ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new hires in the sustainable investing sector, including LGIM, Newton IM, Credit Suisse AM, Global Returns Project, TNFD and Plia Systems.
Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) announced the appointment of Kurt Morriesen as Head of Investment Stewardship. Morriesen will join the business in January 2022 and will lead LGIM’s Investment Stewardship team, working on raising market standards and best practice to hold companies to account on issues from climate change to board independence and diversity. He joins LGIM from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he is a Senior Adviser for Impact Investments and SDGs, a role he has held since 2018. Morriesen has over 15 years of impact investment and ESG strategy experience in international organisations, such as the World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Principles for Responsible Investment and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); he has also worked at private firms specialising in sustainable investments in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. “Our engagement activity and stewardship of our clients’ assets is a core pillar of our approach to sustainable investment. We’re delighted to welcome Kurt to LGIM,” said Michelle Scrimgeour, CEO of LGIM. “His experience with organisations at the frontier of sustainable development will be invaluable as we reinforce our investment stewardship approach.” Morriesen will report to Michelle Scrimgeour, CEO, and takes over the position from Sacha Sadan, who recently left LGIM in 2021 to become the Head of ESG at the Financial Conduct Authority.
Newton Investment Management, part of BNY Mellon Investment Management, appointed Therese Niklasson as Global Head of Sustainable Investment. Niklasson will join the Newton executive committee and be responsible for its strategic plan for investment. As part of this role, she will oversee the research agenda and lead ESG integration, measurement within investment processes. Niklasson will manage the development of Newton’s responsible investment team focusing on research, stewardship, data and product advocacy. She will also provide oversight of governance and processes relating to responsible and sustainable investing. Niklasson joins from Ninety One (previously Investec Asset Management), where she was Global Head of Sustainability, leading the development and execution of the firm’s holistic sustainability strategy. Prior to this, she was Global Head of ESG and Head of ESG Research at the firm, and before that, she held the role of Head of Governance and Responsible Investment at Threadneedle Investments. “Therese’s experience and track record in building ESG capabilities and influencing investment teams’ approach to sustainability issues, will be instrumental in driving Newton’s continued development of sustainable investment franchise,” said Euan Munro, CEO of Newton Mellon Investment Management. She joins on 7 February 2022 and will be based in London. She will report directly to Munro.
Jeroen Bos will join Credit Suisse Asset Management as Global Head of Sustainable Investing, effective January 1, 2022. Bos joins from NN Investment Partners (NN IP) in the Netherlands, where he has held several roles since starting in 2008. Most recently, as Head of Specialised Equity & Responsible Investing and he was part of NN IP’s Management Team Investments. He was a member of NN IP’s ESG Board and chaired its Proxy Voting Committee. Prior to this, he held roles at UBS in New York, JP Morgan in London, and MeesPierson/Fortis in Amsterdam. Bos sits on the investment committee for the Dutch Rail & Public Transport Pension Fund, where he advises on investment matters, including responsible investing. He is also a board member of the Work with Nature Foundation, a non-profit organisation protecting Costa Rica’s rainforests. Additionally, he is a member of CFA Institute’s Global ESG Working Group and Technical Committee. In his role as Global Head of Sustainable Investing for Asset Management, Bos will build the division’s sustainability capabilities, working in alignment with SRI to strengthen sustainable investment.
The Global Returns Project announced the appointment of three climate academics and scientists to its Technical Advisory Board. Professor Yadvinder Malhi CBE, Dr Mamta Mehra and Dr Surabi Menon will join the board which, alongside the Due Diligence Committee, oversees the selection of the Global Returns Fund. The Fund is a portfolio of not-for-profit organisations tackling the climate crisis. The new appointments join Professor Joanna Haigh CBE on the Board. “Our Technical Advisory Board will benefit greatly from the addition of Professor Malhi, Dr Mehra and Dr Menon,” said Yan Swiderski, Global Returns Project Co-Founder. “Their expertise will enhance our ability to identify the best not-for-profit organisations tackling the climate crisis.” Professor Malhi CBE FRS is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on interactions between the biosphere and climate change, including how the biosphere can be protected, stewarded and restored to enhance climate change resilience. He was Chair of the recent Royal Society Programme on Biodiversity. Dr Mehra is an environmental professional with expertise in climate change, agriculture and natural resource management. Currently, she is working with Project Drawdown as a Senior Fellow and Research Program officer, where she is focusing on Drawdown solutions in the Land Use and Food sectors. She is soon to join the Global Council for Science and Environment as Program Director, where she will work on spanning the boundaries between science and decision-making to strengthen the impact of durable solutions to environmental challenges. Dr Menon is VP, Global Intelligence at ClimateWorks Foundation. Her work supports climate philanthropy by providing a global context for climate mitigation and climate policy progress; identifying investment flows, high-impact investment opportunities and the developmental and economic benefits associated with energy transitions. Dr Menon serves on the advisory council of the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium, Climate Leadership Initiative.
Snorre Gjerde, ESG & Responsible Investment Analyst, at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), has joined the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), bringing the membership up to 34 senior executives. NBIM also joined the TNFD Forum bringing members organisations, which now represents over US$18 trillion assets under management. The TNFD framework is due to be released as a beta version in early 2022. TNFD also appointed Emily McKenzie as Technical Director. The TNFD Secretariat, which now consists of five members of staff, is expanding further and is looking for two Senior Managers to join the Technical Team, and a Finance Markets Engagement Lead to join the Stakeholder Engagement Team.
Plia Systems announced the launch of its ESG division as well as the appointment of Anita Karppi as Chief Revenue Officer and Head of ESG. Plia was developed in 2012 to manage due diligence processes and the secure transfer of information between asset managers and their counterparties for risk management purposes. Karppi has 22 years of experience in capital markets at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, FlexTrade, and Reuters and founded the Buy-side Trading Community in 2009. She will continue her role on the Executive Team at the Plato Partnership. The Plia ESG platform is aimed at helping the financial community crowdsource best practices, benchmarks, and technology to allow investors to adopt ESG into their businesses. “I am delighted to be appointed to this position. Together we have a vision to grow the business to help the investment community,” said Karppi. “The ESG initiative aligns with my passions, and I am excited to be spearheading a product that will help the industry engage on these challenges.”