Simpson Brings 35 Years of International Investment and Academic Expertise to Lead Franklin Templeton’s Global Stewardship, Sustainability and ESG Strategy
Franklin Templeton announced the appointment of Anne Simpson as Global Head of Sustainability, a newly-created role charged with driving Franklin Templeton’s overall strategic direction on stewardship, sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment strategy globally. Simpson joins the firm from the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), where she served as Managing Investment Director for Board Governance & Sustainability, leading the development and execution of CalPERS’ award-winning Sustainable Investment Strategy across a global portfolio of US$500 billion1 with 80% assets internally managed. She will report to President and CEO Jenny Johnson and join the firm on February 22, 2022, based in California.
“A hire of this prominence demonstrates our commitment to being a global leader in stewardship and sustainability, which acknowledges that our choices as responsible investors have a profound effect on the world and its future,” said Johnson. “We are confident that Anne’s expertise and leadership will take our firm-wide efforts on sustainable investing to the next level. While the strength of our organization lies with the breadth and autonomy of our specialist investment managers, we also recognize that an organization of our scale can have a major impact by working collectively on sustainability issues. We are thrilled to have Anne leading our efforts in this critically important area.”
Simpson commented, “I am delighted to join Franklin Templeton, a world-renowned investment firm with a 75-year track record shaped by strong values, innovation and long-term conviction. I look forward to being part of its next phase of growth and evolution in sustainable investing. 2021 was a year in which the asset management industry reckoned with sustainability challenges and the opportunities these bring across global markets. There is new momentum in finance, driven by policymakers in leading European markets, net zero commitments from COP 26 and broad recognition of investors’ role in driving progress on sustainable investing, including important areas like diversity, equity and inclusion, to foster shared prosperity.”
Simpson added, “I’m truly inspired by Jenny’s vision as a third-generation family leader of Franklin Templeton who brings personal commitment to the stewardship and sustainability agenda. I am excited to begin working closely with Jenny, her executive team, and the firm’s accomplished specialist investment managers, to implement the company’s sustainable investing priorities.”
Simpson brings wide-ranging international expertise to this new position at Franklin Templeton. At CalPERS, she served as a member of its Investment Management Committee, which determines asset liability management, capital allocation, risk management and operations across global public equity, fixed income, private equity, private credit, real assets and infrastructure. In addition, she served as the inaugural Chair of Climate Action 100+ and its Asia Advisory Group, a global investor alliance of $60 trillion which CalPERS convened and co-founded. Simpson also has led the CalPERS investment office diversity, equity and inclusion business initiative, including the founding of 3D (Diverse Director DataSource).
Prior to joining CalPERS, Simpson was a Senior Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at the Yale School of Management, Head of the Global Corporate Governance Forum at the World Bank, Executive Director of the International Corporate Governance Network and Joint Managing Director of Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (PIRC) Ltd.
investor alliance of $60 trillion which CalPERS convened and co-founded. Simpson also has led the CalPERS investment office diversity, equity and inclusion business initiative, including the founding of 3D (Diverse Director DataSource).
In 2019, she was named by Time Magazine as one of the 15 women leading the global fight on climate change and in 2020 one of the 100 Most Influential Women in US Finance by Barron’s (Dow Jones). For 11 consecutive years from 2010-21, Anne has been ranked by the National Association of Corporate Directors as one of the year’s 100 most influential people in the boardroom.
Simpson also brings experience in the international regulatory and policy arena. She served on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s Investor Advisory Group and the International Financial Reporting Standards Advisory Council. She is an advisory council member for the Official Monetary Financial Institutions Forum, a board member at Ceres and serves on the Leadership Council for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
Simpson has published several books in the field, including “The Financial Ecosystem: The Role of Finance in Achieving Sustainability” with Satyajit Bose and Dong Guo of Columbia University (Palgrave MacMillan) and “Fair Shares: The Future of Shareholder Power and Responsibility” with Jonathan Charkham (Oxford University Press).
She graduated from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, where she read Politics, Philosophy and Economics, received bachelor’s and master’s degrees and was a Slater Fellow at Wellesley College, Massachusetts.
Simpson was recently appointed a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University by the Chancellor and teaches at University of California, Berkeley Haas Business School as a Lecturer in Sustainable and Impact Finance.
Franklin Templeton’s Commitment to Sustainability
As an active manager, Franklin Templeton is proud to offer a wide range of sustainable solutions, and believes its scale allows it to invest in the critical technology that will help each of its boutique managers evaluate investments through an ESG lens. Franklin Templeton is committed to advancing ESG and sustainable investing goals while making sure these investments are productive, profitable and make an impact.
Franklin Templeton has identified climate change as a key strategic priority for the firm and has made commitments to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAMI). Further information on Franklin Templeton’s approach to ESG can be found at https://www.franklinresources.com/resources/about-us/citizenship.
- CalPERS AUM – https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/investments