New CEO search underway for IGCC

The chief executive officer of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) will step down after six years in the role to join a leading professional services firm.

Emma Herd joined IGCC in 2015 following fifteen years in sustainable finance in the banking sector, and the IGCC Management Committee has begun a recruitment process for a new CEO.

She will join EY Australia as a partner in the Climate Change and Sustainability Services (CCaSS) practice, and will be based in EY's Sydney office.

"Under Emma's leadership the investor voice has become clear and impactful in the Australian and New Zealand climate change discussion," says Stephen Dunne, IGCC chair. "Emma has overseen a massive growth in the size and activities of IGCC, while also supporting the establishment of the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change, which now represents investors with over $US15 trillion in combined assets under management.

In the six years that Herd has led IGCC, the membership base has expanded and IGCC has played a significant role in developing programs including Climate Action 100+, The Investor Agenda, Climate League 2030 and the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, Dunne notes.

"I have loved every minute of my time with IGCC and am thrilled I can leave the organisation with such a strong team in place to continue supporting Australian and New Zealand investors on climate change," Herd says. "Even as there is more work to be done.

"Investors are moving in large numbers to address the climate risk they are exposed to and seize the enormous opportunities in the transition to net zero emissions. I am incredibly proud of the work IGCC has done to support so many organisations to accelerate that progress and to ensure that the investor voice has been a positive and loud champion for climate action. I look forward to continuing to build on this momentum to take on climate change risks and opportunities in Australia and New Zealand."

CCaSS Leader Rebecca Dabbs calls Herd a "fantastic addition to our team."

"Emma has a global reputation for excellence in the field of climate change and finance and her appointment will help us continue to build our team and expertise in the financial services segment," Dabbs says.

Herd spoke at FS Sustainability's digital roundtable on the future of sustainable investment late last year, noting that because Australian institutional investors own a slice of the entire Australian economy by virtue of the size of their asset base and the makeup of their membership base - collaborative action can be an authentic expression of impact.

"Part of the reason why we've seen so many investors joining Climate Action 100+ is because it's very much a recognition that there is a core group of companies who are in almost everyone's portfolio that are responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions in listed markets globally," she said. "And if you can get them to transition, the whole market's systemic and portfolio risk is reduced."

Herd joined IGCC in 2015, succeeding Nathan Fabian as chief executive. Fabian IGCC to take up a position at the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), where he is currently chief responsible investment officer.

Editors' note: Story updated to reflect Herd's new role.

Read more: IGCCInvestor Group on Climate ChangeEmma HerdStephen Dunne