This Week’s People Moves: New Head of Investment Solutions for CCLA

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of moves and appointments in the sustainable investing sector, including CCLA, Pantheon, Cubera, and Just Climate. 

Ben Funnell has been appointed Head of Investment Solutions by UK-based charity fund manager CCLA Investment Management. Funnell joins from Man Group where he was Chief Equity Strategist and a portfolio manager. Previously, he spent 11 years at Morgan Stanley as European Equity Strategist. In his new role, Funnell will be responsible for guiding the firm’s investment strategy, setting CCLA’s approach to asset allocation and conducting economic analysis. He will report to Peter Hugh Smith, CCLA’s CEO, and will be part of the Executive Committee, helping to drive strategic investment initiatives, communicate CCLA’s investment proposition, and meet evolving client demands. Hugh Smith said: “In the current complex investment environment, we need to keep an even sharper eye on the horizon to continue to meet our clients’ evolving needs. Funnell’s significant expertise in building strategies for inflationary environments will be invaluable in providing the strategic direction we require to safely navigate these challenging markets.” The appointment completes CCLA’s investment teams’ reorganisation to cover investment solutions, sustainability, and investments. Funnell said: “Over the last ten years, CCLA has delivered excellent returns for its clients through an incisive understanding of the long-term secular trends influencing the investment landscape combined with outstanding stock picking abilities.” 

Eimear Palmer has been appointed Global Head of ESG at UK-based private equity company Pantheon Ventures. Palmer has 14 years of experience in private equity-focused ESG roles at Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) and the Carlyle Group, and was also a founding member of the UK network Initiative Climate International. She joins from ICG where she was Head of Responsible Investment. Palmer will be based in London, starting the role in August, where she will report to Investment Partner Alex Scott. She will lead Pantheon’s cross-functional ESG Committee, which is responsible for coordinating the investment companies’ approach to ESG within the firm and across the investment process, including engagement with clients, the industry and wider community. On Palmer’s appointment, Managing Partner Paul Ward said: “We recognise the importance of strong ESG practices to delivering on the long-term objectives of our investors. I look forward to welcoming Palmer to Pantheon, where her formidable experience will help us build on our track record of ESG leadership and support the continued evolution of our policies, practices and range of industry partnerships.” 

Urs Bitterling has joined Cubera Private Equity, a subsidiary of Norwegian financial services company Storebrand, as Chief Sustainability Officer. Bitterling joins from German-based Allianz, where he was responsible for developing and leading sustainability programmes for ten years. Bitterling will report directly to Cubera CEO Rasmus Bertram and will be a member of Cubera’s leadership team. Till Gutzen, Co-Founder of Cubera Private Equity, said: “We are excited to welcome Bitterling as our first Chief Sustainability Officer, as we further elevate our longstanding focus on ESG, to deliver sustainable value and superior returns to our clients. His combination of sustainability expertise, financial sector experience, and track record of success in agile environments is ideal for where we are aiming to go.” 

Souleymane Ba has been appointed to the investment team at UK-based investment management group Just Climate. Prior to the appointment, Ba was a Partner at Helios Investment Partners, where he spent a decade of his 20 years of experience in principal investing and corporate finance. He will also be a member of Just Climate’s Executive and Investment Committees. Shaun Kingsbury CBE, Just Climate CIO, said: “I am pleased to welcome Ba to Just Climate and our growing investment team. We believe his expertise and experience, gained from investing in developed and developing markets and across a range of industries, will enable Just Climate to deliver solutions with potential for the greatest and fastest climate impact across some of the highest-emitting sectors of the global economy.” 

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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