RI People & Appointments, Nov. 17: Aviva seconds marketing chief to UN Sustainable Development project

The latest ESG movers and shakers

Amanda Mackenzie, Chief Marketing Officer at Aviva, is to lead a new global education programme for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Aviva, the UK insurer and asset manager, has announced that it will be a founding partner of a new initiative by film director Richard Curtis, of ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ fame, to bring the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals “to every person around the world in 2015”. Mackenzie will be seconded to the project for two years from December 1. Curtis, who founded the UK’s annual Comic Relief charity, said: “Amanda is joining a powerful team of campaigners and partners including the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation who believe that 2015 is a pivotal year to change the future of our people and our planet.”

Jennifer Kozak has left her role as Head of Research and Policy at Eurosif, the Brussels-based pan-European sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) membership organization. Kozak, whose role included administering the European SRI Transparency Code, was formerly an SRI Analyst at Aviva Investors, and before that was Research Manager, Responsible Investment at Insight Investment. She was Senior Analyst and Director of Consulting at pioneering ESG firm KLD Research & Analytics from 1997-2002. She is available via email.

Former Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg is to head up a new multistakeholder initiative on the future of the global financial system being set up by the World Economic Forum, the body which organizes the annual Davos event. The aim is to facilitate cooperation towards a new framework for the future global financial system. “Rebuilding an efficient, stable and equitable financial system that supports long-term growth without jeopardizing economic recovery in the short run is a key global challenge,” Borg said.

The Asset Owners’ Disclosure Project (AODP), the not-for-profit organisation which aims to protect retirement savings from climate change risks, has made some appointments. Sustainable investment journalist Oliver Wagg is named Communications Manager. Raj Singh, former Programme Director at UKSIF, is appointed Campaign Manager. Rachel Madeiros-Mhende becomes Fund Ratings Manager.

Tony Vecchio has joined Okapi Partners, the US proxy solicitation and investor response firm, as a Managing Director to work for corporate clients involved in proxy contests, mergers, tender offers and other investor response campaigns. His appointment follows the hiring of Michael Fein in March and Jon Einsidler in May, as a member of Okapi’s senior management team. Vecchio was formerly with rival firm Georgeson for almost 30 years. Link

Sir Christopher Kelly and Simon Burke have been named as independent non-executive directors of the Co-operative Group, the UK mutual, as part of its “constitutional reforms”. Kelly, who chaired a review of the Co-op, will be Senior Independent Non-Executive Director. Burke, previously an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Group’s food arm, is also a director at state broadcaster the BBC.Rolf Häßler, Head of Communications at German ESG research firm Oekom, is leaving the firm after almost eight years. In a statement, Häßler said he was resigning to realise a private project, adding that he would remain a communications specialist for sustainable investments. Prior to joining Oekom in 2007, Häßler worked at Munich Re as an internal consultant for sustainability. Munich-based Oekom is now looking to replace Häßler and has uploaded a job posting on its website. Oekom spokeswoman Ines Markmiller will take over until a replacement is found.

Jim Mosman, former CEO at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), has died. He led the fund for 12 years from 1988 until 2001 and went on to become Executive Director of the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR). Current CEO Jack Ehnes stated: “Our deepest sympathies go out to Jim’s family. We have lost a man who thoroughly embraced and championed the security of teacher pensions; who led by his word and followed through on his promises.”

Debra Smith has been named as CalSTRS’ first Chief Operating Investment Officer (COIO) as part of a restructuring of the fund’s investment leadership. The COIO oversees Investment Operations, Branch Administration, and a new unit comprised of Compliance, Internal Controls, Ethics and Business Continuity. The new position will also directly report to the Investment Committee twice per year. Smith was previously CalSTRS’ director of investment operations, having risen through the ranks since joining in 1998. Announcement

Louise Fulford has been named as Head of Administration at NOW: Pensions, the UK workplace pensions provider that is owned by Danish pension scheme ATP. She joins from insurance and employee benefits firm JLT where she held roles as senior client relationship manager and Head of Administration.

Greg Barker, a former minister in the UK’s Department for Energy & Climate Change, has been named as the new Chairman of the London Sustainable Development Commission by Mayor Boris Johnson. Paul Turner, Sustainable Business Director for Lloyds Banking Group, is named as his deputy. The Commission was established in 2002 to advise the Mayor of London on sustainability issues including ways to improve and protect Londoners’ quality of life. Announcement

Vincent Nobel has been appointed to lead the Hermes Real Estate Debt business and manage the Hermes Real Estate Senior Debt Fund. Launched in 2013, the fund invests in UK commercial real estate (CRE) loans and was seeded with a £400m (€500.1m) cornerstone investment. Nobel joins from M&G Investments where he was a senior member of its Senior Real Estate Debt team.

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), the international development and environment policy research organisation, is seeking a new Director to take over from Camilla Toulmin, who is stepping down after almost 10 years in the post. The deadline for applications for the London-based role is December 8.