This Week’s People Moves: Hannestad Takes Sustainability Role at EQT

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of moves and appointments in the sustainable investing sector, including EQT, Aware Super, Candriam, Pensions for Purpose, M&G, Earth Capital, Impact Cubed, and Sphera. 

EQT, a Stockholm-based global investment firm, has appointed Ylva Hannestad as its Transformation Lead for Sustainable Finance and Client Relations. Hannestad joins from Nordea, where she was the Deputy Head of Group Sustainability. She has also served as a member of the Swedish Bankers Association’s Sustainability Council, as well as the Swedish National Advisory Board for Impacting Investing. In her new role, Hannestad will be leading the firm’s client and sustainability teams, heading up engagement efforts with clients across sustainable finance-related themes. 

Sam Mostyn is the new Chair of Australian superannuation fund Aware Super’s board. Mostyn will step into the role from March 2023 after the planned retirement of current Chair Neil Cochrane. Other existing members of the board have been appointed from the governments of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, Unions NSW, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victoria Branch), Victorian Healthcare Association, and the Australian Education Union (Victoria Branch). Deanne Stewart, Aware Super’s CEO, said: “Sam is one of Australia’s most seasoned board chairs and an experienced leader who understands that as one of Australia’s largest super funds it is vitally important that we continue to deliver strong and sustainable long-term returns for our members. Sam also brings to the role the high integrity and deep care we have always found in Neil – values that underpin everything we stand for as a fund.” 

Global asset manager Candriam has expanded its investment team with the appointment of five new fund managers. Dany da Fonseca joins as Co-Manager of Candriam’s Sustainable Bond Euro Corporate Strategy. Da Fonseca previously worked at Amundi where he managed and contributed to the development of thematic ESG credit strategies. Sébastien Le Berre has returned to the Candriam multi-asset team, having previously worked as Multi-Asset Strategist and Fund Manager at the firm’s Luxembourg office from 2015-18. Yohanne Levy joins the fixed income team from La Française Group as Co-Manager of Candriam’s Total Return Bond Strategy, as well as be Co-Manager of the firm’s Global Bonds Strategy . Damien Vergnaud and Célia Fseil have been appointed as Fund Managers in Candriam’s equity market neutral team. Vincent Hamelink, Candriam’s Chief Investment Officer, said: “We are committed to offering our investors a combination of high-quality investment skills, diverse strategies, conviction and responsibility, and a world leading approach to sustainable investing.” 

UK-based advisory firm Pensions for Purpose has hired Martin Pattinson as Director and Place-Based Impact Investing Forum Lead and David Brown as Director and Training Lead. Brown’s newly created role will involve role spearheading the Pensions for Purpose impact investment training programme. He will be responsible for creating practical professional training programmes, focusing on practice-based impact investment integration, stakeholder representation and governance best practice. He is an accredited Professional Pension Trustee, including appointments as Chair and Deputy Chair of schemes for FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 Sponsors and as a Trustee Director of the Smart Pension Master Trust. With 25 years of experience, Pattinson founded FocusFive, a business advisory service and was also previously Head of Distribution, EMEA for Asset Management One International. CEO Charlotte O’Leary said: “I am delighted Pensions for Purpose continues to be able to attract such high calibre individuals as Pattinson and Brown and I look forward to working with them. Their hires are a result of unprecedented interest and growing demand for independent advice around sustainable and impact investing.” 

Dr Ryohei Yanagi has joined investment manager M&G Investments as Deputy President of M&G Japan to help enhance the firm’s Japanese equities stewardship capabilities. Yanagi is most well-known for the work he has conducted on ESG and stewardship, developing the ‘Yanagi Model’, a formula designed to show the relationship between ESG factors and corporate value. Carl Vine, M&G’s Co-Head of Asia Pacific Equity Investment, said: “Yanagi’s appointment is a major milestone for us as we seek to grow our Japanese investment capability and broaden the range of resources we offer to our portfolio companies. This ‘value-added shareholdership’ creates value not only to the companies in which we invest, but also to our investors.” 

UK-based growth equity impact investor Earth Capital (ECL) has appointed a new CEO and COO, as well as making other senior hires. Former Head of Investment Avent Bezuidenhout is now CEO, and will continue to lead the firm’s investment activities, working in conjunction with Richard Burrett, Chief Sustainability Officer. Former Head of Communications Elise Hockley has taken over the role of COO. ECL Co-Founder Gordon Power has moved into the role of Chairman. Bradley Jones has been appointed Senior Investment Manager, and Kay Nelson joins as Financial Controller. Jones will lead on deal origination and value creation and Nelson will become part of the firm’s operations team. Bezuidenhoudt said: “It’s a pleasure and an honour to be given the opportunity to lead the ECL team into the next stage of the business’ growth. I look forward to continuing to make great investments that have a real positive impact on the world we live in and hope to protect.” 

With over four decades of combined experience, Helge Kostka and Owen Thiers have joined ESG data and sustainable investment solutions provider Impact Cubed as Senior Directors. Kostka was previously Head of Portfolio Engineering at Deutsche Asset Management, as well as assisting in evolving Aviva’s equity product strategy in his first ESG role. Thiers has worked for more than 25 years at large global asset managers, including Citi, Deutsche Asset Management, and JP Morgan. He has also served as a member of Impact Cubed’s Advisory Board, providing leadership to guide the firm’s strategy and most recent business expansion. Libby Bernick, Impact Cubed’s CEO, said: “Our team’s hands on experience with the investment process gives us a different perspective on creating ESG solutions and consistently sets us apart from other ESG data providers. Helge and Owen’s impressive careers and their deep body of knowledge in asset and wealth management will help drive our unique solution set in Europe.” 

Sphera, a global ESG software, data and consulting services provider, has appointed Lisa Farrar as Chief Marketing Officer. Farrar has over 15 years of marketing experience building brands, developing products and driving growth. Most recently, she served as Chief Marketing Officer at Everspring, a digital solutions company for higher education. In her new role, she will focus on Sphera’s enterprise marketing and brand strategy to support the company’s continued global expansion. Paul Marushka, Sphera’s CEO and President, said: “Farrar’s proven track record in revenue enablement and customer experience will be beneficial to enhancing Sphera’s ongoing global growth and advancing our mission of creating a safer, more sustainable and productive world.” 

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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