HSBC announced a series of sustainability and ESG-focused appointments, including Erin Leonard as Global Head of Sustainability and Stuart Kirk as Head of Responsible Investment. The firm also announced plans to continue expanding its Responsible Investment team with additional hires in areas including stewardship, climate change and data.

Leonard will lead HSBC AM’s newly established Sustainability office, which will be responsible for the delivery of the company’s sustainability strategy and the business-wide transition to sustainable investing, as well as HSBC AM’s people-focused initiatives, including Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Leonard has been with HSBC for over ten years, most recently serving as Interim Global Head of Institutional Business. Prior to joining HSBC, she held senior roles at investing and financial services firms including Neuberger Berman, Lehman Brothers, and AEGON asset management. She will report directly to CEO Nicolas Moreau as a member of his Management Committee.

Moreau said:

“The creation of our Sustainability Office reflects the strategic importance of sustainability to our business and will enable us to be at the leading edge of this change. I’m confident that under Erin’s leadership, we’ll be able to take our sustainability proposition to the next level, and open up a world of sustainable investment opportunities.”

In his new role, Kirk will lead HSBC AM’s Responsible Investment team, responsible for the integration of ESG risks and opportunities across asset classes, as well as the firm’s voting policy and engagement initiatives. The team will develop new ESG, climate change and thematic products and solutions, and deliver thematic research contributing to industry best practices and supporting thought leadership.

Kirk has been serving as Global Head of Research & Insights since joining HSBC AM in 2020. Before joining HSBC, he held senior roles at companies including Deutsche Bank, Financial Times, Oliver Wyman, and DWS.

Xavier Baraton, Global CIO, HSBC Asset Management, said:

“Responsible investing underpins all of our investment decisions and I’m delighted to be appointing Stuart to lead our efforts in this important area. Stuart’s experience in managing research teams and on ESG and climate related issues make him ideally placed to lead our Responsible Investment team, continue to raise our standards and champion collaboration and innovation across our investment platform.”

Moreau added:

“Sustainable investing has become one of the driving forces in our industry. The challenges of delivering on the Paris Agreement and meeting the diverse and fast-changing needs of our clients are immense, but they also offer enormous opportunities for growth.”