2019 Speakers

Alex Bernhardt

Principal, US Head of Responsible Investment

Alex Bernhardt, Principal and Head of Responsible Investment (RI) for Mercer in the US, is a noted expert in catastrophe, weather and financial risk management with a track record of leading large, complex and innovative multinational projects. In his role as US RI leader Alex works with institutional investors of all types and sizes to address a variety of evolving sustainability challenges in their portfolios with a focus on climate change.

This work includes the facilitation of strategic governance exercises with investor boards focused on supporting ESG integration into investment policies, processes and portfolios. He is also responsible for driving innovation in environmental and social investment risk and opportunity assessment and (co)leads a variety of strategic research projects with internal and external stakeholders.

Andrew Steel

Managing Director, Global Head of Sustainable Finance

Andrew has over 30 years of experience as a global risk and finance specialist and was recently appointed to lead a new cross sector global team to develop and expand Fitch’s analysis of ESG and sustainable finance. Andrew is responsible for developing Fitch’s sustainable finance strategy, both within the ratings business and across the broader Fitch group, by determining investor and banker needs, and driving the development of new teams to provide products and services for this rapidly growing area. Initially the sustainable finance team is based in London, New York and Beijing, but will expand in size, scope and location dependent on identified constituent needs.
Andrew has held several senior management roles within Fitch over the last 14 years. In Europe from 2004 to 2010 he ran the energy, utilities, project finance and regulated transportation analytical groups. From 2010 to 2017 he was based in Singapore and led the development of Fitch’s Asia Pacific Corporate Ratings Group. Then on his return to Europe in 2017 he was regional head of Fitch’s EMEA Corporate Ratings Group, and also successfully ran a global executive project to transform and improve Fitch’s overseas office network.
From 2000 to 2004, Andrew was head of ABN Amro’s structured industry finance, power and utilities group for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. He also previously worked for Edison Capital Europe as a private equity investment director in infrastructure, for the energy company PowerGen plc (now EON) as a senior project finance manager, and in the banking sector as a mezzanine, leveraged buy-out and cross-border M&A lender and advisor.
From 2006-2010 Andrew actively assisted the United Nation’s Economic Council for Europe advising on energy and risk issues, and was a member of the UNECE Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Sustainable Energy Developments. Andrew speaks regularly at conferences and forums on a wide range of risk based issues. He is currently a trustee of the Great Ormand Street Hospital based children’s charity CLEFT.
Andrew graduated with a BSc Hons in Psychology from Bristol University in 1989, and has a postgraduate diploma from INSEAD business school (CGEM 2016).

Anne Simpson

Director, Board of Governance & Strategy

Berit Lindholdt-Lauridsen


Berit Lindholdt-Lauridsen joined ICMA in January 2019 as director in the Secretariat of Green and Social Bond Principles. Since 2007, she has worked with sustainable finance, and the past four years, she has anchored IFC’s Green Bond Program.

Prior to joining IFC in 2007, she was Chief Investment Officer with Denmark’s Export Credit, responsible the agency’s environmental policy and reporting, including the integration of environmental and social value drivers into its risk analysis.

She has also worked as underwriter of political risks with MIGA (the World Bank Group), and external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School. She has a MSc in Economics.

Brian Rice

Portfolio Manager, Sustainable Investment & Stewardship Strategies

Mr. Rice is a Portfolio Manager in the CalSTRS Sustainable Investment & Stewardship Strategies unit and has been leading sustainability efforts at CalSTRS for over 15 years. He is responsible for CalSTRS sustainable manager portfolio, a $2.2 billion externally managed public equity strategy that employs fund managers incorporating ESG factors into their investment portfolio construction and management. Mr. Rice also manages CalSTRS $2.5 billion low carbon index.

Mr. Rice leads CalSTRS sustainability related corporate engagement efforts and is the staff lead for the CalSTRS Green Initiative Task Force, a multi asset class team charged with identifying, implementing and reporting on environmental investment opportunities and risk management strategies.

