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CalPERS Names Peter Cashion New Head of Sustainability Program

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CalPERS Names Peter Cashion New Head of Sustainability Program

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CalPERS has appointed Peter Cashion as managing investment director for Sustainable Investments.

Cashion’s role will be to set the vision, strategy, and governance for CalPERS’ sustainability work and be responsible for leading all aspects of the fund’s efforts to develop and implement an economics-based ESG research and data framework to support environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration into the investment decision-making process.

“CalPERS has been a pioneer in its advocacy of climate solutions and sustainable investing, and our focus on that work has only intensified over the years,” said CalPERS Chief Investment Officer (CIO) Nicole Musicco. “That makes this a critical position to us. Peter’s long record of impact investing across global markets elevated him in our search and makes him a great fit with the fund’s mission. His experience as a hands-on investor in multiple asset classes, standing up complex sustainable investing strategies and leading diverse global teams, makes him the right person to take the reins of CalPERS’ sustainability efforts.”

Cashion has nearly three decades of investment experience and joins CalPERS from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), where he currently serves as global head of climate finance & chief investment officer in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG). In this capacity, he led the delivery of $3.7 billion in annual climate investment in financial institutions, which represented 34% of FIG’s investment volume, and established a global strategy to accelerate a just transition to a green economy by leveraging the financial sector, mobilizing institutional investors, and developing the infrastructure to move markets to Paris Agreement alignment.

See related article: CalPERS investor Karsh leaves to help launch ESG focused venture firm

He previously served in other senior roles at IFC spanning back to 1995, including global equity head, principal investment officer, and principal financial officer.

“I am incredibly excited to join the CalPERS team and leverage my decades long ESG investing experience to further deepen sustainability integration throughout the CalPERS portfolio. CalPERS offers an unparalleled platform to capitalize on the ESG investment opportunity and they are a recognized global leader in corporate engagement, advocacy, and stewardship. I look forward to working with the team to position the portfolio for the transition to a low carbon economy, develop new investment strategies to tap into this opportunity, and advance on the Net Zero implementation plan – all as an integral part of meeting the fiduciary duty to plan beneficiaries”, said Cashion.

The CalPERS Sustainable Investing program works closely with each asset class to manage investment risks, and uncover investment opportunities through the sustainable investment lens, while ensuring that ESG factors are integrated into investment strategies, analyses, and decisions. These efforts are designed to enhance the long-term sustainability and resiliency of the Total Fund.

Cashion earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Administrative and Commercial Studies from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from Queen’s University in Canada. He’s also a Chartered Financial Analyst.

He will begin at CalPERS in March and will report to CIO Musicco.

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