Downing LLP has appointed Roger Lewis to the newly created role of head of ESG.
Lewis joins from investment management firm River and Mercantile where he was group head of ESG and responsible for implementing and overseeing ESG philosophy and principles across its divisions.
He previously worked at Aviva Investors, where he was responsible for aligning ESG strategy with investment functions across its £47.3bn real assets platform.
In his role at Downing, Lewis will report to chief operating officer James Weaver, who said: ‘Having worked and communicated with investors across a range of asset classes as well as a deep understanding of ESG issues, Roger will play a key part in developing exciting ESG opportunities for our investors.
‘As a business we are committed to placing ESG factors at the heart of everything we do and he will play a key role driving that agenda across our funds, investment trusts and tax-efficient products within our principal business areas of renewable energy, infrastructure, property, and healthcare.’
Lewis added: ‘Having witnessed ESG go from chief investment officers describing it as “something we are not doing” in 2017, to being a game changer in asset management led by climate change, the number of ESG stakeholder expectations, roles, funds, tools, reports and associations continues to rapidly expand.
‘Capitalising on this opportunity, while avoiding the risk, requires many approaches. This is a critical time for ESG, transitioning from nascent to well established to various possible scenarios of future outcomes.’