PRI Hires Show Greater Local Focus

Cambria Allen-Ratzlaff and Rose Easton have been named Chief RI Ecosystems Officers, underpinning a regions-first approach to better meet signatory needs.

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has named two Chief Responsible Investment (RI) Ecosystems Officers, responding to signatory demand for an increased focus on local issues.

Cambria Allen-Ratzlaff has been appointed Chief RI Ecosystems Officer for the Americas and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions, while Rose Easton will serve as Chief RI Ecosystems Officer for the UK, Europe and India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA).

The two roles are an evolution from the previous Chief Signatory Relations Officer position at the PRI, with an expanded remit encompassing the signatory relations function as well as other areas operations considered to be strategically important.

Allen-Ratzlaff and Easton will be responsible for leading the Responsible Investment Ecosystems team – one of the cross-functional teams created last July in response to the PRI’s Changing World Consultation. The roles were designed to reflect the group’s broader structural evolution, in line with the consultation’s findings. 

“The consultation process told us clearly that signatories wanted the PRI to work more on local issues across regions,” said Easton. “The structure of the Responsible Investment Ecosystems team – including the encompassing of PRI’s regional policy work – is designed to reflect this.”

Both officers are part of the executive team at the PRI, which leads a team of 55 responsible investment managers globally, and whose remit is to establish an overarching strategic direction to ensure the managers deliver on the PRI’s overall strategy.

The consultation also revealed a strong appetite from signatories for the PRI to provide support to local investors communities, with a belief that the right enabling environment for responsible investment could be created through engagement with policy, regulation and standard-setting.

“These regionally focused activities, delivered through a new focus on the development of local ecosystems, will allow [us] to better support the local priorities of signatories,” said David Atkin, CEO at the PRI.

“Through our Changing World consultation, we heard from signatories that adapting to needs and requirements within their regions is important. [We have] listened to this feedback and [are] prioritising a regional-first approach to ensure these are met through a tailored offering,” said Easton.

The appointment of two officers in key markets where signatories operate will go some way to ensure the continuation and evolution of the PRI’s work, and puts the institutional community at the heart of its strategic vision and global remit.”

Meeting shifting demand

Allen-Ratzlaff has 20 years’ industry experience and joined the PRI from JUST Capital, a not-for-profit research organisation where she served as Managing Director and Head of Investor Strategies.

Easton joined the PRI in November 2021 as Signatory Relations Director for Northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She has accumulated three decades of experience in business development and relationship management within asset management and financial services firms.

In 2022, her role was extended to cover the Continental Europe team, where she consolidated the teams to become EMEA Director and eventually Senior Director, leading the PRI’s Global Signatory Relations.

While Allen-Ratzlaff’s and Easton’s core responsibilities will be the same, specific operations may vary according to the distinct needs of their regions.

In addition to the UK and Europe, Easton’s remit will also cover much of the PRI’s activity in emerging markets, where she has extensive experience.

“The PRI’s aim is to grow its presence in emerging markets and developing economies to more fully encompass capital flows across the globe,” said Easton.

Allen-Ratzlaff’s focus on the US market likewise reflects the strategic importance of the region for the PRI, which according to Easton remains committed to helping local signatories grow and evolve their responsible investment activity in line with fiduciary duty standards, and despite regional headwinds.

“Ultimately, the work of the RI Ecosystems team will be designed to enable signatories to progress and evolve their practices, and to convene and connect with relevant parties within the industry,” said Allen-Ratzlaff. “It will also collaborate with policymakers and regulators to realise an enabling responsible investment environment that supports signatories’ ambition, consistent with fiduciary and regulatory requirements.”

Maintaining an open dialogue with its more than 5,000 signatories globally to understand their needs, the pressures they face and where they need help to deliver on commitments alongside their responsible investment activity, is of vital importance to the PRI, Allen-Ratzlaff added.

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