ESG CLUB CONFERENCE 2022 | 6th July 2022 | The Shangri-La Hotel- The Shard

6 Jul 2022

The Shard, 34th Floor, Shangri-La Hotel, 31 St Thomas Street, London SE1 9QU


portfolio institutional’s ESG Conference returns as an in-person event on 6th July with a series of panel discussions designed to remove the complexity around how institutional investors can truly implement ESG into their portfolios. 

Asset owners, trustees and consultants should not miss this opportunity to discuss ESG implementation with their peers. 


The conference, which is being held to commemorate the fifth anniversary of portfolio institutional’s ESG Club, will be touching on four important topics, as per schedule below.
09:00am – 09:30amRegistration & breakfast
09:30am – 09:40amWelcome – Conference Chair: Mark Dunne, portfolio institutional
09:40am – 10:25am

Panel: A just transition
Chandra Gopinathan, Senior Investment Manager, Sustainable Ownership, Railpen  
Bella Landymore, 
Policy Director, Impact Investing Institute 
John Mulligan, Market Relations and Climate Change Lead, World Gold Council

10:25am – 11:10amPanel: The S in ESG
Jessica Attard, Programme Director (Social), ShareAction
Maria Ortino, 
Global ESG Manager, LGIM 
Thembeka Stemela Dagbo, 
Fund Manager, M&G Investments
11:10am – 11:30amCoffee break
11:30am – 12:15amPanel: Sustainable Debt
Claire Curtin, Head of ESG, Pension Protection Fund  
Julien Halfon, 
Head of Pension and Corporate Solutions, BNP Paribas Asset Management 
Sindhu Krishna,
Head of Sustainable Investments, Phoenix Group 
Peter Mennie, 
Chief Sustainable Investment Officer, Public Markets, Manulife Investment Management 
12:15pm – 13:10pmPanel: Biodiversity: Nature’s dividend
Niamh Boyle, Associate Consultant and Biodiversity Specialist, Aon
Mark Hill,
DD Climate & Sustainability – Business Lead, Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice Directorate, The Pensions Regulator
Marion Maloney,
 Head of Responsible Investment & Governance, Environment Agency Pension Fund 
Hannah Skeates, Co-Head, Sustainable Investing, Allspring Global Investments
13:10pm – 13:15pmClosing remarks
13:15 pm –
15:00 pm
Lunch and networking


A just transition: This panel discussion looks at how investors are decarbonising the economy in a way that ensures communities do not fall into poverty as a result. So, how are investors moving from extractive to regenerative power sources and leaving no one behind through creating new jobs and funding training schemes? Can this be achieved, or should we accept that saving the planet is going to be tough on some people? 

Chandra Gopinathan, Senior Investment Manager, Sustainable Ownership, Railpen

Chandra Gopinathan leads the Climate workstream at Railpen and is responsible for climate strategy, climate risk integration across Railpen’s portfolios and investment in climate and natural solutions.

Chandra has two decades of experience across investing and portfolio management, credit structuring and ESG analysis and brings a multi-asset investment perspective to Railpen’s sustainability practices. Chandra has a Master’s degree from Columbia University and a CAIA designation.

Bella Landymore, Policy Director, Impact Investing Institute  

Bella started working for the Impact Investing Institute as Policy Director at its launch in November 2019. She is a member of the Executive Committee and leads several of the Institute’s projects, particularly in the areas of policy, regulation, and pensions.  

Bella joined the Institute from the UK government’s Inclusive Economy Unit, where she was a Senior Policy Advisor on impact investing. In this role, her projects included the Law Commission’s review of pension funds and social investment, and the subsequent policy and regulatory changes, and the Implementation Taskforce on growing a culture of social impact investing in the UK.  

Bella started her career in the charity sector before joining UBS Investment Bank, where she worked in New York and London, latterly as an Associate Director for their equities trading businesses.

John Mulligan, Market Relations and Climate Change Lead, World Gold Council

John is Director of Market Relations and Climate Change Lead at the World Gold Council, managing its climate change research programme and its associated engagement activity with investor groups and stakeholder organisations. 

Additionally, John contributes to the organisation’s wider insight and communication outputs. He has written extensively and comments regularly on gold market dynamics, investment strategy and sustainability issues.  

John joined the World Gold Council in early 2005, working initially on investment research and investor outreach and, later, on projects examining gold’s wider socio-economic, development and sustainability impacts.  

He has worked in or around the financial markets for over 25 years, including senior roles in business development, product management, trading systems, and market analysis.  

