Australian Catholics recruit ESG overseer from Eaton Vance

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Louise Bradshaw is to become the first dedicated ESG investment professional at the $9 billion Australian Catholic Superannuation and Retirement Fund. Greg Cantor, the chief executive, recalled the Sydney-based fund launched its first ‘responsible investment’ option in 2002. It has a long history in the space.

The new recruit, who joins the investment team led by Michael Block, is elevating the fund’s commitment. It’s time to develop and better integrate ESG strategies, Cantor said. “She will start with some one-off projects, such as the ‘modern slavery’ laws and climate change, which will take a number of months, and then will become a bit more macro in her work. It’s new ground for us in a sense, although, clearly, we have been discussing it for years. But it’s also important she fits in with our culture, which I’m sure she will.”

Bradshaw is leaving her role running client management and overseeing the local business at Eaton Vance in Australia to join Australian Catholic Super on October 14. Ty Thurgood, the new head of the Eaton Vance business, starts his new role today (September 9). He was previously the country head of Nomura Asset Management, which closed down its Australian beach-head funds management business early this year. Australia is not as easy as foreigners think. It’s a very competitive market.

Thurgood, however, is an experienced investment professional and former senior executive at Russell Investments. He will also reunite with Chris Briant, who is the Australian head of an Australian associated company, Parametric, and fellow former Russell executive. Another Parametric Australia executive, Raewyn Williams, the head of research, is also ex-Russell.

Both Bradshaw and her new employer were reluctant to say too much last week about the appointment until it was finalised. However, Cantor said that, after Australian Catholic Super joined the UN PRI initiative, in 2008, he transferred responsibility to its then-new CIO, Michael Block. “It was clear that ESG should become a full-time role,” Cantor said. “We talked to several people and thought Louise would be a great fit. Michael [Block] and I really look forward to her joining us.”

Michael Block said: “We are very excited to have Louise joining us… Our RI (responsible investments) option has tended to be about increasing awareness and engagement for the whole fund. Louise has a great passion for RI/ESG and we’re so pleased to have someone with genuine investment and product skills to lead our ESG policy initiatives.”

At Eaton Vance, a multi-affiliate manager with a long history in Australia, Thurgood should enjoy the opportunity to represent a range of funds management strategies, including a high-octane ESG manager, Calvert Research and Management, alongside Hexavest, the firm’s first Australian business, and Eaton Vance’s emerging markets capabilities, fixed income and credit strategies. He will also assist the other local affiliate, Parametric, under Chris Briant, with its tax-managed and implementation offerings.

– G.B.

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