LaSalle hires first sustainability head

The Chicago-based firm hired Cushman & Wakefield’s director of sustainability strategies for the newly created role.

LaSalle Investment Management appointed its first global head of sustainability, the firm said Thursday.

The investment manager hired Eric Duchon to start last month in its Chicago headquarters. Reporting to LaSalle’s global management committee, Duchon will partner with and advise LaSalle’s senior leadership on sustainability initiatives for the company’s private and public equity and private debt businesses, as well as help to develop and execute corporate- and asset-level programs.

Although he will be overseeing the firm’s sustainability efforts globally, Duchon has regional responsibilities in the Americas and will collaborate with LaSalle’s regional sustainability officers in Europe and Asia. He also will chair the firm’s global sustainability committee.

“We firmly believe there is a positive correlation between sustainability and enhanced property performance, and Eric’s role will be critical to our continued success in focusing on what has become one of the key investment objectives for our global clients,” Jeff Jacobson, the firm’s chief executive, said in Thursday’s statement.

Previously, Duchon was the director of sustainability strategies for New York-based Cushman & Wakefield for almost 10 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. In that role, he managed environmental initiatives for both client-facing services and internal corporate programs. Cushman & Wakefield could not be reached for comment.

“I am thrilled to be joining LaSalle during such a critical period of growth and heightened focus on sustainability initiatives, both at the corporate level and across the portfolio,” Duchon said in the announcement. “I look forward to working with our leadership team to help define and drive strategic priorities for the firm’s global sustainability platform.”

Last month, LaSalle included the environment for the first time as one of the factors it considers when analyzing property market cycles, alongside demographic, technology and urbanization trends.

“Real estate, unlike other financial assets, is closely tied to specific places, with great variation in environments and risks,” the Investment Strategy Annual report said. “Sustainability in building operations is a key consideration for market analysts, with the potential to support faster net operating income growth and lower volatility in some markets.”

LaSalle manages about $60 billion in assets, according to Thursday’s statement.