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Natixis hires first head of CSR and ESG

Corporate_social_responsibilityNatixis Investment Managers has intensified its focus on responsible investing by naming Harald Walkate as the head of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental and social governance (ESG). It is a newly-created role by the Paris-based asset manager.

Walkate will report to Beverly Bearden, deputy chief executive, and Christopher Lanne, chief transformation and talent officer of the asset and wealth management division, Natixis said in a press release.

Walkate will be based in Paris with Natixis, which says it has €808 billion (£710.3 billion) in assets under management. Prior to his appointment at Natixis, Walkate was a senior vice-president and global head of responsible investment at Aegon Asset Management.

“Corporate Social Responsibility is a key philosophy for Natixis Investment Managers and a cornerstone of our 2020 New Dimension Plan,” said Bearden. “Harald’s appointment as our first head of CSR and ESG demonstrates our ongoing commitment to drive initiatives that deliver long-term sustainable solutions for clients,” she added.

Lanne said: “We recognise through our own industry research that clients are more cognisant and vocal about investing in companies that have a positive social impact and a good environmental record.”

Last week Funds Europe reported a research team at fund manager Ossiam, which is owned by Natixis Investment Manager, investigated the sensitivity of listed companies to severe controversies – such as employment issues – to determine if there was an impact on financial performance. It found controversial US and European stocks underperformed other stocks by 7.4% in euro terms during the study period.

Ossiam said the research contributed to the weight of importance of ESG investing.

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