Peter Damgaard Jensen, chief executive at Danish pension fund manager PKA, has taken over from Donald Macdonald as chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), with Macdonald also retiring as a trustee of the £46bn (€56bn) BT Pension Scheme.

Damgaard Jensen became chair of the IIGCCC on 1 January.

Macdonald had been its head for just over five years.

PKA, which runs three labour market pension funds in the social and healthcare sectors, has been a member of the IIGCC since 2010, and Damgaard Jensen a member of its board since 2013.

Commenting on his appointment, Damgaard Jensen said the IIGCC’s membership and influence had grown over the years to make it “an organisation that policymakers and governments now take seriously – as became particularly clear during the climate negotiations at COP 21 that delivered the Paris Agreement.

“With the Paris Agreement in force, it is paramount institutional investors now put words into action to deliver sustainable investments both in Europe and emerging markets, where there are huge opportunities and a great need for such investments.”

In addition to stepping down from his role at the IIGCC, Macdonald is this week retiring from his role as a trustee director of the pension scheme for UK telecommunications company BT.

He will have been a trustee of the BT Pension Scheme for 19 years. 

Macdonald was the inaugural chair of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), having been its head from September 2006 to December 2010.

He is staying on as a non-executive director at Inflection Point Capital Management (IPCM), an investment advisory firm focusing on sustainable investing research that is owned by IPCM and Group La Française.

Macdonald told IPE he was looking forward to his retirement but that he has enjoyed the work he has done.

“I’ve particularly enjoyed doing the work with IIGCC,” he added. “That’s been a considerable challenge, but we have built up the organisation, and we now have a very strong relationship with the European Commission and the member state governments, and I think we helped to mobilise investor opinion in a way that helped to shape the Paris accords on climate change.”