RI People & Appointments, Oct. 29: BlackRock, PJT Camberview, CalSTRS, McKnight Foundation, Investor Forum, Cornerstone Capital

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Gavin Grant, who was formerly with Norges Bank Investment Management for nearly a decade, left his position as Director, Investment Stewardship at BlackRock in July this year, after only 11 months in the role. A spokesperson for BlackRock told RI that Grant’s responsibilities are now covered by the Investment Stewardship team. Prior to joining BlackRock, Grant was Head of Active Ownership at Norges, before which he was Corporate Governance Analyst at Deutsche Bank.

Anne Sheehan, former CalSTRS Director of Corporate Governance and current Chairman of the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee, is joining governance and engagement group PJT Camberview as a Senior Advisor. At CalSTRS, Sheehan oversaw the team charged with all corporate governance activities as well as managing $4bn allocated with activist managers. She retired in March. She is also founder of the Investor Stewardship Group, and has been named one of the 100 most influential people in corporate governance by Directorship magazine.

Replacing Sheehan is Kirsty Jenkinson, who has been hired as CalSTRS’ new director of corporate governance, where she will lead an ESG portfolio of more than $4.1bn, starting January 2019. Jenkinson moves from Wespath Benefits and Investments in Illinois, where she led the sustainable investment strategies team, and directed ESG integration, corporate engagement, portfolio screening and proxy voting activities.

Mirjam Staub-Bisang, chair of Swiss pension scheme Profond, will head up BlackRock in Switzerland and become senior adviser for sustainable investment. Staub-Bisang co-founded and was CEO of Independent Capital Group, a sustainability-focused asset management in Zurich, and held senior positions at Commerzbank and Swiss Life Private Equity Partners. She has resigned from all committees at Profond, the CHF7.8bn (€6.8bn) multi-employer pension scheme, but remains chair of the board.

Deanne Stewart has joined First State Super, the A$90bn (€56bn) not-for-profit Australian superannuation fund, as CEO – taking over from Michael Dwyer, who retires at the end of November after 14 years at the helm. Before joining First State Super, Stewart was CEO of MetLife Australia and previously held senior roles with BT Financial Group, Merrill Lynch Investment Management in New York and McKinsey & Company in London.

Khalid Husain, Senior Director, Responsible Investing at Nuveen, has left the Chicago based subsidiary of TIAA after four years. Earlier this year, Husain, a former climate change consultant at the United Nations, participated in Harvard Law School’s corporate governance programme.

Soros Fund Management has hired Hilary Irby as head of impact strategy, a new role intended to boost social and environmental investing within the firm. She moves from her position as Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Sustainable Finance at Morgan Stanley, which she joined in 2009. Before that, she was Operating Partner at international venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners for nearly eight years.Elizabeth McGeveran, the former Senior Vice President for Governance & Sustainable Investment at F&C Asset Management (now BMO), becomes director of investments at the McKnight Foundation, having joined the organisation in 2014 to direct the impact investing program. McKnight said this new staff structure “promotes fuller integration of its impact investing approach into the body of its traditional investment portfolio”.

Jonathan Atack has been appointed Senior Adviser at the Investor Forum, the UK engagement body, where he will work with firms to encourage proactive engagement with investors. Atack has led investor relations at six major international firms and was also CFO of ING Group’s global investment management business.

Alexander Navab has joined the board of Cornerstone Capital, the ESG firm set up in 2013 by former UBS executive Erika Karp. Navab was formerly Head of the Americas Private Equity Business at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), where he spent 24 years. Prior to this, he was involved with mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance advisory work at James D Wolfensohn, having started his career at Goldman Sachs.

Aerdt Houben, Director of the Financial Markets Division at De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch central bank, has been named chair of the OECD Committee on Financial Markets (CMF). Houben is currently a member of the Committee on the Global Financial System and the Markets Committee at the Bank for International Settlements. He has been a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Financial Stability Committee of the ECB and the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors.

Campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has announced the death of its UK director David Mepham, who has passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. Mepham was at HRW for seven years, prior to which he worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research as director of its international programme, and at Save the Children, where he was director of advocacy.

Bernard Delbecque, senior director for economics and research at the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA), has been named chair of the new Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). Aleksandra Mączyńska, executive director at retail investor lobby group Better Finance and Falco Valkenburg, vice-chair of the Actuarial Association of Europe, were elected as vice-chairs.

Schroders is recruiting an Assistant Fund Manager for its Horizon Equity Fund to work alongside lead Fund Manager Andy Howard. Schroders said the chosen applicant will help build a new investment process focused on delivering returns over the long term and integrating ESG factors.

The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund, which has commitments from institutional investors like the European Investment Bank, Axa Investment Managers, the Inter-American Development Bank and others, is recruiting a Marine Technical Director. Althelia Funds are managed by Mirova, an affiliate of Natixis Investment Management.