With thanks to Miriam Heale, Allen & York - www.allen-york.com


CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, has appointed Imoni Akpofure as regional director for Africa. Based in Lagos, Akpofure will primarily focus on working with CDC’s investment teams in London to ensure that CDC’s capital is being invested to support growing companies in Anglophone and Francophone West Africa (a region where CDC currently has 208 investments) as well as Portuguese speaking Africa.

Akpofure is an experienced finance and sustainability professional with 25 years’ experience in developed and developing markets, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. She joins CDC after a long career at the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where her most recent role was as director, Western Europe.

Diana Noble, CDC’s chief executive, said: “Imoni understands the challenges that companies operating in Africa face when trying to grow and develop, and the local insight and networks she brings will be invaluable as we increase our investment activity.”
Akpofure becomes CDC’s second, locally based regional director and will be working alongside Suleiman Kiggundu to ensure that CDC’s capital is deployed to meet the needs of businesses across the continent.


International consultancy Mercer has appointed Alex Bernhardt as a senior responsible investment consultant to lead its responsible investment team in the US market.

Bernhardt started out as a risk analyst at reinsurance firm Guy Carpenter, where he helped develop GC Micro Risk Solutions, a unit focused on the development of micro reinsurance products and services to protect low-income communities in frontier markets against adverse loss events. “GC Micro’s clients included development banks, insurers and microfinance institutions in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia with a particular interest in developing resilience among vulnerable populations to climate risks in the face of climate change,” he says.

Explaining what drew him to this sector, he says: “Institutional investors are at the forefront in the financial services sector of addressing systemic issues such as climate change. Collectively, with their tremendous capital base, institutional investors are both exposed to global ESG risks, and well-positioned to influence positive environmental and social change – within the context of their fiduciary mandates, of course.”

In his new role, Bernhardt will be advising institutional investors on how to measure and address ESG risks. “I am passionate about this subject and am excited about translating my quantitative, risk-based skill-set to help our clients develop the best long-term investing strategies they can.”


Emma Howard Boyd will be joining responsible investment NGO ShareAction as the organisation’s new Chair. Formerly director of stewardship at Jupiter Asset Management, she currently serves on numerous boards and advisory committees, including the UK’s Environment Agency.


Dutch asset manager Actiam has appointed Dennis van der Putten as head of ESG. He was formerly with pensions insurer Zwitserleven.

Global steel firm Aperam has hired Bert Lyssens as head of sustainability, human resources and communications. Lyssens was most recently group vice-president at Agfa.

Abby Crisostomo is now sustainability adviser at London-based sustainable construction and regeneration specialists KLH Sustainability. She has relocated from the US, where she worked as an independent policy and strategy adviser and urban planner, based in Chicago.


Jim Malone is the new head of recycling at packaging and recycling firm DS Smith. He replaces Peter McGuinness, who becomes director of sustainability across the whole of the DS Smith Group. Malone was previously European sales and purchasing director, recycling, and has worked at the company for 20 years.


The Co-operative Group has hired Ian Ellis as group chief financial officer. Ellis joins from retailer Wilko, where he was chief financial officer. Before that he was head of finance at Morrisons.


Vicki Benjamin is the new chief financial officer at US-based socially responsible funds firm Calvert Investments. Benjamin has more than 20 years’ experience across public and private companies in the financial services and fund management industries, most recently serving as senior partner and director at KPMG, Boston.

Ismail El Gizouli, vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has become acting IPCC chair. This follows the recent decision by Rajendra K Pachauri to step down as chairman of the IPCC.


Dave Wilkinson is the new director of the US government’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. In this role, he will lead White House efforts to identify and scale more effective social solutions, advancing presidential priorities that strengthen communities and enable economic mobility. Wilkinson previously served the White House as senior policy advisor for social finance and innovation.

The executive board of the Clean Development Mechanism has appointed Lambert Schneider of Germany and Eduardo Calvo of Peru as chair and vice-chair, respectively. Schneider is engaged in research and consultancy on carbon markets, climate policy and energy policy. Calvo is an associated professor at San Marcos University in Lima, Peru, and an adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Peru.

Leanne Laughton is now sustainability manager at support services company Carillion. Leanne was previously environmental manager at construction company John Sisk & Son.

Charity Bank, a social purpose bank that uses savings to make loans to charities and social enterprises, has appointed Robin Budenberg and Kate Sayer to its board. Budenberg was the former chairman of UK Financial Investments, the Treasury unit that manages taxpayer shareholdings of financial institutions bailed out during the credit crunch. Sayer is a chartered accountant and a visiting lecturer at Cass Business School, teaching courses in charity finance.

Insurance firm AIG has appointed Jessie Francois as profit centre manager environmental, UK. Before joining AIG in 2010, she was a senior environmental consultant at URS.

Ashima Sukhdev is now project manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. She previously worked as a consultant with Deloitte.

Karolin Troubetzkoy is the new chairman of the Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism. Troubetzkoy is executive director of the Jade Mountain and Anse Chastanet resorts in Soufrière, St Lucia.

CSR Jobs  people on the move 

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