People Moves

U.S. Bank brings on sustainable finance leader

Guillaume Mascotto previously led ESG at Jennison and American Century

U.S. Bank has established a new head of sustainable finance role at the company, hiring former Jennison Associates head of ESG, Guillaume Mascotto, the company recently announced.

In the role, Mascotto is tasked with assembling a team that will be focused on sustainable finance business for U.S. Bank broadly, the firm stated.

Mascotto is based in New York and reports to U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp. CEO Zack Boyers.

“Customers all across U.S. Bank are increasingly talking to us about sustainable finance products and services that can help them meet their social and environmental goals,” Boyers said in the announcement. “Under Guillaume’s leadership, this new team will engage all our business lines to help meet customers’ sustainable finance needs. It’s important work, not only for our customers but also for our communities and the environment.”

The sustainable finance business includes “lending and investment activities that empower communities, support inclusive growth, and help customers transition to a low-carbon economy,” the firm stated.

The new team will also help the bank meet its ESG commitments, including net-zero goals, the firm said.

Mascotto has previous experience overseeing ESG at other firms. He was head of ESG and investment stewardship at American Century Investments before working at Jennison Associates. He also served as a vice president at Pimco in ESG credit research and portfolio management.

Credit Suisse AM poaches from HSBC for chief of active ownership 

The hire will enable the firm to accelerate its active ownership efforts, it says

Credit Suisse Asset Management has expanded its sustainable investing team with the appointment of a head of active ownership.

Christine Chow will join the firm in that role on April 1, the company recently announced.

Chow, who has extensive experience in sustainability, will join from HSBC Asset Management.

In her new role Chow will focus on further accelerating Credit Suisse Asset Management’s efforts in voting and engagement across all asset classes, an important pillar of its sustainability strategy. 

Chow will work alongside the head of ESG integration Dominik Scheck and the recently appointed head of sustainability research, Nisha Long. That team has also made other key hires in recent months.

Chow will be based in London and report to Jeroen Bos, global head of sustainable investing. 

“Sustainability is of key importance to our clients and society, so I am very excited by the wealth of experience and talent that is joining our team,” Bos said in a statement.

Chow was formerly HSBC Asset Management’s head of stewardship, a role she assumed in September 2021. 

There, Chow implemented a comprehensive stewardship program and won the Sustainable and ESG Investment Woman of the year (large firms) in 2022. 

Earlier in her career, she held roles at Schroders, Aon (Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow), Federated Hermes and IHS Markit. 

Chow was an adjunct professor in finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and is an Emeritus Governor of the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

Currently, she is an appointed adviser to the Hong Kong Accounting and Financial Reporting Council, the independent regulator of the accounting profession. 

Pollination welcomes back a former US Treasury climate adviser

John Morton previously worked at the investment firm for a year

Investment firm Pollination is regaining a former high-level employee who most recently was climate counselor to the US Treasury Department, the company announced today.

John Morton, who served in the role under Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, is now Pollination’s global head of advisory and is on firm’s executive committee. He had previously been at Pollination as a partner from March 2020 until April 2021, when he joined the Treasury.

“John’s unique breadth of experience spans the private sector, government, philanthropy and multi-lateral development banks,” the firm stated in its announcement. “John’s work has focused on expediting the transition to a low carbon economy, and he has been at the forefront of designing and structuring some of the most innovative platforms and investment vehicles to mobilize private capital flows into fast-growing global markets.”

Morton had also served as senior director for energy and climate change in the Obama White House. He was also chief of staff and chief operating officer at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and had worked for The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“The scale of the climate challenge is matched only by the size of the investment opportunity presented by the transition to net zero,” Morton said in the announcement. “All around the world, we are seeing policies and regulations align to incentivize and expedite the decarbonization of the global economy, while at the same time costs of underlying technologies continue to fall dramatically.”

Globally, Pollination has more than 200 workers. In the US, the firm’s work includes “structuring new blended finance climate investment vehicles for multilateral institutions, building a decarbonization platform for a major private equity house and developing net zero and nature positive strategies for several national commodity boards representing hundreds of US companies,” the firm stated.

SBTi recruits chief impact officer

Spearheading the worldwide engagement strategy

Maria Outters has been appointed the Science-Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)’s first chief impact officer.

The role encompasses spearheading the engagement strategy worldwide, strengthening governance and accelerating growth of corporate climate through science-based targets. Outters’ responsibilities also include supporting the incorporation of the SBTi as a stand-alone NGO later this year and achieving the SBTi’s 2025 goals: 10,000 companies with science-based targets, representing 5 gigatons of emissions and 20% of the global economy.

