Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer of Brunel Pension Partnership, has been appointed chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the €35trn European investor body.

She succeeds Peter Damgaard Jensen, the former CEO of PKA who was on the board of IIGCC for seven years, three as chair. Jon Johnsen, Damgaard Jensen’s successor at PKA, was announced as a new IIGCC board member following the investor body’s annual general meeting.

Torben Möger Pedersen, chief executive officer of PensionDanmark, has been co-opted to the role of vice chair, joining Grégoire Haenni, CIO of the CPEG, the pension fund of the state of Geneva.

Helena Vines Fiestas, global head of stewardship and policy and deputy global head of sustainability at BNP Paribas Asset Management, was appointed as a board member for a second term.

Stephanie Pfeifer, CEO of the IIGCC, said the new board members were joining “at a moment of true global significance and opportunity and we are delighted to welcome them”.

“2021 is a vital year for our sector. As we look ahead to next year, we will be working with our members to advocate for real progress towards a net-zero and resilient future.”

faith ward, chief responsible investment officer, brunel pension partnership ltd

Faith Ward, new chair of the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change

In the run-up to COP26 and at the UN climate change summit itself, IIGCC would provide a platform to showcase investor action, she said.

“We will also be working with our members to inform policy dialogue and build policy momentum ahead of Glasgow as well as supporting investor engagement with companies,” Pfeifer added.

Brunel is one of five asset owners piloting the net-zero investment framework that the IIGCC presented for consultation in August.

Ward said that as chair of IIGCC, she has two main priorities.

“Firstly, to motivate and persuade investors to use the net-zero investment framework. Secondly, to enable our industry to demonstrate that we can deliver on our ambitions and ready ourselves for a net-zero future.

“We need to work harder and faster, as an industry and as a society,” she said.

Torben Moger Pedersen at PensionDanmark

Torben Möger Pedersen, co-opted as IIGCC vice-chair

“Fundamentally, we need to work together. I am delighted to receive the support of the members to chair the board of IIGCC in what I believe will be the most important time of our lives to achieve the net-zero transition.”

Brunel said that in her new role at IIGCC – which she will add to that at Brunel – Ward would expand her work at national and supranational policymakers, help to support and define public policy and corporate behaviour, and “operate as a conduit for stakeholders involved in investing in a world worth living in”.

She will relinquish her role on reporting and assessment for the Principles for Responsible Investment, a position she has held for nearly a decade, and step down as co-chair of the Transition Pathway Initiative, instead sitting on the TPI’s steering committee.

The other board members taking IIGCC into 2021 are:

  • Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement, Church of England Pensions Board;
  • Ian Simm, founder and CEO, IMPAX Asset Management and IIGCC treasurer;
  • Jelle van der Giessen, chief investment officer, NN Group;
  • Roelfien Kuijpers, head of responsible investments and head of global client group for Ireland, Scandinavia and UK, DWS;
  • Karlijn van Lierop, director for responsible investment and member of management fiduciary advice, MN;
  • Udo Riese, global head of risk and monitoring, Allianz Investment Management SE.

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