Beyond gold and finance, John has also consulted on research, business analysis and knowledge management projects for a wide range of clients, from SMEs to supranational organisations.  

John has degrees from the University of Sussex and Birkbeck College, University of London.  



The S in ESG: There is more to ESG than protecting the environment. There are also social responsibilities that need to be met to help create a sustainable world for everyone. So, how should investors be promoting greater equality and reducing poverty through their portfolios?  

Jessica Attard, Programme Director (Social), ShareAction

Jessica is Programme Director at ShareAction, leading work to harness the power of the investment system to improve population health. This includes building a global alliance of asset owners and managers committed to improving their impact in this area. 

This programme, called Long-term Investors in People’s Health (LIPH), builds on ShareAction’s Healthy Markets initiative aiming to improve consumer health. Over three years, alongside a group of committed investors, this initiative has led to world-leading commitments and disclosure across food retailers and manufacturers shaping diets in the UK.

Jessica has spent her career working across the private, public and charitable sectors to drive social impact. She has specialised in working across sectors to improve the impact big businesses have on people’s health. 

Maria Ortino, Global ESG Manager, LGIM 

Maria joined Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) in January 2019 where she is a Global ESG Manager within the Investment Stewardship Team. She leads the team’s efforts on health as well as being responsible for global engagement and voting activities for holdings within the pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare and chemicals sectors. Maria is a member of the Access to Medicine Foundation’s Expert Committee for the 2020 Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark.

Prior to joining LGIM, Maria has been a member of the ESG teams at Newton Investment Management and State Street Global Advisors. She has also headed up the research team at a start-up corporate governance data company, served as an analyst within the IVIS team, part of the Investment Association, UK. She started her corporate governance career at PIRC, a proxy advisor, in 2007. Maria has an LLB from Queen Mary College, University of London and a Master’s Degree from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva, Switzerland.

Thembeka Stemela Dagbo, Fund Manager, M&G Investments

Thembeka Stemela joined M&G Investments in July 2018 as an investment analyst for the Positive Impact strategy. She was appointed deputy manager in August 2019, and became manager of the Diversity and Inclusion strategy in October 2021. Before joining M&G Investments, Thembeka was a vice president (VP) in the equity research department at Credit Suisse International, where she joined as part of the Graduate Programme in 2012. She served as a primary analyst for the UK and Nordic non-life insurers in Credit Suisse’s European insurance team. Thembeka has a Bachelor of Business Science Honours Degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT), specialising in Economics.

Sustainable Debt: Building a sustainable world cannot be achieved through equity alone. With institutional portfolios heavily exposed to fixed income how are investors promoting change through their debt holdings? Is investing in green bonds enough? There is a huge supply/demand imbalance on that asset class, so how can investors make mainstream bonds more sustainable? 

Claire Curtin, Head of ESG, Pension Protection Fund  

Claire Curtin joined the PPF investment team as Head of ESG in May 2018 to support the PPF’s ambitions to further develop and implement its Responsible Investment strategy. Claire is responsible for contributing to the management of long-term risks, and to the achievement of long-term sustainable investment returns, by aligning the PPF’s investment portfolio with the consideration of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors. Claire has over twenty years of experience within financial services and ESG research, during which she has built a deep technical understanding of ESG issues across a wide range of asset classes. She was awarded the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst certification in 2007 and the CFA UK Certificate in Climate and Investing in 2022.

Julien Halfon, Head of Pension and Corporate Solutions, BNP Paribas Asset Management

Julien is Head of Pension and Corporate Solutions at BNP Paribas AM having joined in April 2018 from Mercer where he spent 6 years as Principal. Prior to that Julien worked for Goldman Sachs, Aon, P-Solve and Lazard. With investment banking and consulting experience stretching over 26 years Julien has spent over 15 years advising institutional clients on structuring and implementing pensions and insurance solutions for national and cross-border clients.

Sindhu Krishna, Head of Sustainable Investments, Phoenix Group

Sindhu Krishna is the head of Sustainable Investments team at the Phoenix Group, and her team is responsible for integrating ESG considerations within the investment portfolios of the Group. She has been part of the Group for over nine years having held various investment team roles and prior to that, she worked within investment teams at Zurich Insurance Group. Sindhu is a CFA charter holder and also holds an MBA from Warwick Business School. 

