Solutionists Making Moves: October 8-15 2021
Welcome to this week’s edition of Solutionists Making Moves.
From established ESG professionals to rising Solutionists, we want to share their successes and celebrate the achievements of those leading the charge in bringing net-positive solutions to the world. Here’s this week’s roundup of Solutionists making waves in their respective industries.
LOIM Appoints Head of Climate and Environmental Solutions, Looks to Expand Climate and Nature-Based Investment Offerings
Global wealth and asset manager Lombard Odier Investment Managers announced recently the appointment of Dr. Lorenzo Bernasconi to a newly created role, Head of Climate and Environmental Solutions. In the new position, Bernasconi plans to develop LOIM’s range of products and solutions in the climate and nature-focused solutions area. Dr. Christopher Kaminker, Group Head of Sustainable Investment Research and Strategy at Lombard Odier said: “Globally, investor appetite for natural climate solutions is surging and this is good news as 50% of our global economy depends on natural capital, and nature has the potential to deliver over a third of emissions reductions to 2030, if it is harnessed appropriately.” Lorenzo’s appointment is a reflection of LOIM’s investments into a more sustainable world.
Nashville mayor names former state conservation policy director as city’s sustainability chief
Nashville Mayor John Cooper recently announced Kendra Abkowitz as the city’s new chief sustainability and resource officer. Abkowitz will start her role on Oct. 13, according to a news release. In her role, Abkowitz will be responsible for implementing Mayor Cooper’s commitment to 35% renewable sourcing of Metro Water Services’ energy by 2025. “Metro’s rapid growth presents both challenges and opportunities to execute strategies that maximize environmental benefit, economic growth and social outcomes,” Abkowitz said in a statement. “I’m excited to work across Metro’s departments and collaboratively with community partners to set the city up to continue thriving well into the future.” She will work with Metro on a wide variety of sustainability projects. “With her passion for sustainability, resilience and environmental justice, Kendra’s work will be central to ensuring Metro leads by example in creating a more livable Nashville.”
Blackstone Appoints Amisha Parekh as Global Head of ESG for Private Equity
Alternative investment manager Blackstone announced recently the hire of Amisha Parekh as Global Head of ESG for Private Equity. In her new role, Parekh plans to lead ESG diligence, policy development, and reports for all business in Blackstone’s Private Equity segment. The hire symbolizes the rapid expansion of Blackstone’s ESG talent pool, following the firm’s recent hires of five new senior ESG positions across the world. Blackstone also recently announced an initiative to reduce their carbon emissions across all future investments. Joseph Baratta, Global Head of Private Equity, said: “Executing against our ESG efforts and creating positive impact across our portfolio is imperative to delivering value to our clients. Amisha will be a critical partner in these efforts and I’m thrilled to welcome her to the firm as we continue to build and operationalize an industry-leading ESG platform at scale.”
CCLA hires Jasper Berens to spearhead intermediary push
The UK’s largest charity investment manager, CCLA, recently announced the hire of Jasper Berens as their head of client relationships and distributions. Berens is a senior figure in the fund management world, planning to lead CCLA’s efforts to expand their ESG funds beyond past initiatives. Peter Hugh Smith, CEO of CCLA, said: “We are delighted to have Jasper Berens join our ranks to lead our push into the intermediary market while ensuring that all of our clients continue to receive the highest levels of service to which they are accustomed.” CCLA states that the demand for ESG from clients led the company to move towards a wider range of funds. Berens said: “There are not many managers that have achieved such consistent outperformance in their equity and multi-asset funds and that have been focused 100% on responsible investment for as long and as authentically as CCLA.”
BlackRock Alts arm hires new head of sustainable investing
The alternative investing arm of BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, has hired Kristen Weldon as Global Head of Sustainable Finance. Weldon previously worked at Partners Capital, where she was head of ESG and Impact Investing. “Based in London, she will continue to drive our agenda to embrace ESG and sustainable investing principles at the center of our business and lead important initiatives such as developing a comprehensive framework for assessing climate risk,” the memo from BlackRock Alternative Investments (BAI) head Edwin Conway and Chief Investment Officer Jim Barry said. In line with their expansion into sustainable investing, this year BAI launched the world’s largest renewable power infrastructure fund, which closed at $4.8 billion.