Blackrock bolsters sustainable investing in Asia

With two senior appointments.

Blackrock has appointed Geir Espeskog and Emily Woodland to co-lead Blackrock sustainable investing (BSI) for Asia-Pacific.

Both are based in Hong Kong and will take over from Thomas Feketa, head of sustainable investment solutions for Apac and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Feketa will continue his role in leading the Emea market, a Blackrock spokeswoman told FSA.

Espeskog and Woodland will lead the Apac BSI team, which is being built, according to the spokeswoman, but did not elaborate.

“Further announcements will be made in due course,” she said.

Espeskog is currently Blackrock’s head of iShares for Asia-Pacific distribution. He first joined Blackrock in 2010 in London and then relocated to Hong Kong in 2015 to lead iShares’s growth in Asia-Pacific.

Espeskog will continue his head of Apac distribution role for iShares, in addition to his new sustainability role, the spokeswoman noted.

Meanwhile, Woodland is a new hire and was at AMP Capital, where she served as head of sustainable investment since 2018. Before that, she had at least 16 years of investment experience at UBS in equity and convertible bond trading, before working as the investment advisor for Asia Debt Management’s sustainable investment program for a year.

“Last year we announced our ambition to have $1trn in sustainable assets under management by 2030,” Philipp Hildebrand, global head of sustainable investing at Blackrock, said in the statement.

“Asia is a keystone in advancing the growth of sustainable investing globally,” he added.

As of the end of 2020, the firm managed $200bn in sustainable funds, according to the spokeswoman.

The world’s largest asset manager has accelerated the pace of sustainable investing in the past year, introducing 93 new sustainable solutions in 2020 and increasing its sustainable assets by 41% from a year before, according to a separate report from the firm.