CCLA Investment Management, the UK's largest charity investment manager, has announced the hire of Jasper Berens as their head of client relationships and distributions.
Berens (pictured), a senior figure in the fund management industry, will lead CCLA's efforts to expand its ESG funds beyond its not-for-profit base through the intermediary market, as well as leading its client relationship team.
Berens previously worked as director for management consultancy Stratevolve. Prior to that, he worked as head of distribution for Artemis Investment Management and held various positions at JP Morgan Asset Management.
CCLA said that the demand for ESGs and requests from the company's clients to invest personal funds with CCLA, has led the company to plan a move towards a wider range of funds. The company says that its ESG equity and multi-asset funds have outperformed against the funds' respective comparator benchmark over five years, but notes they are only available to non-profit clients.
Peter Hugh Smith, chief executive of CCLA, said: "We are delighted to have Jasper Berens join our ranks to lead our push into the intermediary market while ensuring that all of our clients continue to receive the highest levels of service to which they are accustomed."
Berens said: "Having left the fund management industry, I am thrilled to return to join CCLA. There are not many managers that have achieved such consistent outperformance in their equity and multi-asset funds and that have been focused 100% on responsible investment for as long and as authentically as CCLA."
He added that CCLA was one of "the very few" companies he would have considered returning to.
In a tweet, Berens further said: "There is rightly increasing scrutiny around the authenticity, heritage and durability of asset managers' ESG offerings, and CCLA has been investing responsibly for five decades. It's heritage in serving non-for-profit clients has shaped its responsible investing approach and forged alignment around community-orientated values. I doubt anyone has been doing this longer or can match their generally good and consistent performance over the long term.
"It is obvious that the world needs to move towards sustainability in a big way and investors as asset owners play a significant role in that.
"Being active owners and engaging around issues of concern with investee companies, whether that's diversity of the board, treatment of the labour force or pushing a company to set ambitious climate goals, #CCLA lives its ‘Good Investment' values and those of its investors. I have joined the perfect company."