SAM founder and CEO Ringger steps down

Swiss SRI funds chief says he will stay working on sustainability theme in financial markets.

Reto Ringger, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Zürich-based Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), is leaving the company. Ringger, who launched SAM 14 years, said he would be starting an as yet undisclosed project involving sustainability in financial markets.
In December 2006, Dutch fund manager Robeco bought a 64% stake in SAM Group for a price tag believed to be in the region of SFr60-80m (€37-50m). That left 36% of the group held by SAM’s management and employees. It is not known whether Ringger has sold down his personal stake in the company. Ringger said he would remain as CEO and delegate of the board of directors at SAM, until his termination period concludes at the end of February 2009. SAM currently advises on assets of more than SFr14bn, for retail private and institutional investors and has enjoyed strong growth in recent years.Ringger said: “Even though right now it would appear that the financial markets are still far distanced from sustainability, we at SAM have accomplished tremendous things and made a significant contribution to the fact that an increasing number of private and institutional investors throughout the world are investing their money with a view toward sustainability.”
The SAM chief has been feted as a pioneer in sustianble investing since launching SAM. He won the Cleantech Pioneer Award for successfully establishing the world’s first globally diversified cleantech private equity fund and the Global Green Award from Green Cross International for launching the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which SAM carries out the underlying research for.
Before establishing SAM, Ringger was managing director of Vontobel Pacific AG and a former advisor to the CEO of Bank Vontobel.