RI People & Appointments, October 1: US State Department seeking Paris agreement expert

The latest ESG movers and shakers

The US Department of State is recruiting an expert in the Paris climate accord and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The role of Climate Change Transparency Team Analyst should have “strong familiarity with the UNFCCC, Paris Agreement and other multilateral and bilateral climate change agreements, especially with respect to the issues of reporting and review (i.e. transparency), mitigation and carbon markets”. The department has made an “informal call for expressions of interest for a potential role” on the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) site.

Maarten Biermans has become Rabobank’s Head of Sustainable Capital Markets, following an 18-month stint as the bank’s Head of ESG Policy and Dialogue. He replaces Olaf Brugman, who left the role after nearly two years to move to Brazilian bank Sucredi as Head of Sustainability. Biermans will lead Rabobank’s work on green and sustainability bond, and green syndicated loans, among other products.

Kate Levick has joined climate change think tank E3G to head up its activities on Sustainable Finance. She was formerly Global Director for Policy Engagement at CDP, where she managed the environmental data body’s relationships with governments. She previously worked at the UK Government Office of Climate Change and at BP Plc on carbon credits and strategy in relation to emerging markets. She is a Trustee of Forum for the Future, the global sustainability non-profit.

Michael Bloomberg is to head up the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative, a new project supporting a global mobilisation of private capital to fight climate change, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced last week. As the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and TCFD Chair, Former New York Mayor Bloomberg has long been at the forefront of climate conservation efforts. The initiative will work to fulfil the landmark Paris climate finance objectives – which targeted least $100bn per year by 2020.

The Thirty Percent Coalition, the US board gender diversity body, has elected four new directors at its annual meeting. They are: Rodrigo García, Deputy State Treasurer & Chief Investment Officer at Illinois State Treasury; Brady Gordon, Research Director for the Capital Stewardship Program at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Gianna McCarthy, Director of Corporate Governance at New York State Retirement Fund; and Barbara Whye, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Human Resources at Intel.

Catholic Super has terminated long-serving executive Robert Clancy, after the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry revealed alleged policy breaches during his employment. Clancy was head of institutional relations at the A$9bn (€5.7bn) Australian super fund. On its website, Catholic Super said the infringements included “behaviour by a staff member in relation to a conflict of interest and credit card use that breached our fund’s policies, and our values”.Principles for Responsible Investment Chief Executive Fiona Reynolds is chairing a new commission examining how financial services can help tackle modern slavery. The Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery, also known as the Liechtenstein Initiative (LI), says it will explore how finance’s “global reach” can be harnessed to “detect and disrupt financial flows associated with trafficking”. The initiative formed as a partnership between Liechtenstein, the Austrian government and the United Nations University.

The Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), the ESG body with 38 Australian and international asset owners and institutional investor members, has named Kate Griffiths as Executive Manager, Public Policy and Advocacy. She joins from mining firm BHP where she was Head of Governance, Risk and Audit Committee and Disclosure.

Project Drawdown, the climate initiative whose backers include celebrity couple Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen, has named environmental scientist Jonathan Foley as its next Executive Director. He takes over from Paul Hawken, who will stay on as the organisation’s “resident visionary”.

Yu Ben Meng is returning to CalPERS, this time as Chief Investment Officer, after three years as Deputy CIO at the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE). Before joining SAFE, Meng was at CalPERS for seven years in various roles. Announcement

Kathy Sayko has been named as chief inclusion and diversity officer PGIM, the asset management business of US insurer Prudential Financial, succeeding Cathy Verhoff.

Xavier De Souza Briggs has been appointed to the board at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). He is the Ford Foundation’s Vice President of Inclusive Economies and Markets and is a former professor of Sociology and Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Waheed Hassan is now heading up a new governance advisory and activism defense practice at investor and media relations company The Blueshirt Group. Blueshirt said the new practice will “expand its shareholder activism and crisis services, enabling clients to deal with proxy advisers”. Hassan was formerly Manager – M&A/Proxy contest research at ISS and Senior Managing Director at Alliance Advisors. Based in San Francisco, Hassan reports to Lisa Laukkanen, managing partner.

Juulia Kangas is joining OP Financial Group, Wealth Management in November, bringing the ESG team to three people. Kangas will move from Deloitte Finland, where she is a Consultant, Sustainability Services.

The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, the UK trade body, has named three new main board directors. They are: Alison Hatcher, global head of corporate sector at HSBC Global Asset Management; Patrick Heath-Lay, chief executive officer of B&CE, the provider for DC master trust The People’s Pension; and Catherine May, a corporate affairs specialist who has worked at several FTSE 100 companies.