ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new hires in the sustainable investing sector including Conexus Financial, Fitch Ratings, Arabesque AI, Oaktree Capital Management, Finance for Tomorrow and KGAL Group.
Fiona Reynolds will join Conexus Financial, an Australian financial media and events organisation, as CEO from February 2022. This follows her announcement that she will be leaving her current post as CEO of the UN-convened Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) by the end of this year. Reynolds has been CEO of the PRI for nine years, but has cited a desire to return to her home country. As CEO of Conexus Financial, Reynolds will be working to guide Australia’s investment industry to global best practice in sustainability, governance, retirement income policy and financial advice. “As the only independent forum spanning super funds, asset managers, wealth managers and the wholesale sector, Conexus is uniquely positioned to progress solutions across traditional industry lines to deliver better outcomes for all Australians. Under Reynolds’ expert leadership, we will bring a world’s best practice view to guiding the industry through the next phase of its evolution,” said Conexus Founder and current CEO Colin Tate. When Reynolds joins the firm, Tate will become an Executive Chairperson, with the responsibility of expanding the organisation’s global operations. “The Australian investment industry has a lot to be proud of, but there is more to be done before we can say we have global best practice. Progress is only possible when we step across industry divides, leaving our own interests behind. I am joining Conexus because I believe it can provide a meaningful platform for advancing people, profit and the planet,” said Reynolds, who will continue to serve on the board of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), the UN Global Company, the UN Business for Peace Steering Committee, Climate Action 100+ and other bodies.
Fitch Ratings has appointed Marina Petroleka as Global Head of ESG Research for its Sustainable Finance Group. She will lead Fitch’s global team of ESG research analysts on thematic and cross-sector ESG research. Before joining Fitch Ratings in 2020, Petroleka was Global Head of Industry Research at Fitch solutions, leading projects on identifying industry and sustainability trends. Petroleka will report to Andrew Steel, Global Group Head of Sustainable Finance at Fitch Ratings. “Since its inception in 2019, our suite of ESG analytical products has grown rapidly to include credit-focused ESG Relevance Scores, sector-focused Vulnerability Scores, and market-leading thematic research. In 2021 we have our sights set on further increasing our presence and reach in ESG, while maintaining our reputation for quality, in-depth and independent insights and opinions,” said Steel.
Arabesque AI has appointed Lloyd Reynolds as new Head of Business Development as it scales up client solutions for sustainability-driven investing. He has 20 years’ experience working with institutional investors and wealth management clients across both European and Asian markets and joins from asset management firm Unigestion, where he served as Director of Global Financial Institutions and UK and Asia Wealth. “It’s clear from my interactions with clients around the world, that the future of asset management is being driven by client demand for enhanced sustainability and genuine demand for more customised, individually tailored solutions,” said Reynolds. His appointment follows the recent launch of Arabesque’s first joint AI product with German asset manager DWS as part of a strategic partnership. The DWS Concept ESG Arabesque AI Global Equity fund bases stock selection on the use of AI technologies.
Alternative investment manager Oaktree Capital Management has appointed Priya Prasad Bowe as Head of ESG. Prasad Bowe will lead Oaktree’s global ESG efforts, heading the ESG Governance Committee. She first joined the firm in 2019 as a credit product specialist focused on private and multi-strategy credit. Prasad Bowe was also involved in the design and implementation of Oaktree’s ESG framework for Global Credit. She has previously held roles at Citadel Securities and Morgan Stanley. “ESG integration strengthens our investment processes and keeps us aligned with our clients, their beneficiaries and our collective long-term interests. I look forward to leading Oaktree’s ESG strategy as we continue to evolve in this important and exciting area,” Prasad Bowe said.
Pauline Becquey has been appointed Managing Director of Finance for Tomorrow, a green and sustainable finance initiative focused on supporting a just transition. Alongside Finance for Tomorrow Chairman Thierry Déau, Becquey will help implement a roadmap towards green and sustainable finance. As a former consultant and manager of the sustainability team for audit and consultancy firm EY, Becquey has experience auditing the extra-financial and impact reporting of major French banks, developing sectoral investment policies and issuing green bonds. In her prior role as Head of Sustainable Development for the French Federation of Insurance (FFA), Becquey provided operational support to insurers in their transition to sustainable finance practices. “Finance for Tomorrow has already come a long way, but we still need to pursue our mobilisation to the next level and change scale for sustainable finance to become a mainstream practice,” said Becquey.
KGAL Group has appointed Susanne Marttila as ESG Officer, furthering its ambitions to introduce new investment solutions in the area of energy transition assets as part of its sustainability strategy. Joining in September from her current role as Regional Head EMEA of ESG Ratings at the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), Marttila will be advancing the expansion of the firm’s ESG-related activities. “Climate change is presenting the world with unprecedented challenges. Investments in renewable energies are central to meeting these challenges as the basis of the energy transition. But the sustainable orientation of the real estate sector and future-proof mobility also play very important roles in climate protection,” said Marttila.