Franklin Templeton appoints global head of sustainability

Elliot Gulliver-Needham
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Anne Simpson of Franklin Templeton
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Anne Simpson of Franklin Templeton

Franklin Templeton has appointed academic Anne Simpson in the newly created role of global head of sustainability.

In her new position, Simpson will be charged with driving Franklin Templeton's overall strategic direction on stewardship, sustainability and ESG investment strategy globally.

Simpson (pictured) joins the firm from the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), where she served as managing investment director for board governance and sustainability.

She is also an advisory council member for the Official Monetary Financial Institutions Forum, a board member at Ceres and serves on the Leadership Council for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, as well as teaching at both Oxford University and Berkeley Haas Business School

Prior to CalPERS, she worked for various organisations, such as the Yale School of Management, the World Bank and the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. She was also named by Time Magazine as one of the 15 women leading the global fight on climate change in 2019.

She will report to president and CEO Jenny Johnson and join the firm on 22 February 2022, based in California.

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"A hire of this prominence demonstrates our commitment to being a global leader in stewardship and sustainability, which acknowledges that our choices as responsible investors have a profound effect on the world and its future," said Johnson.

"We are confident that Anne's expertise and leadership will take our firm-wide efforts on sustainable investing to the next level. While the strength of our organization lies with the breadth and autonomy of our specialist investment managers, we also recognize that an organization of our scale can have a major impact by working collectively on sustainability issues."

Simpson added: "2021 was a year in which the asset management industry reckoned with sustainability challenges and the opportunities these bring across global markets.

"There is new momentum in finance, driven by policymakers in leading European markets, net zero commitments from COP 26 and broad recognition of investors' role in driving progress on sustainable investing, including important areas like diversity, equity and inclusion, to foster shared prosperity."