Mr. Rice serves on the advisory board of the Climate Bonds Initiative and the Strategic Investor Initiative, and on the advisory committee of the Ceres Water Hub. Mr. Rice received an MBA from the U.C. Davis Graduate School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Economics-Business from U.C.L.A.

Chris Phillips

Director, Institutional Relations and Public Affairs

Chris Phillips is Director of Institutional Relations and Public Affairs at the Washington
State Investment Board (WSIB). He oversees the WSIB’s client relations, corporate
governance, government and media relations, performance reporting and web/digital
communications. He joined the WSIB in 2015 and has more than 20 years of experience
in communications aspects of investments and financial services. Chris is a member the
WSIB’s Executive Management Team and advisor to its Investment Committee.
Prior to joining the WSIB, Chris worked for 13 years at Russell Investments in both
Tacoma and Seattle. He led the company’s public relations team, contributed to brand
development and later was named to head a global thought leadership program for
content marketing. During 2006-2012, he worked as Managing Director of Marketing at
Threshold Group, a start-up family wealth management office founded by George F.
Russell, Jr. He and wife owned Phillips Communications, a home-based marketing firm,
and early in his career he worked eight years as a newspaper editor and reporter at
community newspapers in Oregon and Washington.
Chris is past president of the Pierce County Library Foundation, past board member of the
Public Relations Society of America – Seattle, and recently served on advisory boards for
the Gig Harbor YMCA, The University of Washington School of Arts and Science, and the
Prison-Pet Partnership Program.
He has a master’s degree in journalism from University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree
in English from Hobart College. He earned Series 7 certification for investment securities
and Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America.

Dan Carol


Dan Carol is a director in the Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets, expanding our work with local governments and stakeholders to foster best practice implementation of the Opportunity Zones Initiative and accelerate community and regional innovation. Prior to joining the Milken Institute, Carol worked for Governors Jerry Brown and Gavin Newsom of California directing the state’s Opportunity Zones working group and serving on the Executive Committee of the US Climate Alliance, a bipartisan alliance of 24 states implementing the Paris agreement. Before that, Carol served the Obama Administration as a member of the US Department of Energy State Energy Advisory Board and led efforts to create the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange, a 2015 winner of the Harvard Ash Center award for government innovation. Outside of government, Carol co-founded two clean energy acceleration groups (The Apollo Alliance and the Clean Economy Network) and founded CTSG, a 70-person online civic engagement company and software company, sold in 2004. Carol has also served as a US Presidential Management Fellow, a senior campaign advisor to the Clinton-Gore 1992 and Obama-Biden 2008 campaigns, and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. Carol holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MRP from the University of North Carolina.

Dawn M. Martin

Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer

Dawn M. Martin serves as the Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer for Ceres. In this capacity, she oversees the leadership and management of Ceres’ campaigns and initiatives, innovation and evaluation department, as well as the Company, Investor, and Policy Networks. With 30 years of experience, Dawn has led numerous initiatives aimed at leveraging the market’s influence to support strong environmental, social, and human rights policies within both governments and boardrooms by promoting the economic and social value of corporate responsibility. Dawn received a J.D. with an emphasis in international human rights and humanitarian law from Loyola Law School.

Elisabeth Seep

Executive Director & Head of Fixed Income ESG Research

Elisabeth Seep is an Executive Director & Head of Fixed Income within MSCI ESG Research, based in New York.  Elisabeth joined MSCI in 2018 and leads fixed income product development within the ESG team.

Elisabeth previously held positions in investment banking and credit research since 2001.  In her last role at BNP Paribas, she trained fundamental credit analysts on ESG risks and opportunities, provided ESG thought-leadership, created the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility team within North America, and contributed to the growth of the green bond and social impact bond markets.

