Asset owner, engagement organisation in ESG hires

Two Melbourne-based organisations are augmenting staff by recruiting for analysts with environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) responsibilities.

The Victorian Funds Management Corporation (VFMC) is hiring an analyst with responsibility for property and investment stewardship. This new role will assist with management of the team's ESG activities within their investment portfolios and across all asset classes and will also work with the property team to support the management of the fund's unlisted real estate investments.

The analyst will assist with proxy voting and company engagement, and assist asset class teams in the integration of ESG into the investment management process while supporting the head of investment stewardship and the manager of ESG.

"This new role for VFMC supports our deepening approach to investment stewardship," a VFMC spokesperson told FS Sustainability. "It provides the candidate with a broader opportunity to combine stewardship across all investment asset classes with supported development of the Property asset class, which we feel provides a good fit. It also encourages whole of portfolio thinking and a pragmatic approach to capability building, something that VFMC champions."

Meanwhile, the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) is hiring a senior ESG analyst.

The move at ACSI is to backfill a vacant position, noted Ed John, executive manager, governance, engagement and policy, ACSI.

"We're coming out of restrictions and given everything going on with climate change and modern slavery and issues of corporate culture, we're keen to hire in to the team," John noted.

"Even during COVID period, the expectation was that the focus may come off ESG or things may quiet down, but in fact we've experienced the opposite," he said. "The engagements have increased and climate risk has stayed very much on the agenda, if not accelerated in some companies."

ACSI was deeply involved in communicating superannuation fund concerns during crises at AMP and Rio Tinto during the year, but was also involved in multiple meetings with senior executives and board members at ASX-listed candidates. ACSI has seen marked increases year on year in the number of engagements it has with companies on behalf of its membership.

"Ideally, we're looking for an experienced candidate with a background in investment or related discipline," John said. "The main thing is for them to have a keen grasp for the key issues as well, such as climate change, modern slavery, and an understanding of how those impact investment outcomes."

Both ACSI and VFMC are supported in their recruitment process by Kaizen Recruitment.

ESG hiring activity is not merely confined to the financial services industry.

Read more: Australian Council of Superannuation InvestorsVictorian Funds Management Corporation
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