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Responsible investing CEO resigns

After a decade as CEO of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) Simon O’Connor has resigned and will depart at the end of the year.

Thursday, June 29th 2023, 3:09PM

by Andrea Malcolm

RIAA chair Ross Pipe expressed his appreciation for O’Connor’s contribution and acknowledged the timing is right to begin a leadership transition.

“Simon has been a highly effective, influential and catalytic leader in our sector for over a decade. He has shaped and deeply embodied the mission of RIAA with a passion for driving a healthy and sustainable future through finance.”

Under O’Conner the RIAA has grown to represent more than 500 investment organisations across Australia and New Zealand, collectively managing more than USD$29 trillion in assets. Supported by a team of 20 staff, and an experienced leadership team, RIAA has established a trans-Tasman presence and lifted standards in responsible investment.

O’Connor says, “I am incredibly proud of the position that RIAA is in today, and the influence and impact that we as an organisation have on a daily basis to drive a more sustainable future through finance. It’s been a privilege to hold this role and work with our brilliant team, our strong and committed board and our passionate and engaged community of members for the last decade.”

“The organisation has taken strong strides forward in recent years. It is in a fantastic position now for me to transition out and move to a new leader who - together with our strong team, leadership group and board - can continue to build on the significant momentum and lead RIAA through the next important phase of this organisation’s 23-year journey.”

O’Connor will work closely with the board and team throughout the remainder of the year to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership. Following his departure, he plans to take some time with family and to consider future options.

The board will shortly begin recruiting internationally for a replacement.

During O’Connor’s tenure the RIAA has led the world’s longest running responsible investment product labelling scheme, the Responsible Investment certification programme, which now includes more than 330 investment products managing over $139 billion FUM; played a key role in the Aotearoa New Zealand Sustainable Finance Roadmap; led the establishment of an Aotearoa New Zealand Stewardship Code with the Centre for Sustainable Finance; acted as secretariat and chair of the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA), and taken the role as  regional consultation group for the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures to ready the local markets for this future framework.

Tags: RIAA

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