Global fund manager DWS Group has established an ESG Advisory Board that will advise the CEO and executive board on the acceleration of its ESG strategy.
The new six-person advisory board will complement DWS's in-house expertise in ESG, the firm said. DWS has EUR 759 billion of assets under management as of 30 September 2020 and operates in Germany, Europe, the Americas and Asia.
"We want to take a leading role in ESG in the asset management industry and are already making ESG the core of everything we do," said Asoka Wohrmann, CEO of DWS. "It is thrilling to now be able to work with such an internationally renowned group of experts to help advance and further accelerate our ESG strategy. I look forward to being challenged and to receive valuable input from our new ESG Advisory Board."
The DWS ESG Advisory Board members are Peter Damgaard Jensen, chairman of the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), the main European investor body focused on climate change. He is also former CEO of the Danish Pension Fund PKA, one of Denmark's largest pension funds.
The board also includes Marie Haga, associate vice president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Haga is previously executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust and has expertise in the field of biodiversity and food security. She has also served as member of parliament in Norway and held three ministerial positions.
Also on the board is Ioannis Ioannou, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School. He serves on the Advisory Board of Ethical Corporation - Reuters Events and is a member of the World Economic Forum Experts Network.
Also on the board is Lisa P. Jackson is vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple Inc. She previously served as head of the US Environmental Protection Agency appointed by former President Barack Obama.
Also on the board is Georg Kell, co-chair, a founding executive director of the UN Global Compact. Kell is also Chairman of Arabesque, the parent company of the two DWS partners Arabesque AI and Arabesque S-Ray, in which DWS holds minority stakes.
The other co-chair is Roelfien Kuijpers, DWS' global ESG client officer Kuijpers is also a board member of the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change.
"I have long been convinced of the power that sustainable management and sustainable investment can unfold together," Kell said. "The work of this very diverse and high-calibre ESG Advisory Board, in close cooperation with the entire DWS Executive Board, will be characterized by concrete and forward-looking contributions. Our aim is to make DWS even stronger as one of the leading global asset managers in its own sustainable transformation process and that of its clients".
Additionally, at its AGM this week, DWS announced that it is committed to becoming climate neutral in its actions, in line with the Paris Agreement.
"This will not happen overnight, but will only succeed in close and ongoing dialogue and exchange with clients, regulators and stakeholders," Wohrmann said. "It is also clear that our definition of sustainability encompasses more than just climate action; it includes topics of good corporate governance and social justice. However, tackling climate change is a collective task for this generation, and one to which we are happy to commit ourselves. This is also because we believe in growth potential for DWS and because we want to be a leader among asset managers in the field of ESG."