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Aegon Hires New Global Head of ESG

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Stockholm (NordSIP) – Aegon Asset Management announced the appointment of Brunno Maradei as Global Head of ESG based in The Hague. In his new role, Maradei reports to Roelie van Wijk-Russchen, Global Head of Responsible Business & Public Affairs. In parallel to hiring Maradei, Aegon also announced the appointment of Julius Huttunen as Responsible Investment Manager.

“Brunno and Julius bring invaluable knowledge and international experience to the team as we continue to strengthen our responsible investment credentials. With a team of 14 people across Aegon Asset Management’s global businesses, including Kames Capital and TKP Investments, we believe AAM has the expertise to continue to lead the way on ESG issues, ensuring our clients’ responsible investing criteria are met and their sustainable goals can be supported,” commented van Wijk-Russchen.

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As Global Head of ESG, Maradei will manage AAM’s team responsible for all engagement activities, voting and active ownership, ESG integration and reporting support and advice as well as development and maintenance of AAM’s responsible investment policies globally. His particular focus will be on delivering best in class practises and processes to ensure AAM’s leadership position in the Responsible Investment industry.

“Nordic markets are frontrunners on ESG investing and integration,” says Maradei. “I started out in this space working with Nordic clients at EIRIS almost 15 years ago. This is deeply embedded in the DNA of the Nordic industry. I think second best in Europe would be the Dutch market, not far behind the Nordics.”

“Aegon sees both societal, political and market expectations on ESG, transparency and impact quickly evolving. Aegon has been driving and following up on of these changes within its approach to ESG integration as well as its product suite,” comments the new Global Head of ESG. “To ensure Aegon includes ESG in its investments decisions both the technical and cultural parts of ESG integration are being addressed by continuously training key staff member and discussing what it means to integrate ESG factors. The dedicated ESG Next program, which has been running for some years now, ensures just that. At the same time, Aegon has stepped up on its engagement activities, focusing its attention on a limited number of topics, climate change currently being the most relevant. They have done so alone and by collaborating closely with other investors. In addition, Aegon has stepped up its impact investments, a topic with which I’m well experienced and deeply care about.”

Maradei joins Aegon AM  from the European Investment Bank (EIB) where he was a Senior Investment Officer leading execution teams for climate-friendly project finance impact investments in Africa. Previously, he was a Blended Finance Operations Officer in the International Finance Corporation’s Climate Business Department in Washington DC,  arranging concessional financing for renewable energy projects in Africa and developing ESG investment products for emerging market investors. He has also previously worked as a senior manager at ESG research provider EIRIS (now part of Moody’s) and in the derivatives and risk management functions at JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley respectively.

“Responsible investment is entering a new phase,” Aegon’s new Global Head of ESG explains. “If the first was about exclusion and second about integration, the third will be about impact. To me driving this development forward for both product development as well as engagement on the different markets in which Aegon is active, will be the key challenge for the team in the long-term. The dynamic responsible investment space requires that Aegon further progresses on its learning curve.”

Maradei’s appointment is the latest step in the expansion of Aegon’s global Responsible Business team. The team serves as a company-wide resource for responsible business and investment practices, lending expertise to ESG integration initiatives. The team also contributes to the development of responsible investment products, engagement and research as well as to efforts to promote company-wide understanding of sustainable issues.

Photo © Aegon Asset Management

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