FCA steps up ESG focus with new hire

LGIM's Sacha Sadan is joining FCA in newly created role of director of ESG in 'important shift' at the regulator

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) appointment of Sacha Sadan, currently director of investment stewardship at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), as director of ESG marks an “important shift” in UK regulator’s approach to sustainable finance.

The FCA announced this week Sadan will be joining in the newly created role to develop and advocate for the FCA’s approach to sustainable finance domestically and internationally.  He will also lead the development of policy that will help ensure the long-term safety and soundness of firms, the proper functioning of markets and the protection of consumers.

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the FCA, commented: “The FCA is rightly seen as an international leader on the role financial regulation should play in delivering a more sustainable and greener future. We welcome the recent addition to our remit of a requirement to have regard to the UK target of net zero carbon emissions. I am delighted to have someone of Sacha’s experience and insight joining us to help us accelerate this important work.”

See also: – Green Dream with LGIM’s Sacha Sadan: Covid forces boards to think outside the box

The appointment shows the regulator is serious about making progress in this area particularly when the UK has withdrawn from the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations (SFDR), which have recently come into force across Europe.

Mikkel Bates, regulations manager at FE fundinfo and editorial panellist for ESG Clarity, explained: “By appointing someone of Sacha’s experience, the FCA is demonstrating to the industry that they are serious about making progress on actively developing and monitoring the success of ESG regulations; that this is not a one-time thing to simply let the industry get on with it.”

Sadan has spent a decade at LGIM, and has worked in fund management since 1994.

Bates commented on his career so far : “This is a crucial new role and Sacha’s prior experience at LGIM, where he was involved in investment stewardship shows that the FCA are looking beyond climate and environmental concerns and will fully factor social and governance issues into their thinking.

“As the UK forges its own regulatory path since the split from Europe, fund groups and investment companies are calling out for greater clarity over ESG investing and this appointment should provide some peace of mind.”

Commenting on his new role on LinkedIn, Sadan said: “After 10 years working with an amazing team and company, I have decided to move to the FCA. The opportunity to help shape ESG at the UK financial regulator was too good to pass up, especially as protecting consumers, enhancing market integrity and the recent remit for net zero link to my passions and career to date. I look forward to working with Nikhil Rathi and the FCA team in these exciting times.

Michelle Scrimgeour, CEO for LGIM, said the firm is “sad to see Sacha leave”. “However, we understand the opportunity to further shape best practice across the wider investment industry is a challenge that he could not turn down and we wish him every success in this new and important role at the FCA.

“Sacha is recognised as one of the most influential figures in the City and has earned a reputation for fearlessness and tenacity.  He has been instrumental in positioning LGIM as a leading voice in responsible investment and in championing the values that underpin LGIM’s approach to ESG.  We are grateful for the contribution Sacha has made on behalf of our firm and of our clients.

“He leaves us at a time when our industry is a critical player in delivering against long-term sustainability goals and we are confident that the strong international team that Sacha has built will continue to effect positive change in the businesses in which we invest and have positive impact on wider society.”

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Natalie Kenway

Natalie is global head of ESG insight for ESG Clarity and has been an investment journalist for 16 years. She won Editor of the Year at the Aviva Investors Sustainability Media Awards 2021, and was Winner...