Industry

This Week’s People Moves: Trio Bid to Boost Scale and Pace of Climate Investing

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new hires in the sustainable investing sector including Climate Solutions, Robeco, DWS, Deloitte and RadiantESG Global Investors. 

Three experienced finance and clean energy executives are aiming to help investors identify climate-positive opportunities more effectively through the launch of a global capital raising and strategic consultancy business. CEO Simon Puleston Jones (formerly CEO of the Futures & Options Association), COO Bob MacDonald (ex-CEO of FTSE 250 firm Wood’s clean energy business) and Head of Transactions Paul Camp (green bond pioneer and renewable energy executive) co-founded London-based Climate Solutions to channel investment to firms raising US$100+ million. The consultancy aims to connect institutional investors with equity, debt and project finance investment opportunities that accelerate climate action in one or more of its five investment themes: energy transition; sustainable agriculture; net zero real estate; water solutions and the circular economy. Climate Solutions is already working more than 200 firms looking to raise capital and the co-founders are in the process of closing mandates for opportunities across solar, battery storage, hydrogen, waste-to-energy, vertical farming, net zero real estate and electric vehicles. “Our highly experienced and well-connected team is uniquely placed to bridge the gap between those with the money and those with the solutions,” said Puleston Jones. “Clients are choosing us because, in contrast to many of our peers, we’re as expert in the technologies and projects relating to climate solutions as we are in financial markets.” To identify and execute transactions efficiently, Climate Solutions is establishing a collaborative global network of dealflow introducers, due diligence experts, distributors, investors and solutions providers.

Robeco has expanded its Sustainable Investment (SI) Team with four new appointments. Rachel Whittaker will lead the team from 1 September from her base in Zurich. Joining from UBS, Whittaker has experience as an SI strategist. Her new role will involve identifying the impact ESG has on business fundamentals, as well as further developing a framework for contributing to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across Robeco’s investment portfolios. New researchers Guilia Schettino and Ally Wong also join from UBS. Schemitto will be covering Robeco’s technology, media and telecom, financials and real estate (TMT FiRe) SI research and Wong will focus on heavy industries research. Federico Silvano joins from Allianz Global Investors and will also be joining the heavy industries SI research cluster alongside Wong. “Robeco has a leading position in SI and SI research is a key component in our investment process,” said Carola van Lamoen, Head of Sustainable Investing at Robeco.

Aleksandra Njaguli has joined DWS as its Global Head of ESG for Real Estate to support the firm’s goal to enhance ESG integration across its global real estate portfolios. With over 20 years of practical experience in architectural design and the sustainable built environment, Njaguli was previously Global Head of ESG at CBRE Global Investors and Head of Sustainability, R&D and Innovation at Bouygues UK. “As a global real estate manager, we believe we have created a solid foundation in factoring ESG principles into our investment process in support of DWS’s firm wide commitment. With the appointment of Njaguli, we hope to further elevate our ESG execution capability,” said Todd Henderson, Head of Real Estate, Americas, at DWS.

Global investment manager Cohen & Steers has announced the appointment of Khalid Husain as Head of ESG. In the newly created role, Husain will be overseeing the firm’s ESG investment framework and integration processes, simultaneously serving as Chair of the Cohen & Steers Steering Committee. He joins from Moody’s Investor Services, where he led the firm’s strategies for integrating ESG data and metrics into wider credit analysis and research. “We believe companies that integrate ESG considerations into their strategic plans and operations can enhance long-term shareholder value while mitigating potential risks. The size and experience of our investment teams, together with our engagement with companies allows us to assess material ESG considerations beyond the scope of third-party research firms. Husain brings the right skills, experience and perspective to build on this strong foundation,” said Cohen & Steers CIO Jon Cheigh.

In his new role as a Director of Deloitte’s financial advisory practice, James Hilburn will be leading the firm’s new ESG merger and acquisition (M&A) offering, supporting clients looking to meet their social and environmental ambitions through M&A transactions. He joins from Carbon Intelligence, where he was Director of Financial Services, and responsible for optimising the ESG performance of asset owner, fund manager and private equity investors’ portfolios. “Sustainability has a vital role to play unlocking business value as we work with our clients at the decisive intersection between commerce and the environment. Through strategic planning, harnessing ESG can also become a source of competitive advantage in the world of M&A,” said Hilburn.

RadiantESG Global Investors has made three new hires to accelerate its capacity for generating ESG investment opportunities for global institutional and wealth management clients. The trio join from Rosenberg Equities and have 50 years’ combined experience working with complex ESG data sets and integrating ESG insights into US and global equity strategies. Mauricio Busto has been appointed Head of Data and Technology, Harry Prabandham as CIO and Kevin Lin as Senior Portfolio Manager. All three will be equity owners in RadiantESG Global Investors and bolster the firm’s diversity profile. “To be successful in one of the most competitive industries in the world where results are intensely scrutinised, we need to leverage the competitive advantage of diversity in backgrounds and perspectives and the benefits of an inclusive culture built on core principles. In doing so, we are confident we will attract and retain credible, experienced and forward-thinking investors who bring thoughtful and nuanced judgment to the art and science of investing that is critical in a rapidly changing environment characterised by material evolution in the expectations and needs of our constituents,” said Heidi Ridley, Co-Founder and CEO of RadiantESG Global Investors. The female-owned asset management firm was launched last month with the backing of HSBC Asset Management.

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