People Moves 21 July: Who is hiring who within the industry
Adam Matthews has ended his stint at the TPI, while a board appointment has led to BlackRock’s sustainability credentials being challenged.
David Russell takes over from Adam Matthews as TPI lead
Adam Matthews, chief responsible investment officer at the Church of England Pensions Board, is to step down as chair of the Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI), with ex-USS responsible investment lead David Russell replacing him at the helm of the organisation.
The announcement marks a significant change for the TPI with Matthews having been in the role since co-founding the organisation in 2017 alongside David Russell.
Russell was until last month was the head of responsible investment at the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), the UK's largest pension fund. The TPI is an asset-owner led initiative which assesses company preparedness for the climate transition.
BlackRock puts Aramco chief on board
BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, has found its sustainability credentials questioned after naming Amin Hassan Ali Nasser, president and chief executive of oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco, to the board as an independent director.
Saudi Aramco is estimated by NGO ClientEarth to be responsible for over 4% of the entire world's greenhouse gas emissions since 1965. Despite being added to the Climate Action 100+ target list in November 2020, it has failed to obtain a single one of the targets set by the organisation, and still does not have short-, medium- or long-term targets to reduce its emissions.
Of the appointment, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander said: “BlackRock has clearly stated that climate risk is investment risk, but actions speak louder than words.”
Commenting on Nasser’s election, Larry Fink, chief executive of BlackRock, said: “Amin’s distinguished career at Aramco, spanning more than four decades, gives him a unique perspective on many of the key issues facing our firm and our clients.
“His leadership experience, understanding of the global energy industry and the drivers of the shift towards a low carbon economy, as well as his knowledge of the Middle East region, will all contribute meaningfully to the BlackRock Board dialogue.”
Nasser will serve the remainder of his term this year and will not stand for re-election to the board in 2024. In 2019 he oversaw the partial public listing of Aramco, which was the largest IPO in history.
CDP appoints new chief executive
Environmental disclosure firm CDP has appointed Sherry Madera as chief executive.
Madera is currently senior vice president of public policy at Mastercard and chair of the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance.
Madera succeeds former chief executive Paul Simpson, who was a co-founder of CDP and served as head until June 2022, she replaces interim chief executive Jamie Neil, who will step down on 29 September.
Barclays makes senior hires in sustainable and impact investment banking team
Barclays has appointed three new senior hires in the corporate and investment bank, as part of the sustainable and impact investment banking (SIB) team.
Arnoud Boksteijn will join in August as managing director covering food and agricultural technology as well as clients in the broader agriculture sector at SIB. Previously, he was managing director and head of global agriculture and the agriculture technology franchise within the industrials group at Credit Suisse.
Cindy Quan will join in September as a director and head of Americas ESG Advisory within SIB. She will work closely with Tanja Gihr, who leads advisory in EMEA, to provide differentiated advice to clients on ESG aspects of M&A and equity capital transactions. She previously worked at Goldman Sachs, where she was global head of ESG for Goldman corporate and workplace solutions.
Bogdan Oprea joined Barclays earlier this year as a director focusing on battery technology, solar equipment, recycling, and agricultural technology solutions at SIB. Prior to joining Barclays, Oprea spent more than 20 years at Citigroup mainly in London, most recently in the industrials investment banking team.
Ortec Finance makes addition to climate solutions team
Netherlands-based tech and sustainability firm Ortec Finance has appointed Andrew Flynn to the Climate & ESG Solutions team.
Based in London, Flynn will be primarily responsible for supporting UK and European institutional investors to integrate the impact of climate change within their investment process.
He joins from Clarity AI where he supported decision-makers with optimising their organisation’s social and environmental impact through technology and scientific research.