This Week’s People Moves: French Joins Impax from Newton

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of moves and appointments in the sustainable investing sector, including Impax AM, Phoenix Group, Chronos Sustainability, EY, and PwC. 

London-based Impax Asset Management has appointed Charlie French as Deputy CIO of Listed Equities. French joins from Newton Investment Management, where he held the positions of Head of Multi Asset, Head of Investment/Deputy CIO and, most recently, Head of Equity Opportunities, where he was responsible for leading a team of global equity portfolio managers with US$45 billion in AUM. In his new role, French will support CIO Bruce Jenkin-Jones alongside fellow Deputy CIO of Listed Equities Hubert Aarts with their responsibilities, including leading and growing the Listed Equities team through research, idea generation, portfolio management, ESG integration, and trading. French will also focus on the strategic direction of the team. Jenkyn-Jones said: “The investment opportunities available to Impax have grown substantially as the drivers supporting the transition to a sustainable economy accelerate. Charlie will be an important asset in the Listed Equities team as we position ourselves for the next stage in our growth.” Impax has also announced the appointment of Annette Wilson as Non-Executive Director.

UK long-term savings and retirement services provider Phoenix Group has appointed Kalina Lazarova as its Corporate Governance and Voting Lead within the Sustainable Investments teams. Lazarova will be working alongside Valeria Piani, Head of Stewardship, to evolve the company’s proxy voting models and strategy, as well as its broader corporate governance strategy. Prior to joining, Lazarova spent seven years at BMO Global Asset Management as Head of Governance in Responsible Investment, where she headed policy development and implementation of global corporate governance policies. Piani said: “We are continuing to build out our capabilities within our responsible investment team, and the development of our stewardship is key to that. Lazarova’s vast experience in the voting and governance space will be a major asset to the team.”

Chronos Sustainability, a UK-based global sustainability advisory firm, has announced the appointment of Dr Rebecca Drury as Manager of Biodiversity and Nature and Chup Priovashini as Research Analyst for its Responsible Investment team. Drury joins Chronos from Fauna and Flora International (FFI), where she was Head of Wildlife Trade and responsible for leading FFI’s Wildlife Trade programme, focusing on addressing unsustainable trade in wildlife across FFI’s global portfolio. She will be working alongside Gemma James, Senior Manager of Biodiversity and Nature, and will be responsible for supporting the implementation and development of nature-based and biodiversity programmes with both companies and investors. Priovashini will be working across the firm’s portfolio of responsible investment clients and projects. She will also support Chronos’ major benchmarking programmes including the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare. Dr Rory Sullivan, Chronos Sustainability’s CEO, said: “Ensuring we have best-in-class expertise to support this pledge is critical to our mission. I am delighted to welcome Rebecca and Chup to our growing team.” 

Big Four accountancy firm EY has appointed Dr Matthew Bell as Global Leader of its Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS). With more than 20 years’ experience working with businesses across public and private sectors to build their climate change and sustainability credentials, Bell will lead EY teams to help companies better understand the risks and opportunities arising from climate change and sustainability issues. Bell said: “The business world has come a long way in recent years, with climate change and sustainability now much more widely recognised as crucial c-suite priorities. I want to help ensure all EY clients have the support they need to achieve their sustainability goals. I hope to help many more organisations navigate the risks and opportunities on the horizon.” 

PwC, a Big Four accountancy firm, has taken on 50 ESG interns for a six-week period across its Deals, Risk, Consulting and Tax businesses. This is an expansion of the firm’s climate-focused internship programme, giving a total of 500 students an opportunity to work across client projects related to societal and environmental issues, such as climate reporting and transitioning to net zero. Viable applicants will have some form of ESG-related qualification, including Environmental Science, Sustainable Engineering and Psychology. Cathy Baxter, Head of Talent Engagement at PwC, said: “As an employer, our internships allow us to access and identify the very best talent even earlier in their studies. Our internships are integral to giving students valuable insight into our culture and how we work. This year’s interns will benefit from ‘the deal’, PwC’s approach to blended working, allowing them to work flexibly and use our summer working hours policy.”  

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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