2 UK pension execs take on ESG investing in new podcast

Want to know what pension fund executives really think about developments in responsible investment? Now you can find out, thanks to a new podcast launched by two U.K. executives who focus on the topic.

David Hickey, portfolio manager at the £8 billion ($11 billion) Lothian Pension Fund, Edinburgh, and Adam Matthews, director of ethics and engagement at the more than £3 billion Church of England Pensions Board, London, hosted their first “Talking Responsibly” podcast on Feb. 11.

The two are both passionate about the work they do in responsible investment and “spend a lot of time discussing the nuance,” with one another and others, Mr. Hickey said.

While plenty of discussions are happening, “most people are only getting to see the outcomes, and we think that some of the logic in the discussions is worth sharing with others.” Greater education and diversity in terms of the voices talking about responsible investment should mean better outcomes, Mr. Hickey said.

The trailer for the podcast promises special guests — with the first podcast featuring Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership, Bristol, England, an investment pool of local government pension schemes with more than £30 billion in assets — and “a no-holds-barred discussion.” The podcast opens with a disclaimer that the opinions and views expressed in the podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent those of the organizations, employers or employees associated with the panelists.

The first podcast also addressed the election of Joe Biden as U.S. president and the lack of data in the responsible investment sector.

The 40-minute discussions, released every other Friday, also feature a book review by Rory Sullivan, co-founder and director of social and environmental firm Chronos Sustainability Ltd.

The podcast is available on Spotify and other podcast platforms.

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