Outters has 20 years’ experience at companies such as Sodexo and Centre Parcs in Paris. She said: “Time is running out to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, and we must expand the role of the private sector in rapidly cutting greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why I joined the SBTi – to advance this proven method for companies to align their operations and strategies with climate science. I thank the board for entrusting me with this position and look forward to working with this exceptional team.”

Luiz Amaral, CEO of the SBTi, said: “Last year I announced plans to expand and strengthen the SBTi’s executive leadership team to support this growth, and I’m delighted that Maria has now joined us. She brings with her extensive sustainability expertise, as well as strong corporate leadership experience. I know she’ll be a huge asset to the SBTi, helping us to accelerate the impact we’re already driving in the private sector.”

The SBTi said in a statement it will announce further additions to its executive board, leadership team and technical council in the coming months.

Persefoni adds another former SEC lawyer

The firm is adding regulatory expertise as climate disclosure pressure grows

Climate data firm Persefoni has hired a former SEC lawyer to bolster its regulatory department ahead of forthcoming rules from the regulator on climate disclosure.

Last week the company announced that it had brought on Emily Pierce as associate general counsel and vice president of global regulatory climate disclosure. Previously, Pierce was assistant director in the office of international affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That followed the company’s hiring in March of Kristina Wyatt, who is now its deputy general counsel and senior vice-president of global regulatory climate disclosure. Prior that that, Wyatt was senior counsel for climate and ESG to the SEC’s director of the division of corporation finance.

In the role, Pierce will help the firm’s customers and partners comply with climate disclosure regulations and adopt best practices for measuring and reporting emissions, the company stated in its announcement.

While at the SEC, Pierce had advised the regulator on international policies around climate and sustainability, including engagement with the International Organization of Securities Commissions. Prior to her work at the SEC, she worked at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton.

“Companies and investors need comparable, reliable carbon footprint data to understand their climate-related risks, the potential business impact, and to comply with emerging disclosure regulations and standards,” Pierce said in the company’s announcement.

“There is tremendous opportunity for Persefoni to expand its leadership in building market capability and trust in carbon accounting.”

Earlier this year, the SEC proposed several rules around climate disclosure, the most impactful of which could be its Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors. That rule, which is expected to be finalized next year, would require public companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions.

Janus Henderson hires AB’s chief responsibility officer

Michelle Dunstan worked at AB for 18 years

Michelle Dunstan has left her role as chief responsibility officer at AllianceBernstein (AB) to take up the same position at Janus Henderson.

Dunstan worked at AB for 18 years in a variety of roles including as global equities portfolio manager and senior research analyst, and most recently chief responsibility officer.

At Janus Henderson she will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s corporate responsibility and responsible investing efforts, reporting to Ali Dibadj, Janus Henderson’s CEO.

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Based in the US, Dunstan will work closely with the existing ESG teams on their RI approaches and frameworks.

Dibadj said: “I’ve known Michelle for many years; she is a hugely talented and dynamic figure. Michelle augments our existing capabilities with her experience and leadership skills and will further embed corporate responsibility and responsible investing capabilities across our company. I know she will be an effective advocate for appropriate sustainability work both within the company and in the industry at large.”

Dunstan added: “It is an exciting time of great change and positive momentum – both for Janus Henderson and for responsibility. Janus Henderson’s rich history of providing differentiated insights and disciplined investments places it well to lead in developing both the ESG thought leadership and the portfolio solutions that will help our clients achieve their goals. I look forward to working with Janus Henderson’s existing talented teams to continue to advance and strengthen the organisation on its responsibility journey.”

Update

At AB, Erin Bigley has been named the firm’s new chief responsibility officer overseeing the firm’s responsible investing strategy, extensive research, engagement, stewardship activities, corporate responsibility, and continued integration of responsible investing into key strategic decisions.

She has worked at AB for 20 years most recently as the head of fixed income responsible investing and having served as a founding member of the firm’s Responsible Investment Steering Committee.

“Erin has served as an integral and incredibly effective leader of our fixed income and responsible investing efforts at AllianceBernstein,” said Seth Bernstein, president and CEO at AB. “Erin’s extensive industry knowledge and passion for responsibility, combined with her more than 20 years of leadership and investment experience at the firm, will only enhance AB’s commitment to responsibility on behalf of our clients, colleagues, and communities.”