New TPI Chief Faces Rising Investor “Aspirations”

Asset owner-led initiative looks to expand breadth and depth of company, sector, asset class coverage on climate action. 

The Transition Pathway Initiative Global Climate Transition Centre (TPI Centre), has appointed Carmen Nuzzo as its new Executive Director, bringing “extensive experience” that will help the organisation meet the sustainability “aspirations of the investment world”, Professor Simon Dietz, research lead for the TPI, told ESG Investor.  

Nuzzo will officially join the TPI Centre in May from the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), where she has served as Head of Fixed Income for the international investor network since April 2017.  

Nuzzo has three decades of industry experience, with a focus on sustainable economics. Prior the PRI, she held the position of Senior Macro Economist at investment bank Morgan Stanley, and was a Research Analyst at ShareAction, a UK-based non-profit promoting responsible investment. 

She will be taking over key responsibilities from Dietz, who has been the TPI Centre’s Acting Director and Project Lead since its launch last year. 

The TPI Centre is part of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE), and was established in June 2022 before formally launching in October 2022.  

The asset owner-led initiative is supported by 131 asset owners, asset managers, and service providers which represent more than US$50 trillion in combined AuM. It provides open data and analysis on corporations’ and sovereigns’ management and governance of their carbon emissions, as well as their carbon emissions pathways. 

In her new role, Nuzzo will be responsible for leading the TPI Centre on strategy and governance, overseeing its research and continuing to help build its team and scale up its capabilities. Dietz, a professor of Environmental Policy at the LSE, said he is hoping to recruit further analysts to the TPI Centre, as well as build up its communications and outreach functions, and resource its core administrative team.  

Adam Matthews, Chair of TPI and Chief Responsible Investment Officer for the Church of England Pensions Board, said: “This is a key appointment for the new TPI Global Climate Transition Centre. [Carmen] will provide the executive leadership to ensure investors continue to have the independent, academically rigorous analysis they need as we rapidly increase the depth and breadth of TPI assessments.” 

Scaling up 

Dietz said the TPI Centre ultimately will look to expand the breadth and depth in its coverage to “more companies, more sectors, and more asset classes”. 

As part of this continued expansion, Dietz said the centre intends to scale up its coverage of companies, aiming to add another 200-300 firms by the end of the summer. It currently tracks over 600 of the world’s largest high-emitting companies covering sectors such as steel, aviation and shipping among others, as well as the banking sector.  

The TPI Centre is now adding methodologies for new sectors, to further support investors’ efforts to analyse companies’ climate actions and commitments. The TPI is “the first climate investor initiative to publish low carbon benchmarks and alignment tests for food companies”, noted Dietz.  

Expanding into different asset classes is a key goal of the TPI, according to Dietz.  

“Most of our research so far has been about public equity, but many of the companies we assess are also largely issuers of corporate bonds, so you could see that our details are useful for bond investors,” he said, adding that the TPI Centre recently published a consultation document on sovereign bonds as part of the ASCOR project. 

As the TPI Centre’s Acting Director, Dietz said the role came with “real expectations and pressure”. “It’s always been a challenge to try to meet investors’ expectations of us and to manage the interface between the investment world and the world of research – those two things that have kept me up at night,” he added.  

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