Posted inPeople Moves

SSGA and Fidelity create new Apac roles

The two firms are responding to ESG and digital trends in the region.
Xinting Jia, State Street Global Advisors

State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), the asset management business of State Street Corporation, has appointed Xinting Jia as ESG investment strategist for Asia Pacific, effective immediately.

SSGA has created the role because “ESG is now truly mainstream,” according to Karen Wong, global head of ESG and sustainable investing, in a statement.

Jia will report globally to Wong and regionally to Michele Barlow, head of strategy and research for Asia Pacific. Based in Melbourne, she will work with clients in the region to support the firm’s ESG investment strategies, and develop bespoke solutions to address ESG and performance goals.

“[Jia] will work with [investors] to understand the relationship between ESG integration and performance, the possibility of integrating stewardship activities to maximize outcomes, implementation methods to benchmarks and address the ESG data challenge,” said Wong.

Jia joins SSGA from CareSuper, an industry superannuation fund in Australia, where she was an ESG specialist, leading the firm’s ESG policy formation, implementation and stewardship. Prior to that, she was head of Asia for Responsible Investment at Mercer Investments, where she advised and helped Asian institutional investors integrate ESG factors into their investment processes.

SSGA, which looks after $3.9trn of assets, is a signatory of the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment, and believes that identifying and systematically incorporating material ESG issues is integral to its role as fiduciaries of its clients’ capital, said the statement.

“Through strong engagement, voting and thought leadership, it has seen companies respond to its calls to action to enhance diversity at the board level, strengthen board leadership and improve disclosure on sustainability practices,” said SSGA.

Fidelity’s digital hire

Meanwhile, Fidelity International has appointed Emmanuelle Pecenicic head of digital propositions and partnerships, Asia.

In this newly created role, Pecenicic will lead the development of Fidelity’s digital strategy in the region.

“The increasing sophistication of clients in Asia Pacific and shifting demographics requires a strong focus not only on investment offerings, but also on digital innovation. The pace of digitisation of every aspect of the client experience in financial and wealth services is accelerating,” said Rajeev Mittal, managing director, Asia Pacific ex-Japan at Fidelity, in a statement

Pecenicic joins Fidelity from BNP Paribas Asset Management, where she has recently led the firm’s global digital strategy. She will report to Mittal.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.