People Moves

Pictet Names New Sustainability Expert

Wendy Spires Head of Research Group Deputy Editor London 1 August 2013

Pictet Names New Sustainability Expert

Pictet Asset Management has appointed Eric Borremans as sustainability expert, a role in which he will be attached to the firm’s quantitative socially responsible investment team, which is headed by Laurent Nguyen.

Borremans was latterly head of corporate social responsibility and SRI at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, having previously been a sustainability consultant for asset managers, blue chip companies and public sector bodies. He is also known for being vice chair of the Board of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

Borremans replaces Christoph Butz, who has held the role since 2002 but will now focus solely on running the Pictet-Timber Fund, which is co-managed by Gabriel Micheli.

This has been a busy week for SRI-related appointments, with Aviva also naming Abigail Herron as head of engagement within its responsible investment team.

Herron previously headed the corporate governance function at Co-operative Asset Management, overseeing engagement, analysis and policy in ESG areas including remuneration, gender and diversity, finance and the built environment.

Several asset managers have emerged as being highly concerned with responsible investing and in fact the industry as a whole has become generally more cognisant about sustainability and ESG issues in the years after the crisis. Shareholder activism is now far higher on the agenda of end-investors, who are rightly anxious that their money doesn’t support practices which harm the environment or society.

Moral qualms aside, proponents of responsible investing argue that firms which are run well along ESG lines tend to be more solid investments over the long run than those which are not. Indeed, some would say that good ESG can be a proxy for good management in broad terms.

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