Putnam with new Head of Sustainable Investing

Putnam Investments  announced that Katherine Collins has joined the firm as Head of Sustainable Investing. In this role, Collins will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment approach, which is expected to include managing focused strategies for institutional and retail mutual fund clients and driving overall thought leadership on a topic of increasing interest to the marketplace. She will report directly to Aaron Cooper, Putnam’s Chief Investment Officer, Equities.

Collins joins Putnam at a time when the company is further expanding its sustainable investing capabilities to collaborate with and provide valuable insight to the firm’s fundamental research team, assist in the development and management of new investment strategies, inform clients of current and emerging trends and analysis, and spearhead the firm’s overall work on an array of global investment initiatives and goals in this area. Previously, Collins was CEO of Honeybee Capital, a research firm focused on ESG investment issues.

Putnam’s efforts moving forward in the ESG arena will be driven by a new sustainable investing team, led by Collins, and which will also include Stephanie Henderson, a fundamental analyst who has joined the firm from Fidelity Investments, and Alexander Rickson, a Putnam veteran who will be providing quantitative analysis.

“Investing through the lens of environmental, social, and governance is redefining what asset management can accomplish. It is a concept that is becoming increasingly synonymous with good long-term investing and is serving to help identify opportunities,” said Robert L. Reynolds, Putnam’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Katherine’s proven leadership and expertise will ensure we continue to move to the forefront of this rapidly growing field.”

In discussing Collins’ appointment, Cooper added, “Katherine has become one of the deans of ESG investment thinking, with a nearly three-decade history of bringing intellectual curiosity, innovation and true passion to her acclaimed work in this space. We expect our clients will benefit from Putnam’s insights on an array of important sustainable investing components, such as climate impact, diversity, and stakeholder alignment, as well as from thoughtful investment strategies that can be deployed in this area in the future.”

Prior to joining Putnam, Collins was the founding chief executive officer of Honeybee Capital, a research firm focused on ESG investment issues, with particular emphasis on application of biomimicry and complex adaptive systems to investing. She is the author of The Nature of Investing, which established a framework for realigning investment practice with natural systems science and principles of resilience and regeneration.

Earlier, Collins worked for Fidelity Management and Research Company from 1990-2008. Her roles included serving as Portfolio Manager for the Fidelity America Funds, where she launched a pilot investment fund with a sustainable and socially responsible mandate, as well as having been Director of Equity Research and portfolio manager for the Fidelity MidCap Funds.

Long active in community circles, Collins is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute and Board Chair at Last Mile Health. She holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a B.A. degree with honors in Economics and Japanese Studies from Wellesley College. She also completed an intensive course of study with the Biomimicry 3.8 organization and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation