Karadzhova will be responsible for developing the institute's research programme which will include macro-level research on sustainable investment topics, market trends and industry practices.
Karadzhova comes to the institute from MSCI, where she was an ESG analyst and utilities sector lead. In her role, she was responsible for utilities sector and company research, ESG ratings, ESG methodology enhancements and developing new products. She has also held roles as a credit ratings analyst at Moody's and was a senior associate in audit at PwC.
The Institute was launched in May 2021 to publish proprietary, high-quality research on emerging sustainable investment topics that have yet to see significant industry focus. Its aim is to enhance industry awareness of and action on these sustainable investment themes, report on market trends and best practice, and promote a greater understanding of how such issues can impact long-term investment performance.
"Velina's considerable experience in the fields of ESG-related research will be invaluable in this new role to lead and further develop the Institute's sustainable investment research programme," said Will Oulton, global head of responsible investment at First Sentier Investors and chair of the institute. "The reports will promote critical, urgent and under-reported sustainability issues, while outlining actions the industry and broader society can take to help address these problems."
Its inaugural research report, titled Microplastic pollution: causes, consequences and issues for investors, explores microplastic pollution, which First Sentier Investors calls "one of the most significant and neglected threats to the health of our oceans."
The research outlines the important role investors can play in encouraging companies and governments to take action to prevent microplastics entering the environment.
Karadzhova will work closely with the Institute's external advisory board of prominent sustainability academics and industry leaders, appointed to inform its research agenda and ensure its research meets high standards of rigour.