Ex-Mercer RI Europe head Oulton takes over from McCluskey at Colonial First State

Australia-based asset manager makes key new hires

Will Oulton, the former Head of Responsible Investment for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at consulting firm Mercer, has joined Australia-based Colonial First State Investments as Global Head of Responsible Investment.

Oulton will be taking over from Amanda McCluskey, who is joining sister firm First State Stewart’s Asia Pacific and Global Emerging Markets equity team, based in Singapore.

McCluskey was Colonial First State’s Head of Sustainability and Responsible Investment and the founding Deputy Chair of the Investor Group on Climate Change. She also sits on the boards of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and the United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative.

Oulton joined Mercer in 2010 from index provider FTSE, where he was director of responsible investment. His departure from Mercer was reported by Responsible Investor last week. He is also a Board Member at the UK sustainable investment and finance association (UKSIF) and Vice President at the European Sustainable Investment Forum (Eurosif).
Colonial First State, which operates outside Australia as First State Investments, is part of the asset management division of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. It has £97.6bn (€121.6bn) under management and has offices in Sydney, New York, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Jakarta and Tokyo.The firm also named Pablo Berrutti to the new role of Head of Responsible Investment Asia Pacific based in Sydney. He joins from Perpetual in Sydney where he was Head of Responsible Investment. Berrutti, who chairs the Investor Group on Climate Change Research Working Group and is a director of the Responsible Investment Association of Australasia (RIAA), will report to Oulton.

“These appointments reflect our commitment to responsible asset management”

Oulton will report to the company’s Global Head of Product, Chris Turpin.

Chief Executive Mark Lazberger said the hires showed its commitment to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations across its global investment capabilities.

He said: “These appointments reflect our commitment to responsible asset management as a key tenet of our stewardship responsibilities, and an essential part of protecting and enhancing our clients’ long-term investment interests.”

In March this year, Responsible Investor reported that the firm was engaging with its investment banking fixed income counterparties on environmental social and governance (ESG) issues.