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Women in ESG

ESG_investingWomen may be under represented in fund management roles, but there is one area where this appears less true: ESG.

There has been a flurry of hiring within fund management environmental, social and governance businesses in recent weeks and the gender scales appear to have been tipped completely with many roles going to women.

This contrasts with two of the most recent reports into the level of gender diversity in the fund management industry.

Aviva Investors recently said there were few women in senior roles, despite the view that gender diversity was good for the industry.

And yesterday, consultancy Longwater Partners said many senior women in fund management were concerned about the confrontational nature of interviews for high level jobs, and believed job interviews were conducted in a way that more suited male characteristics.

Yet the visibility of women in ESG is high, with recent appointments of women into senior roles at Kempen Capital Management, Candriam Investors Group and Deutsche Asset Management.

All these appointment were made this year and they join the likes of Vicki Bakhshi at BMO global Asset Management, who this week said the firm’s responsible investment funds would exit companies with fossil fuel reserves.

Also this year, Ann Steele, senior portfolio manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, was able to celebrate the winning of an ESG mandate from Zurich Germany.

This must leave Adrie Heinsbroek at NN Investment Partners feeling a little like the odd one out. NN IP announced his appointment as head of responsible investment in February – although the firm did give the role of senior corporate governance specialist to Faryda Lindeman.

But at least Heinsbroek has Jean-Philippe Desmartin at Edmond de Rothschild Asset Management for a more confrontationally charged conversation, should he wish it.

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