Impact-focused asset manager Connected Asset Management (CAM), has announced it is to appoint Rachel Neill as chief impact officer to lead the firm’s impact measurement and reporting, as it develops an industry-leading framework for the pensions market.
Rachel will join the FCA-regulated impact firm in June from leading fintech pensions technology provider Smart Pension where she was head of sustainable investment. Her new role will include leading on the development of a universal set of metrics to measure social, environmental, and financial performance specifically aimed at the modern defined contribution pensions market, as well as delivering the advocacy needed to change traditional market perceptions around impact investment.
Darren Agombar, founder and CEO of CAM, said: “Rachel has a wonderful breadth of knowledge and a passion for environmental, social, and governance investment coupled with unique on the ground experience in the pensions space. She is a brilliant strategic appointment for CAM as we rapidly evolve to lead the industry in this field.”
Rachel said: “I’m really looking forward to working with CAM and making a positive difference to the way the investment industry operates particularly the mainstream DC pensions market. Part of my role will be to develop a framework to measure the positive impact CAM’s offering delivers. While there are some measurement frameworks out there, there’s currently no agreed standard for how the impact is measured. We will be looking at the tools available already such as Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS+), the Impact Measurement Project (IMP), and the Global Impact Investment Rating System (GIIRS), and optimising them to develop a best-in-class framework. This would then operate both at the underlying investment level and portfolio manager level to ensure that the managers we work with are aligned to our values. It’s starting to redefine the way the industry works by adding the third dimension of impact to the traditional risk-return assessment. Of course, if pension funds are going to invest, the financial return has to be there, but we also need to understand the impact those investments are having. Part of my role will be educating pension stakeholders to better understand the value of this style of investment.”
Connected Asset Management announced last year it had become one of the UK’s first FCA-regulated asset managers to certify as a B Corporation dedicated to using business as a force for good.
CAM’s mission is to deliver investment solutions to deploy capital towards assets including microfinance, social housing, clean energy, and tech for good.