MutualFundWire.com: This Duo Will Lead a $518B AUM Firm's ESG Effort
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Monday, May 04, 2020

This Duo Will Lead a $518B AUM Firm's ESG Effort


A money center bank's asset management chief has found his new ESG chiefs from within his team. Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM [profile]) CEO Nico Marais confirmed that he has promoted Chris McKnett and Hannah Skeates to work together as the new co-heads of sustainable investing at WFAM. They will report to Marais.

Hannah Skeates
Wells Fargo Asset Management
Co-Head, Sustainable Investing
The WFAM team will also create a Sustainable Investing Task Force tasked with coordinating and executing investment-related objectives. < br/>< br/> "To further accelerate and scale our work in this area, I have decided to personally sponsor our ESG capabilities and sustainable investing initiatives," Marais stated, confirming the promotion of McKnett and Skeates. "Together they will evaluate any organizational needs for their team and work across the firm to further propel this broad-based effort." < br/>< br/> Since last year, the WFAM team has developed their own environmental, social, and governance consideration (ESG) risk-scoring framework, and they launched a Municipal Sustainability Fund. < br/>< br/> Regarding WFAM's commitment to integrating sustainability into the company’s corporate culture, Marais said that it is "a transformation that [WFAM's] clients expect [the firm] to make as a leading asset manager." < br/>< br/> "I look forward to all we can accomplish in this important area for our clients, employees, and communities," Marais continued. < br/>< br/> WFAM's business objectives for 2020 include taking a leadership role in "future development of sustainable finance — within WFAM, Wealth & Investment Management, and Wells Fargo — and across the industry," And "furthering the integration of ESG and climate elements into ongoing investment processes and technologies." < br/>< br/> McKnett spent a little more than three years as managing director and head ESG strategist at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) before joining Wells Fargo in 2018. McKnett spent over three years at State Street before his role at SSGA as head of ESG and vice president. < br/>< br/> Skeates was formerly the global head of ESG at S&P Dow Jones Indices for two years, and from 2013 to 2016, she was the global head of sustainable investments/iShares at BlackRock. She was also a special advisor at Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) from 2012 to 2013. < br/>< br/> McKnett graduated from the University of Denver with an MBA, and the University of Connecticut with an MS in Business Administration. < br/>< br/> Skeates graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Masters degree, and from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership's The Prince of Wales' Business & Sustainability Programme.


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