SAM hires former Credit Suisse director in US push

Swiss manager sees growing sustainability momentum amongst US institutions.

SAM, the Swiss-based sustainable fund manager, has hired Neil Johnson, former director at Credit Suisse in New York, to lead its North American operations as head of sales at SAM USA, a new position for the company. The fund manager said Johnson would focus on strengthening the firm’s institutional, consultant, wholesale and retail business in the US and Canada, alongside current SAM USA professionals Hugo Steensma and Migo Terjanian. SAM said the push into the US reflected increasing interest in sustainability investing in the United States amongst public and private pensions, endowments, foundations and individual investors. Johnson will report to Michael Baldinger, head of global clients & marketing and member of the Executive Committee at SAM. At Credit Suisse, Johnson was responsible for marketing investment strategies to public and private pensionplans, foundations, endowments, consultants and hedge fund-of-funds. He has held similar positions at AIG Investments and Neuberger Berman following seven years as an institutional investment consultant. Baldinger noted that as of the end of 2009, more than 650 asset managers – representing a combined total of over $20 trillion in assets under management – had signed on to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI). He said: “With so many of the world’s top managers and consultants agreeing to take environmental, social and governance criteria into consideration when making their investment decisions, it’s not surprising that sustainable investing is gaining momentum so quickly, especially among institutional investors. Our strong track record and global reach positions us particularly well to capitalize on the burgeoning interest in this area.”