Columbia Threadneedle expands Responsible Investment Team

The fund firm has built a dedicated department to support its portfolio managers on environmental, social and governance matters


Joe McGrath

Columbia Threadneedle Investments has announced the appointment of two analysts to its London-based Responsible Investment Team.

Olivia Watson has joined as a senior analyst and Jess Williams as a portfolio analyst, taking the team to 12 investment professionals in total.

The Responsible Investment Team is a dedicated department to support Columbia Threadneedle’s portfolio managers on issues relating to environmental, social and governance matters in their investment portfolios. It also assists with portfolio construction by identifying investment opportunities. Both Watson and Williams will report to Chris Anker, lead analyst for the EMEA region.

“Investors are increasingly seeking to capture the value of effective ESG integration and understand the wider consequences of their investment choices,” the company’s global head of responsible investment, Iain Richards said in a statement.

“Olivia and Jess both join with strong experience of sustainable finance and knowledge of social and ethical issues, and will help us to continue to meet our clients’ needs through providing valuable support to our portfolio managers,” he added.

Watson was previously at the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, where she managed the development of investor collaboration initiatives. Prior to this, she was a corporate sustainability consultant. At Columbia Threadneedle, she will have responsibility for responsible investment research, and engagement on ESG issues.

Williams, meanwhile, was previously at S&P Global Ratings where she developed sustainable finance products. She previously worked on the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance at the Climate Policy Initiative in Venice. She will have responsibility for client portfolio research and analysis in her new role.



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