Hermes Real Estate hires responsible investing champion

Tatiana Bosteels has joined the UK property fund manager from the London Climate Change Agency as pressure mounts on firms to incorporate responsible investing principles within property portfolios.

Hermes Real Estate has revealed the appointment of Tatiana Bosteels as head of responsible property investment.

Bosteels joins from the London Climate Change Agency, which was established to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the city.

Commenting on the appointment, director of Hermes Real Estate Keith Bugden said it was a clear signal of the firm’s long-term commitment to the principles of responsible property investment.

The move comes a day after institutional investors were urged to engage with property fund managers to embed principles of responsible investing in decision making. The call came from the United Nations Environment Programme Property Working Group, whose European members include AXA Investment Managers, Caisse des Dépôts, F&C Asset Management, Morley Fund Management, PRUPIM, WestLB AG, as well as Hermes, which manages £11bn (€13 billion; $21 billion) of property assets. 

In a statement, the working group said pressure would increasingly come to bear on the property industry as a result of climate change. Publishing a report called “Building Responsible Property Portfolios”, the group said buildings were directly and indirectly responsible for around half of global carbon dioxide emissions in terms of their operation and the energy consumed by people travelling to and from them.

Paul McNamara, co-chair of the working group, said there was a circle of blame in which investors, occupiers, constructors and developers were blaming each other for a lack of positive action to improve the environmental footprint of new and existing buildings.

Blaise Desbordes, co-chair, said: “Investors can influence how their buildings are managed and occupied by engaging directly with their suppliers and tenants to reduce the emissions from buildings. Our report is intended to highlight these opportunities to institutional investors.”