Hermes Investment Management’s ESG team has joined rival JO Hambro Capital Management (JOHCM) as it gets set to launch its own global impact equity fund.
The four-strong team JOHCM has poached includes ESG connoisseur Tim Crockford, who co-launched Hermes’ impact opportunities equity fund in 2017.
Crockford, who was also lead portfolio manager of Hermes’ ESG-integrated Europe ex-UK equity fund, will head up JOHCM’s new impact fund, working alongside former Hermes analysts Mohsin Ahmad, Maxime Le Floch and Maxine Wille.
The fund, which will come to market in mid-2020, will be launched through JOHCM’s socially responsible and impact investment affiliate Regnan, which is owned by the firm’s Australian parent company, Pendal.
Regnan provides ESG research, engagement and advisory services and recently co-authored the UNPRI’s report on active stewardship.
JOHCM said the fund will take a high conviction, diversified, global multi-cap approach with low portfolio turnover and “strong emphasis on driving impact through engagement”.
The team will invest in mission-driven companies, using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an investment lens.
“This is a highly important strategic initiative for JOHCM and Pendal,” JOHCM’s CEO for UK, Europe and Asia Alexandra Altinger said. “The team hire expands our investment capability while enabling us to leverage Regnan’s ESG expertise.
“It allows us to credibly provide specialist socially responsible products that meet growing client demand for investment approaches that go beyond traditional risk and return considerations,” Altinger commented.
The departure of Hermes’ impact team comes shortly after the firm lost its sustainable investment head Andrew Parry, who left to take up a similar role at Newton Investment Management in October.
However, a spokesperson for Hermes said the company has strong investment teams in place to ensure its clients experience a seamless transition.
“We can confirm that Tim Crockford and analysts from the Impact Opportunities team are leaving the firm.
“Martin Todd, European equities portfolio manager, and Mark Sherlock, head of US equities, have assumed co-management responsibilities for Hermes Impact Opportunities for an interim period while a successor for Tim is finalised,” the spokesperson said.
James Rutherford, head of European equities, will continue as co-portfolio manager on Hermes Europe ex-UK fund, with Martin Todd assuming co-portfolio manager responsibilities alongside him.
“We remain fully committed to both asset classes and will continue to assess and broaden our capabilities in line with the needs of existing and prospect clients,” the spokesperson added.