This Week’s People Moves: Aviva Investors Makes Three New Hires

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of moves and appointments in the sustainable investing sector, including Aviva Investors, Blackfinch Energy, Robeco and the IA.  

Aviva Investors, the global asset management arm of multinational insurance company Aviva, has announced the appointment of Emilia Matai as a Sovereign and Quasi Sovereign ESG Analyst. In her new role, Matei will be responsible for supporting portfolio managers in the integration of ESG factors into the investment process across sovereign states. She joins from abrdn, where she spent seven years as a Sovereign Analyst for Emerging Market Debt (EMD). Devin Cameron joins Aviva Investors from J. Stern & Co as an EMD Corporate Analyst, focusing on several sectors, including oil and gas, industrials and utilities. Darrell Sharpe has also been appointed as a Junior Analyst, moving across internally from a role in mandate monitoring at Aviva investors. Liam Spillane, Aviva Investors’ Head of EMD, said: “The appointment of Matai alongside the hires of Cameron and Sharpe are evidence of Aviva Investors’ continued commitment to both the corporate and sovereign asset classes, as well as our unrelenting focus on enhancing ESG integration.”  

Dutch international asset manager Robeco has announced the appointment of David Thomas as Senior Portfolio Manager. He will assist the investment team on its forthcoming RobecoSAM Biodiversity strategy. Thomas has joined the company’s Zurich office and will work alongside investment professionals from Robeco’s Thematic Investment, SI Research, and Active Ownership teams and is currently preparing for the scheduled Q4 launch of the RobecoSAM Biodiversity Equities thematic investment strategy. He joins from Ellerston Capital where he was portfolio manager – responsible for managing multiple strategies, including a fund for one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth asset owners – and has nearly three decades of experience in financial markets. He has also previously worked for firms including PwC, Macquarie Bank, Morgan Stanley and CLSA. Mark van der Kroft, Robeco’s Fundamental and Quant Equity CIO, said: “Thomas’ appointment marks an essential step toward launching the RobecoSAM Biodiversity Equities thematic investment strategy, an important milestone in the biodiversity roadmap we outlined earlier this year.” 

Blackfinch Energy, part of the UK-based investment manager Blackfinch Group, has also made a trio of hires: Alan Gorman, Vuong Nguyen and Sam Dickerson. Gorman joins the company as Investment Director, and will be responsible for working on new energy deals for the team and growing its current renewable energy portfolio. He previously worked with John Laing’s renewable energy and infrastructure for five years and has recently been consulting on the launch of Clean Energy Capital. Nguyen joins as Investment Manager and will be assisting with the development of energy infrastructure deals throughout their lifecycle, focusing on sustainability and innovation. He has five years’ worth of experience, having previously worked at Innova Capital and Lightsource BP. Dickerson joins Blackfinch as Senior Commercial Portfolio Manager, bringing more than 12 years’ experience in the energy sector, including a decade at Ecotricity managing purchase power agreements and virtual power purchase. Guy Lavarack, Blackfinch’s Head of Energy, said: “Currently, our investments into solar and wind farms are expected to generate over £100,000 into local community projects this year. So, not only are we building out more resilient clean energy for the UK, but we’re also making a difference on the ground in the local area.”  

The Investment Association (IA), a trade body representing UK-based investment managers, has appointed Patrick Thomson as Chair of the IA Board. Thomson, who is also JP Morgan Asset Management’s EMEA CEO, joins the 18-person board to help ensure the industry “remains focused” on modernising industry practices to meet saver and investor needs. From 27 September, Thomson will step into his new role, championing the investment management industry and liaising with policymakers and regulators. On his appointment, Thomson said: “Ensuring we continue to have a strong and effective industry association has never been more important if we are to collectively address these pressing matters and emerge with a more competitive industry for our customers.” 

The practical information hub for asset owners looking to invest successfully and sustainably for the long term. As best practice evolves, we will share the news, insights and data to guide asset owners on their individual journey to ESG integration.

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