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Alecta, APG among appointees to EC sustainable finance expert group

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An executive each from Alecta, Sweden’s largest occupational pension provider, and major Dutch pension investor APG are among the 20 individuals the European Commission has appointed to its “high-level expert group” on sustainable finance.

The establishment of the group was announced in September, when Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled plans to “accelerate” implementation of the Capital Markets Union project.

The group’s task is to come up with recommendations for “a comprehensive EU strategy on sustainable finance as part of the Capital Markets Union”.

It is to do this by the end of 2017, with an interim report to be produced in the summer.

The Commission will take the recommendations into account when deciding “how to integrate sustainability considerations” into EU financial sector rules to, for example, channel private capital towards sustainable, green and climate-related finance.

European Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said the group’s members “will help us hardwire sustainability into EU financial policy”.

More than 100 “eligible” applications were submitted from civil society, business and finance and other non-public sector institutions, according to the Commission.

It said that it selected 20 “highly qualified” candidates on the basis of their personal expertise, their contribution to work relevant to sustainable finance, and “the prominence of their affiliation in this area”.

It said that it also sought to “ensure a geographical and gender balance” in the group.

Pension investors are most directly represented in the form of Magnus Billing, chief executive of Sweden’s Alecta, and Claudia Kruse, managing director, global responsible investment and governance at APG Asset Management, which has €380bn Dutch civil service pension scheme ABP as its client.

There are 12 representatives from what the Commission calls the finance stakeholder group, comprising stock exchanges, a bank, insurers, rating/data and analytics companies, and other asset managers.

There are six members identified as from civil society groups, and two from academia/research. 

Michael Schmidt, board member of Deka Investment, and Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova, are the other asset manager members of the group, while Steve Waygood, chief responsible investment officer at Aviva Investors, and Christian Thiamann, group head of regulation, sustainability and insurance foresight at AXA, are down as insurer representatives.

Thiamann, who served as vice-chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), has been named chair of the expert group.

Several European and international institutions have been invited as observers to the expert group, such as the European Investment Bank and the Nordic Investment Bank, and the European Systemic Risk Board. 

The other members of the expert group are:

  • Julie Becker, member of executive committee, Luxembourg Stock Exchange
  • Pascal Canfin, CEO, WWF France,
  • Stan Dupre, CEO, 2° Investment Initiative
  • Paul Fisher, senior associate, University of Cambridge
  • Mieczyslaw Groszek, vice president, Polish Banks Association
  • David Harris, head of sustainable business and director of ESG, London Stock Exchange Group
  • Ingrid Holmes, director, E3G
  • Anne-Catherine Husson-Traore, CEO, Novethic
  • Sean Kidney, CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative
  • Esko Kivisaari, deputy manging director, Federation of Finnish Financial Services
  • Richard Mattison, CEO, Trucost (S&P Global)
  • Arlene McCarthy, special advisor to the chairman, Bloomberg, AMC Strategy
  • Flavia Micilotta, executive director, Eurosif
  • Myriam Vander Stichele, senior researcher, SOMO 

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