ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new hires in the sustainable investing sector, including US SIF, PGGM, PGIM Real Estate, Earth Capital and Evli.
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment announced the election of two members to its board of directors in January for terms from 2022-2024. US SIF’s 13-member board of directors provides strategic guidance to advance sustainable investing across all asset classes, for the Washington-D.C.-based organisation. Board members also serve on the US SIF Foundation Board. Linda-Eling Lee, Managing Director, Global Head of ESG and Climate Research at MSCI, was elected to a first term and Kimberly Gluck, Managing Director at Boston Trust Walden, was elected to a second term. Leslie Samuelrich, President, Green Century Capital Management, has completed two terms on the board and was thanked for her contribution over the past six years. “We are so thankful for the US SIF Board members who offer their time and expertise to make this organisation stronger,” said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF. “I am thrilled to welcome Linda to the board and grateful that Kim, who has ably served as Board Treasurer, will serve another term.”
Piet Klop was appointed as head of the PGGM Responsible Investment team on 1 December 2021, which was announced toward the end of last month. He succeeds Hans Op ’t Veld, who will move on to focus on further expansion of the Sustainable Development Investment Asset Owner Platform (SDI AOP), of which PGGM is one of the founders. Klop was already filling this position as an interim manager and has worked at PGGM since 2011 and was previously affiliated to the World Resources Institute. He heads a team of 15 members who advise clients on responsible investment strategies, support PGGM investment teams in ESG matters and conduct shareholder dialogues with portfolio companies. In a statement on his appointment, Klop said he sees the main challenge for PGGM Investment Management in the coming years as defining the social impact of investments and incorporating this into the investment process. As a not-for-profit cooperative pension fund service provider, PGGM provides incomes for 4.4 million participants in the Netherlands, managing long-term pension capital of €274 billion worldwide as of June 2021.
PGIM Real Estate has hired Julie Townsend as ESG lead for Europe and Asia Pacific. Townsend, based in London, will begin the role immediately. PGIM Real Estate is the real estate investment and financing business of PGIM, the global investment management arm of Prudential Financial, Inc. Townsend will oversee the ESG implementation across the European and Asia Pacific regions and is tasked with building upon the firm’s sustainability goals. Townsend will report to Christina Hill, global head of ESG and head of Americas Asset Management. Townsend joins PGIM Real Estate after spending fifteen years at CBRE, latterly as head of environmental consultancy. “I am pleased to join a group of such scale and experience and am looking forward to helping make a difference as we continue to build upon the already strong ESG foundations, “ said Townsend.
Earth Capital has appointed Avent Bezuidenhoudt as Head of Investment. Her appointment comes as the firm rolled out its Nobel Sustainability Fund. London-headquartered Earth Capital is a sustainable investing private equity company. The group was co-founded by Gordon Power and Stephen Lansdown, co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown. Bezuidenhoudt will also be joining the board as a director of Earth Capital and its investment committee. Bezuidenhoudt joined Earth Capital in July 2020 as Investment Director with 25 years of experience in investing. Previously, Avent was a Senior Fund Manager at The FSE Group and before moving into investment management, was an Assistant Director in the London Corporate Finance team at BDO UK. “Avent has proved to be a trusted and valuable member of the Earth Capital team in her short time here, and we are pleased to have her move into the Head of Investment role,” said Power, Chief Investment Officer of Earth Capital. “She has a broad range of experience and the drive to enhance our focus amid a surge of investor interest in our sector.”
Petra Hakamo has been appointed as the new Head of Sustainability at Finnish bank Evli as of January 1, 2022. Helsinki-based Evli is a boutique bank founded in 1989 that works with institutional investors. Hakamo’s role will focus on implementing changes around the EU taxonomy legislation, climate work and social responsibility as well as driving the work on sustainability across both investors and corporates. She previously worked for Evli and SEB and serves as Vice Chair of the Finnish Venture Capital Association’s Sustainability Working Group. Hakamo joins from Evli Growth Partners business, where she worked as Investment Manager and Head of Sustainability. “I very much look forward to working on sustainability with the portfolio managers across all asset classes at Evli, and to further develop Evli’s sustainability practices,” said Hakamo. Her new task will be to set steps to reach Evli’s climate targets, in order to halve the carbon emissions of its investments by 2030 and make Evli fully carbon neutral for all its investments by 2050.