PGIM continues commitment to ESG with newly created global head of ESG role
PGIM, the $1.5 trillion global investment management business of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), continues and deepens its focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing with the appointment of Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson to the newly created role of global head of ESG, February 1 2022. Based in London and reporting to PGIM’s chief operating officer, Taimur Hyat, Unanyants-Jackson will be responsible for shaping and coordinating ESG strategy and approach across PGIM, including chairing the PGIM ESG Council and engaging with clients, consultants, regulators, and industry associations.
Having joined PGIM Fixed Income in 2020 as the firm’s inaugural head of ESG Research, Unanyants-Jackson was most recently charged with continuing to integrate ESG considerations into all aspects of the fixed income investment process, analyzing ESG risks and opportunities and assessing potential negative or positive impacts on the environment and society. During her tenure at PGIM Fixed Income, Unanyants-Jackson led the development of ESG Impact Ratings, a proprietary tool to help clients invest according to their ESG preferences. She also oversaw the first publication of PGIM Fixed Income’s ESG Annual Report detailing the ESG ratings framework and helping ensure clients understand the firm’s approach to ESG across all portfolios.
“PGIM’s multi-manager model allows for each business to integrate ESG considerations optimally for their specific asset class and investment style. However, in recognition of the critical importance of ESG across our client base, we want to invest in further enriching our ESG expertise, research, analytical capabilities, and industry leadership across PGIM,” said Hyat. “With over a decade and a half of specialist expertise in sustainable investing and ESG, Eugenia not only brings an incredible breadth of knowledge, but also true leadership in the investment management industry as we drive new ways of thinking about ESG analysis, integration and engagement.”
PGIM has a long track record of ESG integration and sustainable investing. For example, PGIM’s fundamental equities and fixed income businesses have actively integrated ESG factors into investment research and decision-making, analyzing ESG risks and opportunities with an eye toward potential negative or positive impacts on the value of investments. PGIM’s businesses have also responded to a strong and growing demand from clients to embed considerations of environmental and social sustainability, as well as the impact of investments on the environment and society, into PGIM’s investment research and product offering. PGIM’s real estate investment and financing business, PGIM Real Estate, has invested more than $5 billion across affordable housing and transformative development properties. PGIM Fixed Income has developed an ESG impact assessment framework and launched dedicated ESG strategies for institutional and retail clients, while PGIM’s private credit business, PGIM Private Capital, has actively invested in renewable power for the past 15 years.
“Given PGIM’s global scale and footprint, we have immense potential to make a positive impact and address many of today’s ESG challenges,” Unanyants-Jackson said. “I am thrilled for the opportunity to further advance PGIM’s ESG strategy and leverage our existing and in certain cases longstanding ESG capabilities to help our investors meet their sustainability objectives in coordination with each of PGIM’s businesses.”
Building on the foundation Unanyants-Jackson established, PGIM Fixed Income has named John Ploeg and Armelle de Vienne co-heads of ESG Research, reporting to Richard Greenwood, head of Credit. Ploeg, based in London, and de Vienne, based in Newark, will step into their roles February 1 2022, having previously worked as ESG specialists and regional team leads within PGIM Fixed Income’s ESG Research team.
Ploeg brings extensive investment experience having previously held roles in PGIM Fixed Income’s US and European CLO product management teams. Most recently, John has served as ESG specialist, actively engaging in all aspects of PGIM Fixed Income’s ESG approach, including the development of the firm’s ESG Impact ratings methodology, ESG engagement activities, and tracking ESG-related market and regulatory developments.
De Vienne most recently worked alongside Ploeg as an ESG specialist and U.S. team lead. Prior to joining PGIM Fixed Income in 2021, she worked at Rockefeller Capital Management and was responsible for equity and ESG research, stock selection, and ESG engagement for Rockefeller’s environmental impact strategies.
“We’re pleased to have John and Armelle take the helm leading ESG research for PGIM Fixed Income. Our credit analysts, investment teams and clients will undoubtedly benefit from their combined experience and continued efforts to grow our ESG capabilities,” said Mike Lillard, head of PGIM Fixed Income. “The ability to promote from within speaks to our talent model and the caliber of individuals driving our investment process. John and Armelle bring continuity to our ESG approach, a critical component as we partner with clients to invest in accordance with their ESG beliefs and objectives.”