Fund manager creates, hires for ESG role

Alphinity Investment Management has created a new role of ESG and sustainability manager.

Alphinity has appointed Jessica Cairns to the newly-created role, which is a move designed to support the fund manager's efforts to more deeply integrate ESG-related matters across its domestic and global equities funds, including the Alphinity Sustainable Share Fund.

Cairns comes to Alphinity from Transurban, where she was senior sustainability advisor. In that role, she was responsible for the company's response to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations and supported the delivery of sustainability initiatives to meet Transurban's broader sustainability strategy.

Prior to her role at Transurban, she spent four years as a case manager at the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia, where she was responsible for helping infrastructure teams across the nation achieve better infrastructure sustainability. Cairns holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management (Honours) from the University of Newcastle and a Diploma in Project Management from the University of New England.

Cairn's appointment is the latest in a number of hires by Alphinity. Earlier this year, Alphinity hired

Jacob Barnes and Andrey Mironenko as research analysts earlier this year. Barnes joined from First State Super, where he was a senior investment analyst in its direct equities team. Prior to this he worked at private wealth manager Bailey Roberts Group as an equities analyst and portfolio manager. Barnes is now focusing on consumer stocks as a member of the domestic equities team.

Mironeko joined Alphinity after seven years with McKinsey in its Sydney, San Francisco, Moscow and Houston offices. He spent four years in the firm's strategy and corporate finance practice and worked extensively at McKinsey Global Institute where he contributed to a wide range of research, including on climate change, the impact of changing technology and the future of work. At Alphinity, Mironeko focuses on information technology and chemical companies, as well as the Alphinity Sustainable Share Fund.

Alphinity Principal and Portfolio Manager Stephane Andre said all three were adding considerable value to Alphinity, which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary.

"Jessica is already playing an important role in assisting the Sustainable Share Fund Compliance Committee in refining the investment universe for the Fund which considers companies' contribution towards achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)," Andre said. "Along with the analysts, she will also help to drive company and market engagements, and ensure Alphinity remains a leading thinker in ESG and SDG matters.

"Jacob and Andrey's work is also providing impact and has helped to deepen Alphinity's fundamental research analytical capabilities, which underpin our investment philosophy."

In the ten years since inception the Alphinity Australian Share Fund delivered 8.1% p.a. and the Alphinity Sustainable Share Fund 9.1% p.a., compared with 7.3% p.a. for the S&P/ASX 300 Accumulation Index. The Alphinity Concentrated Australian Share Fund returned 9.1% p.a.

"We're excited about the future," said Johan Carlberg, Alphinity principal and CEO. "Five years ago we added the global equity team which has demonstrated the strength of our investment process in international equity markets. With the recent additions to the team we are building on our traditional research strength, and evolving along with companies which are increasingly recognising that they need to succeed while demonstrating strong ESG and Sustainability credentials."

Alphinity Investment Management is owned by its staff in conjunction with Fidante Partners, the funds management business of Challenger Limited.

Read more: Alphinity Investment ManagementAlphinity Sustainable Share FundAlphinity Concentrated Australian Share FundJacob BarnesJessica Cairns
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