BlackRock created a new head of sustainability role for its Europe, Middle East and Africa business, leaving Christian Hyldahl in sole charge of its European operations as Stéphane Lapiquonne takes up the mantle.
Lapiquonne was previously co-head of continental Europe with Hyldahl and country manager for France, Belgium and Luxembourg at the world’s largest asset manager.
He will continue to be based in Paris where he has operated alongside Hyldahl since 2019, the firm said in a 15 July memo to clients.
The shift comes as BlackRock seeks to bring environmental, social and governance concerns to the fore, as the asset management industry becomes more ESG-conscious in the wake of changing regulatory attitudes and climate change.
BlackRock, which oversees $9tn in assets, recently acquired climate change modelling technology from an independent consultancy to integrate into its Aladdin platform.
Growing investor interest in greener investments saw global sustainable assets swell to more than $2.3tn during the first quarter of this year.
Hyldahl will become head of BlackRock’s European business on the continent as part of the change, the memo said, having joined the firm after a 26-year career at Nordea two years ago. He was formerly CEO of Nordea’s asset management business.
As one of three regional leaders in Emea, Hyldahl will work in close partnership with UK head Sarah Melvin and Ahmed Talhaoui, who is in charge of BlackRock operations in the Middle East and Africa.
Both Hyldahl and Lapiquonne will remain in their separate roles as heads of the Nordics and France, Belgium and Luxembourg respectively until successors are found, however.
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