Threadneedle names new Head of Governance and Responsible Investment

€75bn funds firm hires from rival Aviva Investors

Threadneedle Investments, the UK-based fund management firm with £61.9bn (€75bn) in assets under management, has appointed Aviva Investors’ Iain Richards as its new Head of Governance and Responsible Investment.

Richards takes on the role vacated by Therese Niklasson, who joined Investec Asset Management last year. Niklasson had been replaced on an interim basis by Cathrine De Connick-Smith, Governance and Responsible Investment Analyst.

Richards, who has been Regional Head of Corporate Governance at Aviva since 2003, will lead a team of three and will be responsible for environmental, social and governance (ESG) research, policy and engagement.He joins next month and will report to Head of Equities Leigh Harrison. He was previously Head of Corporate Governance at Schroder Investment Management. The team will comprise De Coninck-Smith and Fionnuala O’Grady.

The appointment “reflects our belief that governance and responsible investment are key aspects of our stewardship responsibilities and an essential part of protecting and enhancing our clients’ long-term investment interests” said the firm’s Chief Investment Officer Mark Burgess.

Threadneedle, owned by US-listed Ameriprise Financial, is a signatory to the United Nations-backed Principles for Responsible Investment.