Abrdn in big executive sustainability appointments

Sarah Moody

Edinburgh investment giant Abrdn said it has “accelerated the sustainability agenda across the group” with the creation of a powerful executive sustainability committee.

Chief corporate affairs officer Sarah Moody has been appointed chair of the new committee and her role will expand to chief corporate affairs and sustainability officer.

Kristina Church will join Abrdn from BNY Mellon next month as global head of corporate sustainability, reporting to Moody.

Church will lead Abrdn’s corporate sustainability team and while reporting to Moody, she will also work closely with Dan Grandage, the recently-appointed chief sustainability officer of Abrdn’s investments business.

Abrdn manages and administers £508 billion of assets for clients.

Kristina Church

Abrdn said: “The executive sustainability committee will bring together sustainable leads across investments (with
Dan Grandage, chief sustainability officer, investments a key member), platforms and corporate sustainability, setting strategy and direction on material areas of sustainability at a group level and ensuring alignment.”

Moody said: “Key to delivering on our sustainability objectives is our people, and it’s a privilege to accelerate our sustainability agenda.

“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Kristina Church after an extensive market search.

“This is a critical role which is reflected in the depth and breadth of Kristina’s experience. We look forward to her joining us in June.”

Abrdn said that at BNY Mellon, Church was formerly head of responsible investment before her promotion to global head of sustainable solutions “responsible for commercially related sustainability and ESG topics across the bank, as well as supporting the strategic direction on corporate sustainability, including regulatory reporting, net zero methodologies and other sustainability-focused metrics.”

Church also sits on the advisory board of the Impact Investing Institute.

Prior to BNY Mellon, Church, a qualified chartered accountant, was head of sustainable solutions at Lombard Odier Investment Managers and has held various roles at Barclays Investment Bank over her career.

Church said: “It is a huge privilege to join Abrdn at a time of transformation, with the group’s commitment to sustainability matched by a desire to keep evolving, challenging and pushing forward in what is a complex area, as the most important issues always are.

“I’ve also long admired the work done by Abrdn around social policy, and am excited to get started.”

Prior to joining Abrdn, Moody was co-founder and CEO of Future 30 Funds, a start-up asset manager focused on sustainable investing.

Prior to that, Moody was group director of corporate affairs and investor relations at Pennon Group plc, where she was part of the team that sold the Viridor energy-from-waste and recycling firm to KKR for £4.2 billion.

Moody was previously an associate partner at Finsbury (now FGS Global), the communications advisory firm.

She also sits on the advisory board of the Impact Investing Institute.

Moody started her career in investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and latterly at BMO Capital Markets.