Emily Chew

Global Head of ESG Research & Integration

Based in Boston, Emily leads Manulife Investment Management’s team of dedicated ESG research and integration analysts to advance the firm’s ESG agenda. In her role, she oversees the team of ESG analysts that work with portfolio management teams on progressing ESG integration processes and conducting ESG engagement with investee companies; works with sales and product teams on ESG strategy and marketing; and represents Manulife on various industry groups and collaborative initiatives.

Before joining Manulife, Emily was Head of ESG Research for Asia-Pacific at MSCI Inc., where she led a team of nine ESG analysts across the region, commencing her role in Beijing and later continuing in Hong Kong. Her team had oversight into research quality and issue identification for approximately 1,200 stocks, and under her leadership produced original research on the relevance of ESG to Asian and emerging markets, with a particular emphasis on China. Prior to that, she was a capital markets lawyer with Baker & McKenzie in Melbourne, Australia, with a focus on funds management, capital raisings, and REITs.

Emily holds an MBA from the University of Oxford, and Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. She sits on the United Nations-sponsored Principles for Responsible Investment’s Listed Equities Integration Subcommittee, and the Steering Committee for the Climate Action 100+ global collaborative investor engagement initiative. She previously served as chair of the Asian Investor Group on Climate Change’s Member Working Group from 2016 to 2018.

Eric A. Glass

Portfolio Manager - Fixed Income Impact Strategies

Eric Glass is a Portfolio Manager and a member of the Municipal Impact Investment Policy Group. He is also a member of AB’s firmwide Responsible Investment Committee. After joining the firm in 2000, Glass served as a research analyst and trader on the Municipal team. Before joining AB, he was on the municipal research team at Moody’s Investors Service. Prior to his career in capital markets, Glass spent several years working at and managing a transitional homeless shelter in Essex County, New Jersey. He holds a BS in business administration from the University of Richmond and an MA in public administration from Columbia University. Glass is a CFA charterholder. Location: New York.

Eric Usher


Eric Usher currently heads the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative, UNEP FI, a global partnership bringing together the UN with 230 banks, insurers and asset managers working to develop the sustainable finance and responsible investment agendas. Eric oversees governance, strategy and day-to-day management of UNEP FI’s work programme and global network development. Over the years UNEP FI has established some of the most important sustainability oriented frameworks within the finance industry, including the Principles for Responsible Investment (2006), the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (2012) and work now underway on the establishment of Principles for Responsible Banking. Since joining in 2015, Mr. Usher has focused on accelerating the deep integration of sustainability risks into financial practice, including addressing climate change, natural capital loss and human rights abuses, as well as building out the frameworks for positive impact finance needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Eric sits on several industry bodies including as UN representative on the Board of the Principles for Responsible Investment, as a member of the Evaluation Council of the French sovereign green bond, as Director for the impact fund REPP Africa and founder of the Seed Capital Assistance Facility.

Prior to leading UNEP FI, Mr. Usher has over twenty years of experience in the low carbon sectors, spanning technology commercialisation in Canada, solar rural electrification in Morocco and financial sector development across emerging markets. During 2011, Mr. Usher worked on the establishment of the Green Climate Fund and led efforts to create its Private Sector Facility. Eric has been an editor of the Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment report published annually with Bloomberg and was lead author for finance of the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources. Before joining the UN, Eric was General Manager of a solar rural electrification company based in Morocco.

Erik Gosule

Managing Director, Head of Strategic Marketing and Product Development for the Americas

Erik Gosule is Managing Director, Head of Strategic Marketing and Product Development
for the Americas. He is a member of the US Executive Committee and US Management

Erik is responsible for developing and managing an integrated marketing platform for Amundi
Pioneer’s investment solutions across all channels, including intermediary and institutional. He
also leads the firm’s ongoing marketing and product development efforts as well as guiding
strategy for key initiatives including Amundi Pioneer’s Responsible Investing/ESG programs.
Before joining Amundi Pioneer, Erik was Head of Client and Product Solutions at PanAgora
Asset Management, where he was responsible for overseeing strategic and tactical marketing
initiatives including product development, and for communicating PanAgora’s investment
capabilities through a variety of distribution channels around the world. Prior to joining
PanAgora, Erik worked at the D.E. Shaw Group, where he was a member of their Institutional
Asset Management team focused on systematic equity strategies. Prior to joining D. E. Shaw,
Erik held investment oriented roles at Putnam Investments and Fidelity Investments, where he
participated in several business development initiatives.

