HSBC Asset Management (AM) has formed a Sustainability Office and reorganised its Responsible Investment team as part of strengthening its sustainability proposition.

The British banking group has appointed Erin Leonard as global head of Sustainability to lead the newly formed Sustainability Office, with immediate effect.

Most recently Leonard was interim global head of Institutional Business at HSBC AM and was also leading the firm’s Responsible Investment Initiative.

She will continue to be based in London and will report directly to HSBC AM CEO Nicolas Moreau as a member of management committee.

Under Leonard’s leadership, Sustainability Office will focus on the delivery of HSBC AM’s sustainability strategy and the business-wide transition to sustainable investing.

The team will also be responsible for the firm’s people-focused initiatives that target to embed a sustainability culture across the business.

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By GlobalData

Moreau said that the creation of the Sustainability Office reflects the strategic importance of sustainability to the business.

“I’m confident that under Erin’s leadership, we’ll be able to take our sustainability proposition to the next level, and open up a world of sustainable investment opportunities,” he added.

Responsible Investment team reorganisation

HSBC AM said that its Responsible Investment head Melissa McDonald is leaving the firm at the end of the August to take up a new opportunity outside of asset management space.

McDonald will be replaced by Stuart Kirk, who is currently global head of Research & Insights at the firm.

In his new role, Kirk will lead a team responsible for the integration of ESG risks and opportunities across asset classes, along with the firm’s voting policy and engagement initiatives.

The team will also work on the development of new ESG, climate change and thematic offerings and deliver thematic research contributing to industry best practices and supporting thought leadership.

Recent moves

Last month, HSBC AM combined all of its existing alternatives capabilities under a single business unit, dubbed HSBC Alternatives.

The move was part of the company’s strategy to reposition the business as a core solutions provider and specialist Asia, emerging markets and alternatives asset manager.

In January this year, HSBC deepened its green push by backing AI-based sustainability data and technology provider MioTech in an additional funding round to its Series B.