UK-based investment company abrdn announced today the launch of a new sustainable investing-focused Sustainability Group, along with a series of senior appointments, including Amanda Young to lead the group as Chief Sustainability Officer, and the expansion of its sustainable investment product offerings.

According to abrdn, the new team will support the firm’s sustainable investing value chain, providing subject matter expertise, generating insights, setting frameworks and standards, and ensuring active ownership. The group will also support product design and commerciality as well as client reporting and outcomes.

Devan Kaloo, Global Head of Public Markets, abrdn, said:

“At abrdn we integrate ESG considerations into every stage of our investment process, working closely with our companies, clients and regulators to help shape the world around us. Client demand for Sustainable Investment products is evolving rapidly and the EU SFDR classification that came into force last year helps the industry deliver greater transparency to investors, enabling them to make better informed investment decisions on where to allocate their capital and help drive positive change for people and our planet.”

Young joined abrdn in 2013, and has been serving most recently as Global Head of Responsible Investment. In her new role, she will lead the new Sustainability Group, and sit on abrdn’s Investment Vector Executive, leading the vector’s sustainability strategy. She will report to Chris Demetriou, abrdn’s CEO for UK, EMEA & Americas, and Rene Buehlmann, CEO for Asia Pacific.

Additional appointments to the group include Danielle Welsh-Rose as Head of Sustainability APAC and Head of Sustainability Specialists, Mike Everett as Head of Active Ownership, Eva Cairns as Head of Sustainability Insights and Climate Strategy, and Dan Grandage as Head of Sustainable Investing.

In addition to the new appointments, abrdn announced that the conversion of 24 SICAV funds, including 18 equity and 6 fixed income funds, to Article 8 under SFDR regulations, more than doubling the firm’s responsible investing-related SICAV AUM to approximately €16 billion, with several more conversions expected this year.

Young said:

“As client expectations continue to focus increasingly on material ESG matters, we must continue to evolve as an active asset manager to provide solutions which meet these expectations. As part of our on-going commitment to achieve this, and to invest sustainably, we have created the Sustainability Group which is a central component to our investment process.

“The Sustainability Group will continue to coordinate and set the abrdn house view and standards on sustainability matters including climate change, corporate governance, voting and active ownership to support the investment teams in delivering a coherent ESG integration and engagement strategy. More broadly, our strong leadership team will help drive abrdn’s Sustainable Investment approach forward, working to influence external bodies on governance, sustainability, engagement and regulatory matters.”