Wells Fargo Asset Management CEO Nico Marais has announced that he will "personally sponsor" the firm's ESG capabilities and sustainable investing initiative, alongside a new sustainable investing taskforce.
Reporting directly to Marais, Chris McKnett and Hannah Skeates are to become co-heads of sustainable investing, effective immediately, responsible for the substantive integration of sustainability into the firm's culture and application of new data and concepts across all asset classes.
In a letter to Wells Fargo staff, Maris wrote: "Wells Fargo Asset Management (WFAM) has made significant progress in embedding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations within many aspects of our business. In the past year, we launched the Municipal Sustainability Fund, developed our own ESG risk-scoring framework, and created valuable thought leadership on the investment implications of climate change."
To further accelerate and scale our work in this area, I have decided to personally sponsor our ESG capabilities and sustainable investing initiatives."
He added: "To further accelerate and scale our work in this area, I have decided to personally sponsor our ESG capabilities and sustainable investing initiatives. I am pleased to announce that Chris McKnett and Hannah Skeates will become co-heads of Sustainable Investing and will report to me, effective immediately. Together they will evaluate any organizational needs for their team and work across the firm to further propel this broad-based effort."
Marais listed five key ESG-focused business objectives which he said will be the company's focus over the coming year:
- Furthering the integration of ESG and climate elements into ongoing investment processes and technologies
- Developing new products across asset classes and investment styles
- Enhancing the client experience through upgraded communication and reporting
- Driving business development, client engagement, and brand recognition
- Partnering and leading in the future development of sustainable finance — within WFAM, Wealth & Investment Management, and Wells Fargo — and across the industry