People Moves

HSBC AM Launches New Sustainabilty Office

Jackie Bennion, Deputy Editor, 8 July 2021


The new office will be led by Erin Leonard as part of a responsible investing overhaul at the asset house, with additional hires slated in stewardship, climate change, and data roles.

Sustainable investing has become one of the driving forces of the industry and reflects "enormous opportunities for growth," HSBC Asset Management said in unveiling a new sustainability office and responsible investing reshuffle this week.

The newly-established office will be led by Erin Leonard, as global head of sustainability. Leonard will be responsible for delivering HSBC AM’s business-wide transition to sustainable investing, the group said. The team will also drive embedding diversity, equity and inclusion principles across the enterprise, and expects to make additional near-term hires in stewardship, climate change, and data roles.  

Leonard has spent the last decade at HSBC and will continue to be London based, reporting directly to CEO Nicolas Moreau. She was most recently interim global head of institutional business and also led the firm’s responsible investment initiative.

“The creation of our sustainability office reflects the strategic importance of sustainability to our business and will enable us to be at the leading edge of this change. I’m confident that under Erin’s leadership, we’ll be able to take our sustainability proposition to the next level, and open up a world of sustainable investment opportunities,” Moreau said.

Last week, HSBC Asset Management announced that it was taking a minority stake in US-based ESG and D&I consultancy Radiant ESG. Through the transaction, the firm is launching RadiantESG Global Investors, a female-owned, independent asset management firm focused on the next crop of ESG investment opportunities for institutional and wealth management clients, with a focus on women and minorities.

Part of the current reshuffle will also see global head of research and insights Stuart Kirk become head of responsible investment to lead ESG integration and the firm’s voting and engagement initiatives.

Reporting to global CIO Xavier Baraton, Kirk will also be in charge of developing and delivering new ESG, climate change, and thematic products and overseeing research. He will retain his existing responsibilities and will start in the new expanded role on 12 July.

Former head of responsible investment Melissa McDonald is leaving in August to take up a new outside opportunity, HSBC said.

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