State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) appointed Rakhi Kumar as head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Asset Stewardship, reporting to Lynn Blake, chief investment officer for SSGA’s Global Equity Beta Solutions. In this expanded role, Kumar and her team will grow their ability to provide socially responsible investment strategies and steward our clients’ assets globally.
“This expanded team will enable us to capitalize on the success of our asset stewardship program and position us for continued growth in ESG,” said Blake. “Kumar has developed a solid reputation as a thought leader and expert in the asset stewardship space, and this role will allow her to bring those insights of stewardship into the ESG investment and product development process.”
Rakhi Kumar now leads a growing team across SSGA’s ESG Investments and Asset Stewardship groups, including Chris McKnett, head of ESG Strategists. In this role, Chris will lead a team of ESG strategists responsible for developing product and driving thought leadership content.
Additionally, Matt DiGuiseppe has been appointed as head of the Americas and Robert Walker has been appointed head of EMEA for the Asset Stewardship group. Most recently, DiGuiseppe managed engagement and proxy voting activities at Nuveen (the asset management division of TIAA) and Walker managed their ESG research activities at HSBC Bank PLC. A search is underway for a head of Asset Stewardship for the Asia Pacific region.
“ESG concerns continue to play a larger role in asset management, not only as an investment tool, but also as a way to assess and engage the companies our clients invest in through index strategies,” said Kumar. “As we broaden our engagement efforts with the companies we invest in, our team will play a key role in our asset stewardship agenda as the number issues we engage companies on continue to grow.”