Erik has a B.S. from Western New England College and is a CFA® charterholder.

Fran Teplitz

Executive Co-director

Fran Teplitz serves as the Executive Co-Director of Green America, focusing on Green America’s programs in the areas of green business, socially and environmentally responsible investing, and public policy. Green America is a nonprofit membership based organization in Washington, DC that involves consumers, businesses and investors in economic strategies to advance positive social and environmental change. Fran’s work on impact investing includes community investing and banking, shareholder action, and fossil fuel divestment.

Gunther Thallinger

Board Member and Chairman of ESG Board

Hervé Duteil

Chief Sustainability Officer, Americas

Hervé P. Duteil created the position of Chief Sustainability Officer for BNP Paribas in the Americas in 2014.  In this role, he leads the Bank’s regional strategy for Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainable Finance, and Company Engagement, bringing in particular a strong focus on promoting client dialogue around sustainability topics and the development tailored financing solutions or responsible investment products.  In 2018, he was selected by Euromoney as one of the 10 “champions of global impact banking”.

Hervé has spent most of his career with BNP Paribas in New York.  He specialized in trading derivatives and managing capital market activities, spanning across commodity, currency, fixed income and electronic markets.  More recently, he led BNP Paribas’ efforts to close its first Social Impact Bond for the benefit of the State of Connecticut, followed by a second one with the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide quality employment to veterans suffering from service-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the states of New York and Massachusetts.

Hervé holds a Master in Business Administration with distinction from the Harvard Business School, a Master of Science from the University of Cambridge, a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Physics from the University of Paris, as well as various certificates from the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He is a member of the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance Advisory Board.

Kim Thomassin

Executive Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretariat

Kim Thomassin has been Executive Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Secretariat since January 30, 2017. She manages the Legal Affairs, Corporate Secretariat and Compliance and Responsible Investment teams. Her mandate specifically involves managing CDPQ’s legal and regulatory activities, including the implementation of legal and governance structures
for all investment transactions. Her team also plays a central role in supporting CDPQ in its globalization strategy. She is a member of the Executive Committee, in addition to being a member of the Boards of Ivanhoé Cambridge, the institution’s global real estate subsidiary, and Cirque du Soleil. She is one of four members of an expert panel on sustainable finance set up by the federal government to engage with Canadian business experts.

Before joining CDPQ, Ms. Thomassin was National Client Leader and Managing Partner for the Québec Region at McCarthy Tétrault. As a member of the Leadership Team, she contributed to the firm’s regional and national management while strengthening its national presence. In her 17 years at the firm, she held various important positions and specialized in project finance and acquisition transactions in the energy and infrastructure sectors. She has been involved in several transactions related to large-scale Canadian and international projects. She has also represented public institutions and developers in connection with public-private partnerships.

Ms. Thomassin received a B.C.L./LL. B. from Université Laval and a minor in psychology at McGill University. She also studied at the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Law. Ms. Thomassin is a member of the Québec Bar.

Ms. Thomassin sits on the Boards of Directors of Centraide of Greater Montréal and the Foundation of Greater Montréal. In 2016, she received the Quebec National Assembly Medal in recognition of her dedication to initiatives supporting women. Her leadership has received additional recognition, including the Christine Tourigny Award of Merit, the Lawyer Emeritus distinction from the Barreau du Québec and Lexpert’s Zenith Award recognizing her as a leading lawyer. In 2012, the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) recognized her as one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

Lauren Smart

Managing Director, Global Head of Financial Institutions Business

Lauren is Managing Director, Global Head of Financial Institutions Business at Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices. Trucost assesses and prices risks relating to climate change, natural resource constraints and broader ESG factors, enabling companies and financial institutions to understand exposure to ESG factors, inform resilience and identify the transformative solutions of tomorrow.

