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It looks like Australian Ethical Investment, the boutique the ethical wealth management company fund wants to scale greater heights and enter the mainstream with its new chief executive appointment.

John McMurdo who hails from Fitzpatricks Financial Group, will take the reins at a time when the company has $3.87 billion in funds under management.

McMurdo’s background comes with a background of 30 years’ experience in investment management, advice and banking across Australia and New Zealand. The new job entails taking the investment company “from the margins to the mainstream”.

He has a strong base to build on. Morningstar data shows the ASX-listed Australian Ethical grew its total returns to 187 per cent over the recent one year period with an annualised 68 per cent return over five years.

The company is considered one of the most committed ethical investors in Australia, with its funds excluding harmful sectors and investing in “impact” areas such clean energy – all guided by its Australian Ethical Charter.

Former chief executive officer Phil Vernon stepped down in August 2019 after nine years. He continues to hold a swag of board-level positions including at the Environmental Defenders Office, Beyond Zero Emissions, Planet Ark and Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

Steve Gibbs, who has been acting as CEO, is set to resume his position as chair of the

board. He replaces acting chairman Michael Monaghan, who remains on the board of directors.

On the ESG front (ethical social governance) Moody’s Investors Service has promoted Brian Cahill to be the global head of ESG where he will lead the ESG strategy and outreach.

This is a time when the ratings agencies are adding to their climate assessment capabilities.

Moody’s last year bought a major stake in Four Twenty Seven, a company that analyses the risks to corporations and governments from climate change.

In September Global index company MSCI also bought Carbon Delta, a boutique focusing on climate risk analysis and S&P closed the year making a move for sustainable index player RobecoSAM.

Francine Binns has been appointed CEO of the NSW branch of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) at a time when the organisation is expanding its traditional local government engineering focus to cover all levels of government. She previously held board positions locally and overseas, including at Australian Institute of Company Directors and City Tattersalls Club.

Global environmental consultancy SLR Consulting has hired Beccy Philby as its new APAC operations manager, land and water. Ms Philby has held operations leadership and business development roles at Jacobs (as mining and resources client account manager) and CH2M (senior project manager).

Charter Hall has appointed Miriam Patterson as fund manager for Charter Hall Direct. She joins the Property investment management group after her recent position at Telstra Super as head of real assets and comes with 15 years of experience in property and infrastructure including portfolio and risk management, transactions, asset management and investment governance.

The new role reflects the strong growth of Charter Hall’s Direct business from $3 billion to $5.3 b in just 18 months and 20,000 retail and private investors.

Major wind projects continue to boost local regions with ACCIONA’s 157.5MW, 35-turbine wind farm Mortlake South Wind Farm in Victoria employing as many 150 during the peak construction phase.

Local employment was prioritised according to the Spanish renewables company, with 92 – 93 per cent of the workforce during civil construction coming from areas such as Purrumbete, Cobden and Warrnambool.

Global construction company Laing O’Rourke has been selected to lead the bushfire clean-up in New South Wales (NSW), a job that’s expected to run into the hundreds of millions.

Our pick of the jobs

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is looking for a new chairperson for Sustainability Victoria.

Revit studio is seeking a mid level architect, focused on commercial and sustainable designs. The gig is based in Sydney.

And if you like cheese you can combine your environmental creds to your dairy preferences with a new job at Meredith Dairy, which is seeking an environmental coordinator to be based onsite, at… Meredith Victoria, 110 kilometres west of Melbourne.

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