BlackRock has made a strong show of intent in its ESG ambitions by hiring Barack Obama’s former climate and energy adviser to serve as its global head of sustainable investing.
Brian Deese joined the firm's multi-strategies team on 11 October, and will report to Rich Kushel. He is based in Boston.
The new recruit was instrumental in Obama's move to sign the US up to the Paris Climate Agreement in late 2015, as well as in other national and international initiatives. He also held budgetary and economic positions during Obama’s tenure.
According to a memo sent to staff, Deese will bolster the company’s sustainable investing team in his new role.
He will also develop proprietary ESG research functions and interact with existing BlackRock teams to ensure sustainability is being included and used appropriately.
The move coincides with Deborah Winshel – who had overseen ESG developments such as the launch of the BlackRock Impact initiative in 2015 – announcing that she will focus more on philanthropy.