Lauren is an expert in sustainable finance and, over the last decade, has advised leading fund managers, pension funds, banks and DFIs globally on how to integrate climate change and natural capital analysis into their investment decision making.

Prior to joining Trucost, Lauren was a Senior Investment Associate in Global Equity Research at Putnam Investments specialising in Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals and Aerospace & Defence. She was also a consultant at DFID (UK Department for International Development), working on the Millennium Development Goals for Girls’ Education.

Lauren holds a BA (Hons) and MA from Cambridge University in Archaeology and Anthropology and an MSc in Anthropology and International Development from the London School of Economics. She is also a regular speaker and respected commentator on environmental finance issues.

Leon S. Calvert

Head of Sustainable Investing & Fund Ratings

Leon Saunders Calvert runs the Sustainable Investing and Fund Ratings business at Refinitiv. These services, primarily made up of our Lipper products and our Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) data, provide industry leading analytics to support investment management benchmarking and performance, with a view to overlaying sustainability metrics to support longer term investment allocation decision making.

Leon is a Board Observer at TAB, an aggregator of crowdfunding and other online financial marketplace data to service financial professionals in this emerging asset class, and an Advisory Board member of HighCastle, who use blockchain technology to support the issuance and distribution of securities. Leon also provides pro-bono consultative advice to charities through the Pilotlight business executive program and through UnLtd’s social entrepreneurs mentorship program.

He joined Thomson Reuters in 2007 and has held various roles, primarily in commercial management, as the Head of M&A and Capital Raising, EMEA Head of Banking & Research, and in content strategy, as the Global Head of the Deals, League Tables and Private Equity franchises. Before this he ran the research and data teams at Mergermarket, a provider of M&A intelligence to the advisory community, and he started his career as an M&A Analyst at an advisory boutique, Regent Partners. He has a Masters Degree in International Management and a BA Hons in Philosophy and Literature. He has had numerous articles published on film analysis through various film journals. Leon enjoys going to the gym, self defense classes, and running around after his two young children.

Mardi McBrien

Managing Director

Mardi McBrien joined the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) as Managing Director in 2011 following an eclectic career which has included roles such as President of an International Students Association, public-private partnership management, leading flagship environmental campaigns including for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (and the author Bill Bryson) and WWF-UK’s Earth Hour and carbon market policy for UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Mardi is a member of the GRI Stakeholder Council, a trustee of the International Tree Foundation and a founding board member of WOCAN — Women Organising for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management.

MaryKate Bullen

Director, Sustainability & Communications

MaryKate Bullen leads sustainability and communications for New Forests, a forestry investment manager focused on investing to create productive and sustainable landscapes with more than USD 3.5 billion in assets under management. MaryKate is responsible for strategic planning and implementation of responsible investment and impact initiatives, as well as oversight of the company’s Social and Environmental Management System. She also leads corporate communications and media relations across New Forests globally. MaryKate joined New Forests in 2008, originally in the company’s advisory services team and subsequently managed New Forests’ research program. She has worked in each of New Forests’ regional offices in Sydney, Singapore, and San Francisco. MaryKate has a B.A. in Anthropological Sciences (Honors) and a M.A. in Latin American Studies from Stanford University.

Stéphanie Lachance

Vice-President, Responsible Investment,

Stéphanie Lachance is Vice President, Responsible Investment, at the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments).

Stéphanie leads the Responsible Investment group which plays an advisory role to the organization, ensuring that environmental, social and governance factors are incorporated in the investment strategy and across all asset classes. She is a member of the Senior Management Group Committee of PSP Investments.

