Smart Pension appoints Head of ESG

Smart Pension announces Rachel Neill as its first Head of Environmental, Social and Governance.

Workplace pension provider Smart Pension has announced it has appointed its first Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).

Banking strategist Rachel Neill joined Smart Pension last year and was promoted to the newly-created position in June as the firm prepares to introduce responsible investment funds for members.

Rachel has built her career in financial services and has worked across product and risk management, strategy development, markets and trade. She has seen first-hand the impact that responsible investing can have and continues to champion ESG issues such as gender diversity and ecologically responsible decisions.

Rachel said: "Now the race to complete the initial phase of auto enrolment is over, we've got the space to focus on further developing our investment strategy to suit the new generation of savers that workplace pension legislation has created."

"Pension savers, and particularly younger members, are becoming more interested in where their pension savings are being invested. They want to invest in the future that they are going to retire in, whether this is addressing climate change, the gender pay gap, labour policies or any of the other ESG issues."

"It's exciting to be a part of building this for Smart savers and helping them understand how their savings can bring about meaningful change. Smart's principle of keeping innovation at its core also provides us with new ways of engaging and communicating with members on ESG."

Darren Agombar, Smart Pension's chief investment officer (CIO), said: "Rachel is a superb appointment in this new role."

"She will be driving the direction and development of our ESG investment option, which will be a fantastic addition to our current default funds."

Crucially, Smart Pension members will very soon be able to switch the funds they invest in via the firm's new app, as well as via the online member portal, making mindful saving more accessible in a couple of taps.

The funds are expected to be launched later this month.