Takapuna-based boutique, Pathfinder, has boosted its responsible investment credentials becoming the first NZ fund manager to hire an in-house environmental, social and governance (ESG) specialist.
ESG analyst, Rebecca Lindegger, joined Pathfinder last week along with operations and compliance manager, Bob McCutcheon, joining a team of four in the firm’s Auckland North Shore office.
John Berry, Pathfinder director, said the two recent hires would significantly increase the firm’s capabilities as it tapped into the burgeoning responsible investment market in NZ.
Last year Pathfinder rebranded under the ‘invest responsibly’ tagline while adding a new fund – the Global Responsibility Fund – to its existing product suite of four.
Berry said while Pathfinder already utilises ESG research from global firm Sustainalytics, the addition of Lindegger’s in-house expertise would add local depth to the investment process.
“Pathfinder is a New Zealand leader in responsible investing. Maintaining this requires a clear responsible investment process based on quality ESG analysis,” he said. “Rebecca will lead our in-house ESG capability and company engagement.
“In five years it won’t be unusual for New Zealand fund managers to have in-house ESG specialists – at the moment we are quite unique.”
Lindegger returned to her native NZ last year following a three-year stint in the UK advising European private equity investors and corporates on ESG risks.
She has experience studying carbon intensity, supply chain risks and specialised ESG due diligence.
Meanwhile, McCutcheon would focus on Pathfinder strategy and operations, Berry said.
“Bob will further deepen our compliance, communication and operational capabilities,” he said.
The pair join Berry, fellow director Paul Brownsey, analyst Karl Geal-Otter, and Angela Berry in the Pathfinder Takapuna base. Pathfinder is also supported by independent directors Sandy Maier and Catherine Savage along with investment committee member, Kent Fraser.
Pathfinder currently manages over $130 million including an almost $50 million global equities responsibile investment mandate for Ngāi Tahu. Last year the manager launched a retail version of that product on start-up fund platform, Sharesies.