Prior to joining PSP Investments in 2006, Stéphanie was advising public issuers, stock exchanges and securities regulators on corporate governance and securities law matters.

Stéphanie holds a Law Degree (LLB) from the Université de Montréal and is a member of the Quebec Bar. She is a Board member and Vice Chair of the Governance Committee of the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance, and a member of the Investment Fund Review Committee of the Corporation de services du Barreau du Québec.

Tara Stacy

Head of Investment Stewardship

Ms. Stacy implements PERA’s total fund investment administration, including compliance and divestment mandates. She also co-leads PERA’s Investment Stewardship efforts. Her investment background includes Equity Trading and Institutional Portfolio Administration. Ms. Stacy is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society of Colorado, and is a Level II CFA Candidate. She is also a Level II candidate in the CAIA program. Ms. Stacy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado Denver.

Thomas DiNapoli

New York State Comptroller

Todd Arthur Bridges

Head of ESG Research

Todd Arthur Bridges, Ph.D., heads ESG Research and Strategy Development at State Street Global Advisors and is on the Global Equity Beta Solutions Team. The Global Equity Beta Solutions research team is responsible for research across index equities, smart beta, ESG, and climate. The team leads the thought-leadership efforts in these areas through white papers, academic articles, and new strategy R&D. Prior to joining State Street Global Advisors in 2017, Mr. Bridges was Head of Research at Ethic Investing. In that role, he helped build the financial technology startup, and was responsible for developing the sustainable investing research framework, integrating ESG data into portfolio management, and developing shareholder engagement strategies for the platform. Prior to joining this entrepreneurial venture, he was Managing Director of a cross-disciplinary research institute at Cornell University focused on the role of finance, technology, and governance in sustainable economic development.

Dr. Bridges holds MA and Ph.D. degrees from Brown University, and has completed research fellowships at the National Science Foundation, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Oxford University, and Harvard University. He has published research and presented findings to central banks, sovereign wealth funds, state pension funds, corporate pension funds, and endowments—throughout the North Americas, United Kingdom, EMEA, Russia, and APAC regions.


Valentijn van Nieuwenhuijzen

Chief Investment Officer

Valentijn is Chief  Investment Officer of NN Investment Partners and chairman of the Management Team Investments (MTI)

Valentijn has over 18 years of experience working in financial markets. Valentijn is also chair of NNIP’s Tactical Asset Allocation committee and the firm’s key spokesperson on the macro and market outlook. Therefore, he appears frequently at client events, seminars and in financial news media  like CNN, CNBC, RTLZ, NOS, BNR, Bloomberg and Reuters or journals like the FT, FD, IPE, and other newswires and social media channels.

Valerie Smith

Managing Director and Global Head of Corporate Sustainability

Val Smith is Managing Director and Global Head of Corporate Sustainability for Citi. She joined Citi in 2004 and oversees Citi’s global sustainability initiatives, including leading the bank’s Sustainable Progress Strategy and $100 Billion Environmental Finance Goal. Val also serves as an advisor and spokesperson on sustainability and stakeholder issues and trends.

Prior to joining Citi, Val spent a decade working in the environmental sector, including the National Audubon Society, Brainerd Foundation, and the Houston Advanced Research Center.  She began her career with the U.S. Peace Corps, where she served for two years in Honduras.  She serves on the boards of the United Nations Global Compact USA Network and the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and is a member of the Aspen Institute Leaders Forum. Val earned her MBA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her BA from the University of Virginia. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.


Vonda Brunsting

Program Manager, Initiative for Responsible Investment

Vonda is the Program Manager for The Just Transition Project. Before joining the IRI, she was the Director of the Capital Stewardship Program at Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which was created  to engage the capital markets and financial institutions in innovative ways. Prior to her time with SEIU, Vonda worked as a community organiser in Chicago, New York, and Boston with the Industrial Areas Foundation. In addition, she co-founded the Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security here at the IRI.  She earned her B.A. from Calvin College and A.M. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

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