Europe

This Week’s People Moves: Pont Joins FT as Sustainable Product Head

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of moves and appointments in the sustainable investing sector, including Franklin Templeton, Snowball IM, Putnam Investments, Eurosif, ING, IFM Investors, and IFRS.

US-headquartered global asset manager Franklin Templeton has appointed Jean-Marc Pont as Head of Sustainable and Institutional Product, EMEA. In this new role, Paris-based Pont will lead the firm’s product efforts on sustainability including ESG fund labelling and its broader sustainable product strategy, working closely with distribution teams, specialist investment managers, the global sustainability strategy team and clients.  He will also support efforts in the institutional product space to bring strategic and targeted solutions to market. With over two decades of experience as an investment and product specialist, Pont joins from Generali Investments where he was responsible for leading product strategy and design for SRI, thematic equity and multi-asset strategies. Previous roles include Head of Product Strategy – Index and Multi-asset at Legal & General and Head of Product Engineering at HSBC Global Asset Management. Jaspal Sagger, Franklin Templeton’s Head of Global Product Strategy, said: “As the growth in sustainable investments continues, we are delighted to welcome Jean-Marc to our organisation. Our clients are increasingly searching for both investment returns and real-world outcomes, and this requires us to continue to evolve our product offerings to meet these needs. This new hire demonstrates the importance of specialist knowledge within the sustainable investment space to better support clients’ motivations, alongside an evolving regulatory landscape.”

UK-based Snowball Impact Management has announced Sean Farrell as its new Investment Director. Farrell has over two decades of experience in private and public markets investing and portfolio composition, both through direct investing and the selection of fund managers. He was previously Global Head of Private Markets for Partners Capital, an investment firm with over US$40 billion in assets under management. Snowball focuses on demonstrating “measurable” social equity and environmental impact, whilst “achieving competitive returns”. Daniela Barone Soares, Snowball’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to add Sean’s expertise and he joins Snowball at a key stage, with greater investor demand than ever before. Snowball’s investors are increasing their allocation and our investor base continues to expand as more asset owners realise that values-aligned investment strategies are delivering compelling risk-adjusted returns.”

Putnam Investments, a Boston-based investment management firm, has announced the appointment of Jacquelyn VanderBrug as the firm’s Head of Sustainability Strategy. VanderBrug has 30 years of industry experience and joins from the Bank of America where she most recently served as Head of Sustainable and Impact Investment Strategy. In her new role, she will be responsible for helping to drive the firm’s sustainability work, leading on key ESG-focused business functions, such as stewardship, engagement, and partnerships, and ESG strategy and integration. She will report to Putnam President and CEO Robert Reynolds, working alongside Katherine Collins, Head of Sustainable Investing, and Catherine Saunders, Head of Corporate Sustainability. She will also join the company’s operating committee. On her appointment, Reynolds said: “Jackie will play an integral role in further expanding our firm’s focus in the critical realm of sustainability. At a time when ESG-related questions are rising in complexity and intensity, we are focused on further strengthening our investment-centric approach to these issues.”

Eurosif, a pan-European association promoting sustainable finance, has announced the appointment of Aleksandra Palinska as its Executive Director. Palinska will take up the post on 19 September and will be responsible for leading implementation of Eurosif’s long-term strategy to help shape and accelerate the development and implementation of the EU sustainable finance agenda. She has over a decade of experience in EU public policy and regulation and joins from Brussels-based NGO Finance Watch where she led the sustainable finance workstream and represented the organisation to the Platform on Sustainable Finance and EFRAG’s Sustainability Reporting Board. Will Oulton, Eurosif’s Chair, said: “The board is delighted to welcome Aleksandra to our organisation in this pivotal moment for sustainable finance in Europe. Her expertise and knowledge of the European regulatory and policy agenda will enable her to successfully lead Eurosif and deliver our long-term strategy, while acting as a bridge between EU policymakers, investors and Europe’s sustainable investment forums and associations.”

Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation ING has announced the appointment of Jacomijn Vels as Global Head of Sustainable Finance. She will start the role on 15 October, reporting to Krista Radstake, Global Head of Wholesale Banking Lending. She has been with the firm since 1994, specialising in lending and developing solid risk expertise during her 28-year career. This includes lending-related roles in wholesale banking and roles as part of the global credit restructuring management team during the last 10 years. On her appointment, Vels said: “Now more than ever, it is important we play our full part in the social and low-carbon transformation that’s necessary to achieve a sustainable future, steering our financing towards meeting global sustainability goals. I am looking forward to build on our pioneering role in sustainability.”

Australian global investment manager IFM Investors has appointed Luba Nikulina as its first Chief Strategy Officer. In her new role, Nikulina will be responsible for leading the development of IFM’s global strategy, focusing on private markets solutions which aim to “meet the needs” of Australian and global pension funds and their members. She joins from Willis Towers Watson where she was Global Head of Research, and has over 25 years of investment industry experience. David Neal, IFM’s Chief Executive, said: “[Nikulina] is a strong and experienced leader of global teams and shares IFM’s commitment to ESG and sustainability, which we believe helps us deliver on our purpose to protect and grow the long-term retirement savings of working people.”

Non-profit financial reporting standards-setter IFRS Foundation has confirmed the appointment of seven organisations and representatives to its Sustainable Consultative Committee (SCC). The SCC is formed of four permanent multilateral member organisations – the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations and the World Bank – with seven additional expert members now being appointed. Its remit is to identify, inform and advise the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) on priority sustainability matters and related technical protocols, as well as significant interdependencies between sustainability matters. Emmanuel Faber, ISSB’s Chair, said: “With these appointments, this body is now a fully operational part of the ISSB’s global consultative approach. The contributions and insights of the committee will be an invaluable resource as we look to build on existing knowledge and incorporate global inclusiveness into our work.”

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