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People moves: Ortec creates ‘climate solutions’ team

Ortec Finance, CalPERS, SPP, Aviva Investors, Mercer, Universal-Investment, Jupiter, Barnett Waddingham, GAM, Russell Investments, BNY Mellon

Ortec Finance – The consultancy and technology provider has launched a “strategic climate solutions” team, saying climate change “is increasingly recognised as a key systemic risk that investors need to address as part of their fiduciary duty and broader responsibilities as responsible investors”.

The new team will be led by Willemijn Verdegaal and Lisa Eichler, who each have more than 10 years of experience advising on climate-related risks and opportunities, including for leading Dutch pension funds, the Dutch government, the European Commission and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

CalPERS – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has created a new position – managing investment director of the sustainable investment programme – and appointed Beth Richtman to the role. She will transition into the new position over the next month.

Ultimately Richtman will lead the team that provides “centralised leadership and strategy related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues for the entire CalPERS investment office”, according to the $348bn (€282bn) scheme. She will manage the integration of ESG factors into investment decision-making across the fund, and will oversee collaboration efforts with external partners, including other investors, related to corporate engagement efforts. 

Richtman has been with the CalPERS investment office since 2012, and has been responsible for managing a portfolio of more than $7bn of domestic infrastructure and real estate assets. Before joining CalPERS she was a director for business development at Enel Green Power North America.

Society of Pension Professionals – Paul McGlone has been elected as the UK association’s next president. He will start a two-year term on 1 June. McGlone succeeds Hugh Nolan, director at actuarial and consulting firm Spence & Partners. McGlone is a qualified actuary and partner at Aon Hewitt. 

Aviva Investors  Steven Blackie has been appointed head of global product strategy for the £352bn UK asset manager. He joins from Mercer, where he was most recently UK chief investment officer. Before working as an investment consultant he was an equity fund manager. 

Louise Kay, global head of client solutions at Aviva Investors, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Steven to Aviva Investors. As we expand our distribution efforts globally, it is imperative that client needs continue to drive our product strategy. Steven’s expertise in understanding and advising clients with complex needs, as well as considerable team management experience, make him ideally qualified to lead the product strategy team.”

Mercer – Tomi Nummela has left the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) to join the consultancy’s UK responsible investment team. At Mercer he will be working with clients throughout Europe on ESG integration.

The consultancy has also added to its responsible investment teams in the USA and Australia, hiring Max Messervy from Ceres, a sustainability advocacy organisation, for the US team and Timothy Stamp from KPMG Banarra, KPMG’s human rights and social impact group, for the Australian team.  

Universal-Investment – Marcus Kuntz has been appointed head of international sales at the German Master KVG, tasked with bringing in international asset manager clients from the whole of Europe, in particular for Universal’s Luxembourg fund platform. He will set up a new team for this in Luxembourg and Frankfurt. The international sales team will place a strong focus on clients and fund partners in the alternative and real assets, Universal said. 

Kuntz was previously at State Street where he was most recently head of asset manager solutions for continental Europe and head of sales for Switzerland.

Jupiter – Steven Gardner has been hired as UK institutional relationship director. He joined the company this week from Franklin Templeton Investments, where he was most recently a director in the UK institutional team. Before that he was at Baring Asset Management. 

Barnett Waddingham – The consultancy and actuarial firm has a new head of defined contribution investment, Sonia Kataora. She has been with Barnett Waddingham since 2009 and became an associate in 2016. 

GAM – The Swiss asset manager has hired Rachel Wheeler as its group general counsel. She will join GAM later this year and become a member of the group management board, pending regulatory approval. Wheeler leaves Aviva Investors where she was general counsel since 2014. Before that she worked in different senior positions in the legal teams of financial institutions such as USS Investment Management, BNY Mellon, and Gartmore Investment Management. 

Russell Investments – Maarten Roeleveld has been hired as director for business development in Benelux. He joined the asset manager on 3 April from Northern Trust, where he worked for 10 years. At Russell Investments he will have a focus on multi-asset investment solutions. 

BNY Mellon Elizabeth Grier has joined the multi-boutique investment manager as director and sales executive for hedge funds, exchange-traded funds and structured products. She joins BNY Mellon from JP Morgan.

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