RI People & Appointments, Sept. 12: Vincent Neate steps down as KMPG UK’s Head of Sustainability after 20 years

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Vincent Neate has left his role as Head of Sustainability Services at KPMG’s UK arm, after nearly two decades at the firm. He has founded a company focused on helping businesses build and maintain relationships, called Relationship Capital Strategies Ltd. On his LinkedIn profile, Neate says he believes “we have, over the years, forgotten that strong relationships are built when seen as an end in themselves and not as a means to an end. Our responsibility in business is not limited to one set of relationships but to all”. He cites the importance of relationships in supply chains and in relation to stakeholder engagement. Neate is also available to take on non-executive positions using his experience in audit, risk and sustainability, he said.

Kunal Kapoor has been named CEO of Morningstar, the US-based fund ratings firm that is increasingly focused on ESG. Kapoor, currently president of the firm, will join the board of directors as of January 1. Company founder Joe Mansueto will become executive chairman. To limit the number of inside directors, Don Phillips has voluntarily opted to step down from the board. Kapoor originally joined Morningstar as a data analyst in 1997 and has been president of the company since 2015.

The Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) has appointed Martin Fahy – formerly at KPMG – as its chief executive. Fahy was a partner at the financial services firm, where he worked to “drive transformational change”, according to a statement by ASFA. Prior to that, he was CEO of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (Finsia). Michael Easson, chair of ASFA, described Fahy as having “a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing the superannuation industry”. The role begins in November, until which time Jim Minto, acting CEO, will continue his role. Fahy succeeds Pauline Vamos who stepped down in July after nine years in post.

The Pensions Infrastructure Platform has announced the appointment of two new directors to its growing team. Nick Cole, formerly an Infrastructure Fund Investment manager for Aberdeen Asset Management, joins the platform as an Investment Director, while Angela Gyulveszy will serve as Investor Relations Director on the back of roles in business development, product development and marketing strategy at AXA REIM.

Angela Gyulveszy will serve as Investor Relations Director on the back of roles in business development, product development and marketing strategy at AXA REIM. Mike Weston, PiP’s Chief Executive, said that “with Nick and Angela on board we can continue to grow the fund and increasing our direct investment into UK infrastructure assets.”Richard Howitt, a Member of European Parliament (MEP), will take over from Paul Druckman as CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) from November this year. Howitt, an MEP for over 20 years, oversaw the EU’s non-financial information directive, widely considered one of the most sweeping transformations in corporate reporting particularly in terms of social responsibility. He has also worked as a voluntary IIRC Ambassador for the past five years. Barry Melancon, Chairman of the IIRC Board, said, “Richard Howitt is one of life’s change-makers. He is a policymaker with a proven ability to get results”.

Investment firm Exane BNP Paribas will lose its ESG analyst Yohann Terry to J Safra Sarasin, according to reports. Terry has headed a team focused on sustainability research at the Paris-based firm for more than four years, and was named Leading Brokerage Individual for Corporate Governance Research this year, in awards run by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association. He will become a technology analyst, alongside covering social and responsible investment research within the technology, utilities and capital goods sectors.

Darryl Button will step down as Chief Financial Officer of Aegon after four years to return to the US. Button announced his decision to leave the Netherlands-based position this week, in order to move his family back to the US. He will leave in December. Aegon last week retained its top-10 position in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index’s financial services category.

Edouard Merette has been appointed to help lead Unigestion’s growth strategy in Asia. The Swiss boutique asset manager – which screens all its funds on ESG factors, and launched its first low-carbon strategy recently – has appointed Merette as a non-executive chairman to the board of Unigestion Asia. The company said it expected Merette to be “instrumental” in leading its strategy for the growth in the region.

Transport for London – the Government-owned company that handles public transport, taxis and many roads in the UK’s capital city – has appointed Nina Skorupska, CEO of the Renewable Energy Association, to its board. The move comes as part of a shake up under new London Mayor, Sadiq Khan. Michael Liebreich, Bloomberg New Energy Finance founder, will remain a board member for at least another two years under the revamp. Khan has ambitious plans to tackle air pollution in the city, as well as promoting electric vehicles and cleaner energy use. TfL was one of the first entities to issue a sterling-denominated green bond last year.