Poppy Allonby has been named as the new chief investment officer for the Church Commissioners of England’s £10bn (€11.8bn) endowment fund.

She joins the Church Commissioners from T Rowe Price, where she has been vice-president and head of the ‘ESG enablement remit’, leading a multidisciplinary team responsible for the firm’s sustainability strategy and execution.

Allonby succeeds Tom Joy, who left Church Commissioners in April for a role overseas.

Before joining T Rowe Price, Allonby spent more than 20 years at BlackRock, predominantly in equity investment roles and latterly as managing director, head of global product group, EMEA and APAC.

Poppy Allonby, CIO

Poppy Allonby, the Church Commissioners’ incoming CIO

She was already known to the Church Commissioners, as between 2014 and 2022 she was on the investor’s board of trustees and a member of its assets committee.

“With Poppy Allonby, we are welcoming an impressive talent and leader into the Church Commissioners’ fold,” said Alan Smith, First Church Estates Commissioner.

“Poppy’s investment expertise coupled with her early and prescient focus on sustainable investment will be invaluable to us as we look to deepen and strengthen our commitment to values-based investment – because, in our view, values drive value.”

The Church Commissioners has provided the Church with over £3.5bn in funding since 2009, with £1.2bn to be distributed during 2023-25 – a 30% increase on the previous triennium, thanks in large part to the investment returns generated by the Commissioners’ investment team.

The fund has delivered 14 years of positive returns, while building a reputation as a global leader in responsible investment. It recently revised its strategy to focus on three key systemic risks – climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and social inequality – and as part of this has introduced new policy leads for net zero, social issues, and real assets sustainability.

Last month it announced a “planet lead”, naming Laura Moss-Bromage to the new role.

Allonby is due to assume her new role in September. According to LinkedIn, her predecessor is now CIO of a single-family office.

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