French asset manager Natixis Investment Managers has appointed its first head of corporate social responsibility and ESG.
Harald Walkate joins the company from Aegon Asset Management, where he was the global head of responsible investment.
At Natixis, he will report to deputy chief executive officer Beverly Bearden and Christophe Lanne, the chief transformation and talent officer for the asset and wealth management division. Walkate will be based in Paris.
In a statement, Bearden, said CSR was a cornerstone of her company’s new corporate strategy named the “2020 New Dimension Plan”.
“Harald’s appointment as our first head of CSR and ESG demonstrates our ongoing commitment to drive initiatives that deliver long-term sustainable solutions for clients,” she said.
At Aegon, Walkate worked on improving ESG integration, engagement and impact investment approaches for both the Aegon Group and the asset management division. He also developed new business initiatives for the institutional market and worked on secondment at the Impact Management Project in 2018. He is to continue this advisory role while at Natixis.
Bearden’s colleague, Christophe Lanne, added that the business was responding to client demands in appointing an experienced professional to manage a corporate CSR agenda.
“We recognise through our own industry research that clients are more cognisant and vocal about investing in companies that have a positive social impact and a good environmental record,” Lanne said.
“Harald will be driving CSR and ESG policies across the firm and working with our investment affiliates to do the same.”
Walkate said Natixis was an appealing move due it is position as an industry leader and its involvement in global ESG initiatives.