ESG Insight People
ACA Group Names ESG Veteran as European MD
The ACA Group has named former United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) European director Marie Luchet as its new Managing Director of ESG. Luchet will lead the governance, risk and compliance adviser’s European operations. In her more-than 20 years working in ESG, Luchet also served as Head of Responsible Investment with ECOFI Investissements and as an ESG sell-side analyst with CIC Market Solutions.
More Names Added to Bring ISSB Team to 10
Four more members have been added to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), the IFRS Foundation’s recently created body that’s been tasked with hammering out an international framework for ESG reporting. They are Richard Barker, of the University of Oxford Saïd Business School’s sustainable business initiatives; Verity Chegar of California State Teachers’ Retirement System; Bing Leng, Director in the Accounting Regulatory Department of the Chinese Ministry of Finance; and, Ndidi Nnoli-Edozien, former Group Chief Sustainability and Governance Officer at Dangote Industries. The new additions bring board membership to 10, with more expected to be announced soon.
Moody’s Appoints Former ISS Director to ESG Role
Moody’s ESG Solutions clients can now examine how companies’ emissions targets align with global net-zero benchmarks via a new Temperature Alignment Data product. The launch came as the company published a report that showed fewer than half of 4,400 companies surveyed had set emissions targets and only 17 per cent mentioned “net-zero”. Meanwhile, Moody’s has named former Institutional Shareholder Services Managing Director Julia Haake as its Managing Director for Market Strategy. Paris-based Haake will report to Moody’s ESG Solutions Global Head Andrea Blackman.
PRI Names Former Board Member Atkin as Next CEO
The Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI), the United Nations’ body that’s drawing up guidelines for sustainable finance, has appointed former AMP Capital executive David Atkin as its new Chief Executive. Atkin will take over the reins from Fiona Reynolds on December 10. In a career that has spanned major Australian asset managers Cbus, ESS Super and JUST SUPER, Atkin also spent six years on the PRI board of directors. PRI Chair Martin Skancke said: “David brings a strong understanding of the needs of PRI’s signatories to the organisation, with a sophisticated knowledge of the priorities and management of asset owners gained from his time in the investment industry.” Reynolds will remain at the PRI in an advisory capacity.
GoldenSource Hires ex-ION Director to Lead OnDemand Managed Service Solution
GoldenSource has appointed Xavier Gerardin, formerly lead of hosted services at ION, as global head of its OnDemand solution, a cloud-based managed service that provides hosting, technical and business assistance services for the company’s EDM clients. With 20 years’ experience in capital markets, including managing over 100 financial software programmes, Gerardin’s responsibility at GoldenSource is to bring new levels of efficiency to clients data management lifecycle. He comments: “In this complex environment, our OnDemand offering enables clients to reduce fixed costs and complexity, while increasing the scope and quality of the services they receive.”
LSEG Names David Harris to Lead Sustainable Finance Product Team
London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has named David Harris to lead its sustainable finance product team, part of the data and analytics division. Harris will report to Stuart Brown, group head of enterprise data solutions, and will build on ongoing investment in ESG and sustainable investment indexes, data and analytics products.
Harris will also drive an integrated approach to sustainable finance in the data and analytics division, and chair an internal cross-organisation working group that will work in partnership with the FTSE Russell sustainable investment team and other businesses as they invest in sustainable finance to meet customer demand.
David Craig, group head of data and analytics and CEO at Refinitiv, says: “As our customers across financial markets respond to the global challenge of allocating capital sustainably, this critical role is designed to ensure a focused sustainable finance strategy across LSEG.”
Harris joined FTSE in 2002 and has played a leading role in building FTSE Russell’s sustainable finance index and data. He started with the FTSE4Good Index Series, before supporting the development of a wide variety of products including FTSE Russell’s smart sustainability, green revenues, climate indexes and associated data analytics. He has also been involved in group-wide initiatives such as the development of ESG disclosure and reporting guidance for London Stock Exchange listed companies, and the Green Economy Mark for London listed companies.
Kay Swinburne Named as Chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group
Dr Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at KPMG UK and former vice chair of the European Parliament’s Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee, has been named chair of the International Regulatory Strategy Group (IRSG). The role was previously held by former city minister Mark Hoban.
The IRSG is focused on promoting regulation that encourages open and competitive global markets. Recent priorities have included the UK’s regulatory framework post-Brexit, ESG and a green finance taxonomy, and priorities for the G7 to be held in the UK this summer. The group is co-sponsored by TheCityUK and the City of London Corporation, and comprises senior practitioners from across the financial and related professional services industry.