Peter Mennie, Chief Sustainable Investment Officer, Public Markets, Manulife Investment Management

Peter Mennie, ASIP, is global head of ESG Integration and Research, and global head of Investment Risk & Quantitative Analytics for Manulife Investment Management. In these roles, Peter leads Manulife Investment Management’s team of dedicated ESG research and integration analysts to advance the firm’s ESG agenda. The team works with portfolio management teams on progressing ESG integration processes and conducting ESG engagement with investee companies; works with Manulife Investment Management’s sales and product teams on ESG strategy and marketing; and represents Manulife Investment Management on various industry groups and collaborative initiatives. Peter provides global risk leadership for all asset classes, and he ensures a consistent global approach to monitoring and managing investment risk and portfolio structure. 

Peter also serves as the chief operating officer of Manulife Investment Management (Europe) Limited. Peter has previously held numerous positions within Manulife Investment Management including serving as a senior portfolio manager. Prior to that, Peter held a number of fund management positions focusing on various regional markets at Manulife Investment Management. Peter is a member of the CFA Society of the UK and of the CFA Institute, and he holds the ASIP designation, a recognized qualification of the CFA Institute.

Biodiversity: Nature’s dividend: After climate, biodiversity is becoming the big environmental issue. How are investors working with their portfolio companies to ensure that they are protecting food and water systems? How are sustainable land practices helping communities to thrive and, therefore, adding value to businesses? 

Niamh Boyle, Associate Consultant and Biodiversity Specialist, AON

Niamh is an associate investment consultant and a member of Aon’s Responsible Investment team. She supports clients, ranging in size from £100m to over £2bn of assets, on refocusing their portfolios to achieve their responsible investment goals, TCFD reporting, setting and implementing net-zero targets, and engaging with underlying managers on their stewardship activities.

Niamh also works closely with Aon’s partners, including the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, to support research and thought leadership on biodiversity. Prior to working at Aon, Niamh worked as a research analyst at a commodity price reporting agency, focusing on renewable fuel markets. She graduated from CASS Business School in London with aN MSc in Actuarial Science and is now studying towards becoming a qualified actuary.

Mark Hill, DD Climate & Sustainability, Business Lead, Regulatory Policy, Analysis and Advice Directorate, The Pensions Regulator

Mark is the Climate and Sustainability Lead within The Pensions Regulator (TPR), responsible for developing the regulatory response to climate change and sustainability disclosure requirements and delivering TPR’s Climate Change Strategy.  He brings some 30 years of experience working predominantly in the public sector.   

Prior to joining TPR, Mark worked for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) within the Defence Infrastructure Organisation where he led on climate change and sustainability.  During his time with MoD, Mark contributed to the Defence Climate Change and Sustainability Review which ultimately led to the publication of the Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach in 2021. In tandem he developed a Defence Energy and Emissions Strategy and was involved in work to mobilise third party capital to invest in renewables across the Defence estate, before attending COP 26 as part of the Cabinet Office’s COP 26 Unit.  Just before leaving the MoD to join TPR, he was busy supporting cross sector work to integrate climate risks into sustainable land management and specifically brownfield land development. 

Marion Maloney, Head of Responsible Investment & Governance in the Environment Agency Pension Fund 

Marion has a long background in public policy issues at regional, national and European level.  This included a number of years working for the Environment Agency in England as a senior adviser on the environmental regulation of renewable technologies and the oil and gas industry. 

Marion became Head of Responsible Investment & Governance in the Environment Agency Pension Fund in 2018, following a period as trustee to the Fund.  She is also a Board member of the Transition Finance Initiative Ltd and a co-lead on physical risk issues for the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change. 

Hannah Skeates, Co-Head, Sustainable Investing, Allspring Global Investments

Hannah Skeates is co-head of Sustainable Investing at Allspring Global Investments. She is jointly responsible for creating and executing on a holistic vision for sustainable investing within the organization.

Hannah joined Allspring from its predecessor firm, Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM). As part of Wells Fargo, Hannah was also involved in influencing the objectives and approach across the wider firm including the Wealth & Investment Management division, and supporting the Wells Fargo EMEA ExCo on sustainable finance strategy. Previously, she was head of global ESG strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, and was iShares’ global head of sustainable investments at BlackRock (where she originated the Sustainable iShares exchange-traded fund business). Earlier, Hannah helped launch the first iShares at Barclays Global Investors, and later became head of product strategy, and head of business strategy for iShares in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She also served as a senior associate at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), and was involved in the concept development for CISL’s Center for Sustainable Finance as well as the design and setup of its investment sector business platform, the Investment Leaders Group. Hannah earned a master’s degree with honors in archaeology from the University of Edinburgh, and began her career as a portfolio manager.


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