ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new hires in the sustainable investing sector, including IGCC, MEAG, HESTA, Amundi, Preqin, Lombard Odier.
The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC), which represents Australian and New Zealand investors on climate change, has appointed Rebecca Mikula-Wright as its new CEO. Beginning her career in investment banking and equity research, Mikula-Wright has over 20 years of experience in climate change, sustainability and investment banking across Hong Kong, Australia and Europe. “We’re excited to announce Rebecca as the new IGCC CEO. Our industry is experiencing incredible momentum on climate change as more investment managers move to address climate risks and take advantage of the opportunities in the transition to net zero emissions,” said IGCC Chair Stephen Dunne. This follows current CEO Emma Herd’s decision to step down after six years in the position. Prior to her new appointment, Mikula-Wright was Executive Director of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) for five years. As both organisations share a governance structure, she will continue to lead the AIGCC as well as the IGCC. She is also a member of the global steering committee for Climate Action 100+ and the Investor Agenda. “IGCC is the kind of organisation you dream of leading. It’s exciting to step into this role as we continue to accelerate investor action on climate change and investment practices for our future. I look forward to working with investors, companies and governments to achieve a resilient net zero emissions economy by 2050. I couldn’t be more honoured to have been chosen to lead this organisation, while I continue to remain dedicated to the AIGCC network and team,” said Mikula-Wright. IGCC members represent US$2 trillion in funds under management in Australia and New Zealand and US$20 trillion around the world.
Janina Lichnofsky has been appointed to the newly appointed role of Head of ESG at MEAG, the asset manager of Munich Re and ERGO. This position is part of MEAG’s strategic reorganisation and intensification of ESG activities across all aspects of the business. Lichnofsky first joined MEAG, which manages €328 billion, in 2020 as the Senior Specialist on Sustainability. Prior to this, she held management-level positions at the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) ESG arm. “I’m very happy that Lichnofsky and her team are assuming responsibility for ESG; a topic that is of great importance to us and our clients. She brings a lot of know-how and experience with her to the position, and as an ESG specialist who is well-known even outside the industry, she is a big asset for us. She will continue to expand our ESG activities so that we can further improve our sustainability performance for our clients and meet our social responsibilities as an asset manager,” said Dr Michael Bös, CIO of Alternative Assets at MEAG.
Australian superannuation fund HESTA has appointed Kim Farrant as General Manager for Responsible Investment. HESTA serves Australia’s health and community services sector, has more than 880,000 members, and manages over A$60 billion in assets under management. Previously, Farrant was the Head of ESG at Hostplus, where she led its approach to responsible investment across all asset classes and was responsible for its Socially Responsible Investment Balanced Option. She has also worked at VicSuper as the Portfolio Manager for Responsible Investments. “HESTA has pioneered an award-winning impact investment programme and responsible investment framework that contribute positively to global sustainable development goals while delivering strong long-term financial returns for members,” said CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson. “Kim’s wealth of expertise will support HESTA to continue its important work.” Reporting to HESTA’s Head of Impact, Mary Delahunty, Farrant will work within the Investment Management team to progress the fund’s responsible investment strategy and broader impact ambitions. HESTA’s recently led global investor engagement with Rio Tinto and other mining firms on managing financial risks associated with Indigenous heritage protection following the Juukan Gorge caves destruction.
Amundi has furthered its ESG capabilities by appointing Kristy Wong as an ESG Investment Specialist in its Hong Kong office. Following her prior role as Vice President of ESG at Bank of America, Wong has 12 years of experience in ESG advisory across public and financial sectors. Wong also previously worked in ESG advisory roles at Ernst Young and the Hong Kong Productivity Council.
Jaclyn Bouchard has joined specialist private markets data and analytics provider Preqin as Head of ESG, having worked at S&P Global in various sustainability-related roles, most recently spearheading the development of S&P’s ESG products. Bouchard will be responsible for further developing Preqin’s ESG product suite as well as working with external stakeholders globally “to support the alternative assets industry in navigating a complex and ever-changing ESG reporting landscape”. Preqin launched ESG Solutions in November 2020, designed to capture, analyse and display ESG risk exposure and transparency data from across the alternatives sector. “We are thrilled to have Jaclyn join Preqin. ESG is transforming how institutional investors source and select alternative asset funds, and there are still challenges around adoption, scoring and benchmarking. Jaclyn’s invaluable experience and expertise will help us tackle those challenges with the most comprehensive ESG data in the sector and advance the adoption of ESG in the private markets,” said Mark O’Hare, Founder and CEO of Preqin.
Lombard Odier Investment Managers has increased the sustainability expertise of its fixed income team with the appointment of Erika Wranegard as Portfolio Manager. Wranegard will manage LOIM’s TargetNetZero Global and European Investment Grade credit strategies, alongside Ashton Parker, Denise Yung and Jérôme Collet. These forward-looking strategies focus on companies which, irrespective of sector or current carbon footprint, have temperature trajectories aligned with a net-zero future. The two strategies currently manage more than CHF 270 million. Wranegard previously worked at Swedish sustainable asset management firm Öhman, where she managed its Crossover Green Bond and Investment Grade Sustainable Credit strategies since 2016. She was also responsible for developing the firm’s framework for ESG-integration within the fixed income investment process. Wranegard is also a member of the PRI Advisory Committee on Credit Risk and Rating, a working group focused on enhancing the transparent and systematic consideration of ESG factors in credit risk analysis. Based in Geneva, she will report to Yannik Zufferey, CIO, Fixed Income, from August 2021.