Columbia Threadneedle Investments has made two appointments for its Responsible Investment team raising to 12 the number of investment professionals belonging to the unit.
Olivia Watson, who has been hired as senior analyst, will be in charge of responsible investment research and engagement on environmental, social and governance issues, as part of the company's stewardship activities in EMEA.
Watson joins Columbia Threadneedle from the Principles for Responsible Investment, where she was responsible for overseeing the development of collaborative investor initiatives and investor engagement on environmental and social issues. Prior to that, she worked in corporate sustainability consultancy and in corporate governance research.
Jess Williams (pictured), hired as portfolio analyst, will be responsible for research and analysis on client portfolios from a responsible investment point of view. She previously worked at S&P Global Ratings, where she developed sustainable finance products. She also worked on the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance at the Climate Policy Initiative in Venice.
Both Watson and Williams will report to Chris Anker, lead analyst for the EMEA region.
Columbia Threadneedle's responsible investment team supports portfolio manager through oversight of stewardship relating to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in their portfolios, as well as portfolio construction through the identification of investment opportunities aligned to eight thematic outcome areas.
Iain Richards, global head of Responsible Investment said: "Investors are increasingly seeking to capture the value of effective ESG integration and understand the wider consequences of their investment choices. 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."