WisdomTree Names ESG Heads
WisdomTree Strengthens ESG Focus with Customer-Focused Product Innovation
WisdomTree Investments, Inc., an exchange-traded fund (“ETF”) and exchange-traded product (“ETP”) sponsor and asset manager, announced that Ben Wallach and Heather Reisner have been promoted to drive the firm’s client-first ESG strategy in the U.S. Both appointments reaffirm the company’s stance that ESG is an integral part of the full spectrum of product development.
Ben joined WisdomTree in 2011, focusing on product and business development for over a decade at the firm and is now Head of Product Development & ESG. Heather has been with WisdomTree since 2018 in a role overseeing the development of new products and management of existing products and is now Senior Associate, Product Development & ESG. She was also recently appointed the Deputy Chair of WIN, WisdomTree’s Women’s Initiative Network. In their new, expanded roles, both Ben and Heather will continue to drive these product development efforts and will also be tasked with spearheading WisdomTree’s ESG initiatives.
WisdomTree, which offers three core integrated ESG ETFs in addition to ESG-screened funds and model portfolios as well as a suite of ex-state owned funds, ranks among the top 10 ESG ETF providers in the U.S. with assets in related funds totaling over $4 billion.
“Heather and I are excited to be formally leading the ESG charge at WisdomTree, which has been underway for many years. We are committed to taking a deeply integrated approach as we continue to develop products that clients are passionate about,” said Wallach. “With our roles on the product development team, we see first-hand the energized demand for investment decisions that have an impact. ESG is one of the fastest growing areas in asset management, and WisdomTree’s product strategy has always been informed by how we can best serve our clients.”
These internal promotions will enable WisdomTree to address client demand for ESG products at the “ground-floor” level, while the firm also continues to focus on ESG from a corporate standpoint. WisdomTree offers an employee training program through its relationship with Columbia University and will be rolling out an ESG certification program to help clients address their ESG needs. The Climate Impact and Investing Program is built to equip both advisors and WisdomTree’s employees with the education and tools needed to make sound decisions around climate, environmental risks, and investing. The program is a workshop built in conjunction with Columbia Climate School that will address basic climate science, climate impact and tipping points as well as how this all impacts the thinking around investing.
WisdomTree also offers an employee-led Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) to facilitate female leadership within the organization, has an established DEI council to advance the firm’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and itself is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. In February 2022, WisdomTree’s Board of Directors expanded its Nominating and Governance Committee’s responsibilities to include reviewing, and providing oversight and recommendations with respect to, WisdomTree’s strategy, initiatives and policies concerning corporate social responsibility, including ESG matters.
See related article: AECOM appoints Robert Spencer as Global Head of ESG Advisory Services
“The path forward begins with a strategy that is integrated across the firm, encompassing new and innovative products, education for advisors and investors, and our own corporate initiatives,” said Jarrett Lilien, President and COO of WisdomTree. “ESG is not a siloed priority at WisdomTree – it is critical to who we are as an asset manager, and how we meet and exceed the needs of our clients. We are proud to promote Ben and Heather, two individuals already greatly embedded in our product development team, to drive our ESG program forward so that we can help clients invest in what matters most to them.”
Throughout the rest of 2022 and beyond, WisdomTree plans to expand its footprint in the ESG space across four pillars: Tools and Solutions for Advisors, Educational Content, Product, and Corporate-level Initiatives.
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