Putnam kicks off expanded ESG effort

Firm hires Katherine Collins to lead sustainable investing team

May 3, 2017 @ 1:39 pm

By InvestmentNews

Putnam Investments has hired Katherine Collins to head a new sustainable investing effort that could lead to the introduction of the firm's first standalone ESG funds.

In her new role, Ms. Collins will head a team responsible for overseeing the firm's environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment approach, which Putnam said is expected to include managing focused strategies for institutional and retail mutual fund clients.

She will report to Aaron Cooper, the firm's chief investment officer for equities.

While Putnam currently does not offer specific ESG or socially responsible funds, "we have always had an ESG lens on our investment process," Putnam spokeswoman Laura McNamara said in an email.

Previously, Ms. Collins was CEO of Honeybee Capital, a research firm focused on ESG investment issues. Working with Ms. Collins will be Stephanie Henderson, a fundamental analyst formerly with Fidelity Investments, and Alexander Rickson, a Putnam veteran who will be providing quantitative analysis.

"Investing through the lens of environmental, social, and governance is becoming increasingly synonymous with good long-term investing and is serving to help identify opportunities," said Robert L. Reynolds, Putnam's president and CEO.

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