Biggest challenge for active ESG investors

Current Head of Investment at Hermes Investment Management

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The biggest challenge for asset managers engaging corporates in ESG

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Executive Bio

Eoin Murray

Current Head of Investment at Hermes Investment Management

Eoin is Head of Investment and a member of Hermes’ Executive Committee. Eoin also leads the Investment Office, which is responsible to clients for the investment teams’ consistent delivery of responsible, risk-adjusted performance and adherence to the ESG processes at Hermes. Eoin joined Hermes in January 2015 with over 20 years’ investment experience. Eoin joined from GSA Capital Partners, where he was a fund manager. Before this, he was Chief Investment Officer at Old Mutual from 2004 to 2008 and also held senior positions at Callanish Capital Partners LLP and Northern Trust Global Investments. He began his career as a graduate trainee at Manufacturers Hanover Trust (now JPMorgan Chase) and subsequently performed senior portfolio manager roles at Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors (now BlackRock), PanAgora Asset Management and First Quadrant.Read more

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Interview Transcript

What is the biggest challenge you face, in organising a team that has responsibility at its heart?

I think one of the big challenges that you have, when you’re building a truly responsible investment firm, is to get the culture correct and to make sure that you have an appropriate alignment with incentives. We spend a lot of time on a couple of areas.

One, in terms of putting in place a really powerful support network for portfolio managers. I introduced a behavioural psychologist to work with them, a couple of years ago, who focuses with them, on their investment decision making, on their behavioural biases and their resilience, because things don’t always go according to plan.

The second part is to make sure that you have aligned your incentive structures appropriately. When it comes to compensation at year end, 50% of what I will look at is technical and there, I’m typically looking at three to five-year returns. The other 50% is entirely down to behaviour. How have you been as a colleague, as an ambassador for the company with our clients? That huge component devoted to behavioural issues, is a significant determinant in defining what kind of culture we have at the firm.

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Biggest challenge for active ESG investors(November 29, 2019)

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