First Sentier and MUFG name sustainable investment head

Velina Karadzhova will lead the First Sentier MUFG Sustainable Investment Institute that was launched earlier this year.

First Sentier Investors (First Sentier), the global investment manager, and MUFG have hired Velina Karadzhova to lead the Sustainable Investment Institute set up by the two firms in May 2021.

Karadzhova was previously an ESG analyst and utilities sector lead at MSCI, responsible for utilities sector and company research, ESG ratings, ESG methodology enhancements and developing new products. 

She has also held roles as a credit ratings analyst at Moody’s and was a senior associate in audit at PwC. 

In her new role, Karadzhova will be responsible for developing the institute’s research programme. The studies will look at how macro and market trends, as well as industry practices, impact the performance of companies, sectors and economies, and their influence on investor capital allocation.

“The reports will promote critical, urgent and under-reported sustainability issues, while outlining actions the industry and broader society can take to help address these problems,” said Will Oulton, global head of responsible investment at First Sentier, and chair of the institute.

The institute was launched in May 2021 to publish proprietary, high-quality research on emerging sustainable investment topics that have yet to see significant industry focus.

Its aim is to enhance industry awareness of and action on these sustainable investment themes, report on market trends and best practice, and promote a greater understanding of how such issues can impact long-term investment performance. 

Its inaugural research report, entitled “Microplastic pollution: causes, consequences and issues for investors”, explores the critical and growing problem of microplastic pollution. It outlines the role investors can play in encouraging companies and governments to take action to prevent microplastics entering the environment.    

The next report will focus on the emissions – and damage – of synthetic microfibers into the environment, planned for the final quarter of this year.