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Franklin Templeton names global sustainability head

LONDON, January 22, 2022

Franklin Templeton has announced the appointment of Anne Simpson as its new global head of sustainability, a newly-created role charged with driving its overall strategic direction on stewardship, sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategy globally. 
 
Simpson joins the firm from the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), where she served as Managing Investment Director for Board Governance & Sustainability, leading the development and execution of CalPERS’ award-winning Sustainable Investment Strategy across a global portfolio of $500 billion with 80% assets internally managed. 
 
In her new role, Simpson will report to President and CEO Jenny Johnson and join the firm on February 22 based at California. 
 
"A hire of this prominence demonstrates our commitment to being a global leader in stewardship and sustainability, which acknowledges that our choices as responsible investors have a profound effect on the world and its future," remarked Johnson. 
 
"We are confident that Simpson’s expertise and leadership will take our firm-wide efforts on sustainable investing to the next level. While the strength of our organization lies with the breadth and autonomy of our specialist investment managers, we also recognize that an organization of our scale can have a major impact by working collectively on sustainability issues," he stated. 
 
"We are thrilled to have her leading our efforts in this critically important area," he added.
 
On the new role, Simpson said: "I am delighted to join Franklin Templeton, a world-renowned investment firm with a 75-year track record shaped by strong values, innovation and long-term conviction. I look forward to being part of its next phase of growth and evolution in sustainable investing."
 
She pointed out that 2021 was a year in which the asset management industry reckoned with sustainability challenges and the opportunities these bring across global markets. 
 
"There is new momentum in finance, driven by policymakers in leading European markets, net zero commitments from COP 26 and broad recognition of investors’ role in driving progress on sustainable investing, including important areas like diversity, equity and inclusion, to foster shared prosperity," she stated. 
 
Simpson brings wide-ranging international expertise to this new position at Franklin Templeton. At CalPERS, she served as a member of its Investment Management Committee, which determines asset liability management, capital allocation, risk management and operations across global public equity, fixed income, private equity, private credit, real assets and infrastructure. 
 
In addition, she served as the inaugural Chair of Climate Action 100+ and its Asia Advisory Group, a global investor alliance of $60 trillion which CalPERS convened and co-founded. Simpson also has led the CalPERS investment office diversity, equity and inclusion business initiative, including the founding of 3D (Diverse Director DataSource). 
 
"I’m truly inspired by Jenny’s vision as a third-generation family leader of Franklin Templeton who brings personal commitment to the stewardship and sustainability agenda, noted Simpson. 
 
"I am excited to begin working closely with Jenny, her executive team, and the firm’s accomplished specialist investment managers, to implement the company’s sustainable investing priorities," she added.



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