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OMGI appoints new responsible investment head

Old Mutual Global Investors has appointed Freddie Woolfe head of responsible investment and stewardship, reporting into chief executive Richard Buxton.

Woolfe joins from Newton Investment Management, where he was a responsible investment analyst primarily covering the healthcare and technology, media and telecommunications sectors.

Previously he held roles at Hermes Equity Ownership Services and HSBC.

Woolfe will be responsible for overseeing a global voting programme for OMGI and working with fund managers over ESG issues.

He replaces Paul Emerton, who departed in March.

Buxton says the appointment will help OMGI enhance its investment processes through stewardship activities, building on the foundations laid by Emerton.

“With a focus on long-term, sustainable investments, it has long been important for the firms in which we invest to have transparent and robust corporate governance practices in place.

“Rightly, our clients also demand strong oversight of companies’ policies towards environmental and social issues, including diversity.”

Woolfe joined OMGI on Monday.

He says he looks forward to developing the business’s responsible investment strategy and improving outcomes for investors.

Asset management consultancy MJ Hudson has said that ESG will play an increasingly important role in the industry in 2018, becoming central to investment decision-making and leading to more board-level appointments.

The UK is the worst country compared to its European peers when it comes to the environmental performance of its funds, according to analysis released by ISS and CDP this week.

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