BlackRock hires former AMP Capital head to ESG role

BlackRock have hired Emily Woodland as one of two co-heads of Blackrock Sustainable Investing (BSI) for Asia Pacific.

Woodland was formerly AMP Capital's head of sustainable investment, a role she held from 2018 until last year. In her former role, she led AMP Capital's specialist ESG public markets fund range and investment stewardship efforts, as well as its in-depth research, analysis and thought leadership on key ESG and sustainability related considerations.

She also worked as AMP Capital's investment advisor for Asia Debt Management's sustainable investment programs.  Woodland has more than 16 years of investment experience with UBS dating back to 2000, including work in equity and convertible bond trading, as a portfolio manager with the firm's Fundamental Investment Group, and five years as a portfolio manager with the long/short absolute return hedge fund portfolio in UBS Asset Management.  She will be based in Hong Kong.

BlackRock also appointed Geir Espeskog, currently head of iShares Asia Pacific distribution, as the other co-head.

"We are thrilled to put this team in place and set the pace for our sustainable investment offerings in Asia," said Susan Chan, head of Asia at BlackRock. "Geir's proven track record as a strong business builder combined with Emily's sophisticated command of sustainable strategies signals the high priority we place on this effort. This is a great pairing as we start to roll out our sustainable investing team in the region."

Espeskog joined BlackRock in 2010 with iShares in London where built the firm's the Nordic iShares franchise.

Based in Hong Kong since 2015, he has driven iShares growth across APAC from assets under management of US$50 billion to more than US$160 billion, including several client-driven launches of sustainability investment products.

BlackRock cited Espeskog's "deep understanding of institutional, asset management, and wealth clients" as assisting in enhancing BSI's capabilities and drive growth.

"Last year we announced our ambition to have US$1 trillion in sustainable assets under management by 2030," said Philipp Hildebrand, global head of sustainable investing at BlackRock said. "Already, we are witnessing this phenomenal opportunity with accelerating flows into sustainable strategies. Asia is a keystone in advancing the growth of sustainable investing globally."

Read more: iSharesESGBlackrock Sustainable InvestingEmily WoodlandGeir EspeskogPhilipp HildebrandSusan Chan