed the research operation. He will be based in London.

Richard Bennett, the former Chairman and the Vice Chairman of GMI Ratings is now President and CEO of ValueEdge Advisors, the Portland, Maine-based firm that advises institutional investors on engagement with their portfolio companies. Bennett left GMI after it was bought by MSCI, the index and environmental, social and governance (ESG) information provider, for $15m (€11m) in June. Bennett also sits on the Board at Dirigo Capital Advisors, a real estate firm.

Aniruddha Dasgupta, most recently Director of Knowledge and Learning at the World Bank, has been appointed as the First Global Director for the World Resources Institute’s Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. Dasgupta will lead the Center, founded earlier this year following a $30.5m donation from real estate billionaire and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, in developing environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable solutions to improve people’s quality of life in developing cities. The WRI Ross Center had been led by Holger Dalkmann as Acting Director.

TWUSuper, the A$3.3bn (€2.3bn) fund and PRI signatory which represents Australian transport workers, has appointed Paul Sayer as its new chief executive. Sayer joins from REST, Australia’s pension fund for all workers, where he was chief operations officer. Sayer replaces TWUSuper chief executive Debora Jackson. Link

Yongfei Chen has resigned as Chief Financial Officer of China Sunergy, the Nasdaq-listed solar cell firm, for “personal reasons”. Shiliang Guo, a director since May 2009 and CFO at related firm China Electric Equipment Group, has been named Acting Chief Financial Officer effective November 1. Announcement

Kevin Nee has joined TIAACREF’s wholly owned Covariance Capital Management as CEO. Houston-based Covariance provides outsourced chief investment officer functions and Nee joins from Wilshire Private Markets. Scott Wise, who has led Covariance as President and Chief Investment Officer since its launch in 2011, will remain in those roles. Announcement

Sustainalytics Advisory Services is hiring a full-time Responsible Investment Associate on a one-year contract, based in Frankfurt. The role involves business development in the German market.