Swinburne says: “I am very pleased to be taking up this role at such a crucial time for the UK as an international financial centre. With the global challenge to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, the UK setting out its post-Brexit regulatory framework, and regulators seeking to get to grips with climate change and technological transformation, there is a plenty for us to do. Working with members of the IRSG, I am keen to set a policy agenda that enables the financial and related professional services industry to flourish while serving and supporting the wider economy.”
Both the City of London Corporation and TheCityUK welcomed Swinburne’s appointment, noting her extensive knowledge of the financial services industry and international regulation, as well as her proven track record in regulatory change. Swinburne played a pivotal role in shaping EU and global financial services legislation in her role as an MEP, including setting up EU supervisory bodies and the Capital Markets Union.
Former Teradata CEO Oliver Ratzesberger, Appointed Chair of OpenCorporates
OpenCorporates, provider of a large open database of companies worldwide, has named former Teradata CEO Oliver Ratzesberger as the first chair of its board.
OpenCorporates has grown rapidly in the past nine years with its White Box company data attracting millions of visitors to its website every month. Users include financial institutions, government agencies and blue chip companies.
Ratzesberger brings over 30 years of experience in fast-scaling companies such as Teradata and eBay to OpenCorporates. His role is to accelerate growth and impact, and create a trusted and transparent global business environment.
Asset Control Targets Buy Side with Nielen Hire
Asset Control’s appointment of industry veteran Stef Nielen is part of a renewed focus on the buy side, following a number of contract wins in that segment. Nielen, who joins director, strategic development, hails from Axioma, where he was sales director, and has held sales-oriented roles with MSCI and RiskMetrics, among other buy-side oriented suppliers.
According to Martijn Groot, vice president of marketing and strategy at Asset Control, the company has chalked up a number of fund and wealth management contract deals this year, and is seeing significant interest in its AC Pass hosted service.
Groot says Nielen’s hire formalizes a strategic direction that was already under way. The AC Pass service – which supports a range of hosted capabilities – was developed with the buy side specifically in mind. Groot says Asset Control has now bedded down its relationship with a range of cloud providers, allowing it to offer varying hosting and service levels, using third-party professional services group eClerx to handle outsourced data management functions where required.
Nielen was most recently sales director at risk and analytics specialist Axioma Inc., which is now part of Deutsche Boerse’s Qontigo group. Before that he spent eight years at MSCI focusing on buy-side engagements. Asset Control says his appointment will allow the company “to more specifically focus on the requirements of its buy-side customers around self-controlled data sourcing, mastering, derivation and integration across the investment decision processes.”
With its recent new buy-side signings, the company says it “continues to see high levels of engagement from asset managers, hedge funds and institutional investors” driven by “industry developments around increasing data diversity, volumes and controls on data consumption; onboarding of alternative data sets; and increased use of ESG data, self-indexing and more granular reporting.”
In a separate development, Asset Control has teamed up with European consulting firm d-fine “to deliver enhanced data management, analytics and mastering to business users by integrating d-fine’s quantitative analytics (quant) capabilities with Asset Control’s new market data warehouse.”
Asset Control’s data warehouse enables a two-stage data management process and separate production mastering process, which is complemented by d-fine’s business expertise and quantitative modelling to help clients create market data infrastructures that combine modern data management technology with powerful data access and analytics.
This capability is exemplified by advanced curve and vole cube building capabilities, powered by d-fine’s pricing library Mosco, which facilitate a deeper integration of valuation and market data functions.
According to Asset Control, the new initiative seeks to address users’ growing demand for high-quality market data combined with precise and extensive meta-data for data-driven financial modelling in pricing, hedging, market analysis, risk and finance, as well as regulators’ and auditors’ growing need to scrutinize data preparation processes, data lineage and governance.
Neil Sandle, head of product management at Asset Control, says d-fine’s expertise in financial analytics and business expertise complements Asset Control’s Ops360 end-to-end mastering platform, its data lineage capability and its ACX market data warehouse solution, to provide analytics and derived pricing capabilities.
Neudata Opens Shanghai Office, Hires China-Focused Data Strategist
After seeing an increase in demand for data scouting services in Asia, London-based independent data sourcing and research service Neudata announced today that it has opened an office in Shanghai and hired Helena Yu to manage its client data requests in the region. The Neudata Scout platform captures over 3,500 datasets across sentiment, social media, weather, web-tracking, transactional, ESG and more, with analysts based in New York, London and Shanghai. Yu, who joins Neudata as a data strategist, has spent 10 years working with alternative data sources for the financial services community. Most recently, she was the associate director of sales operations for UBS Evidence Lab, where she drove the rapid growth of the firm’s data research products in the Asia-Pacific region.