Industry

This Week’s People Moves: PRI CEO Joins PwC Australia ESG Advisory Group

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new hires in the sustainable investing sector, including PwC Australia, Persefoni, Calamos Investments, Edelman Smithfield.

PwC Australia has appointed outgoing UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) CEO Fiona Reynolds as one of three industry experts to a new ESG Advisory Group, set up to advise the firm on how to help clients achieve ESG-related goals. In July, it was announced Reynolds would step down from her PRI role next year to return to Australia and become CEO of Conexus Financial, an Australian financial media and events organisation. After nine years with the PRI, Reynolds cited a desire to return to her home country. “ESG is an inevitable agenda that is only growing in momentum, and businesses of all shapes and sizes can either reap the rewards of being ahead of the curve, or rue a failure to act. This critical role will not only help PwC Australia play a leading role in the ESG revolution, but will also help drive the changes that will benefit people and the planet,” said Reynolds. Also appointed by PwC Australia was Judy Slatyer, former CEO of the Australian Red Cross and former global COO of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), as well as a current member of the Organising Committee for the Climate Leaders Coalition and Chief Executive Women. Former special advisor to UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on energy and transport, Greg Bourne, is the third ESG Advisory Board Group member. With more than 30 years of experience working on climate change, energy business and policy, Bourne also served as CEO for WWF Australia and is a former chair of the Australian Renewable Energy Advisory. “We’ve put together an experienced team of internal and external experts who will ensure we are best placed to make a positive impact on the ESG revolution, both through our own actions, and through helping our clients deliver great impact, by challenging us and pushing us to think differently and do better,” said Liza Maimone, PwC Australia COO and ESG Executive.

SaaS-based climate reporting platform Persefoni has hired former Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) director Mike Wallace as SVP of Strategic Market Engagement. In his new role, Wallace will oversee key partnerships to help with the integration and application of Persefoni’s climate accounting platform. He will work closely with Persefoni’s Chief Sustainability Officer and ex-GRI CEO Tim Mohin, as part of the firm’s carbon and climate solutions group, led by Grant Berry. The group will collaborate with Persefoni advisors Curtis D. Ravenel and Robert G. Eccles. “In the confusing landscape of ESG reporting frameworks and requirements, our clients and partners seek experts who can help them measure and manage their impacts with confidence. There is quite literally no one better qualified than Mike to help them do that.” said Persefoni CEO Kentaro Kawamori.

US-based US$40 billion AUM global investment management Calamos Investments has hired ESG investing pioneers Tony Tursich and Jim Madden to lead the development of focused sustainable investment products. Tursich and Madden helped set industry standards for ESG focused investing at Portfolio 21 where they developed one of the first sustainable research platforms in 1999, combining environmental criteria with fundamental research to identify companies positioned to thrive in an evolving environment. They co-managed portfolios until 2018, when Tursich founded Pearl Impact Capital, a sustainable investment boutique which will acquired by Calamos Investments as a result of the appointments.

Olivier Lebleu has left his role as Senior Director for EMEA at the CFA Institute to become Head of ESG at Edelman Smithfield. At the CFA Institute, Lebleu was responsible for leading the institutional team and liaising with investment firms, asset owners, regulators, and academic institutions, including the establishment of the institute’s ESG investing training and certification initiatives. Edelman Smithfield, the financial PR and strategic communications team of Edelman UK, launched its ESG consultancy almost two years ago. “ESG is a global movement, with global ramifications for business, for society, and for the planet. The role of the capital markets cannot be underestimated, and bringing Olivier’s deep experience in allocating capital for the long term to our clients is a gamechanger,” said Heidi DuBois, Edelman’s global head of ESG.

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