CPP hires sustainability head from Africa-focused PE firm

The Canadian pension, a giant private markets investor, has hired Michael Hall as managing director of sustainable investing.

Canada Pension Plan Investments has appointed Development Partners International’s former head of ESG and impact, Michael Hall, as managing director of sustainable investing. Hall announced his move on LinkedIn today.

The hire follows the appointment last October of Deborah Orida as the retirement fund’s first chief sustainability officer. In a statement announcing her appointment, Orida said CPP “must place equal focus on both the risks and investment opportunities associated with sustainability – and particularly climate”.

CPP is Canada’s third largest investor, with assets worth C$541.5 billion ($424.4 billion; €376 billion) and a 61 percent allocation to private markets, according to PEI Media’s database. It is also actively engaged in sustainability initiatives across private markets.

The pension recently committed €50 million to the third fund from Summa Equity, a sustainability-focused European private equity firm. CPP also allocated $20 million to invest alongside US-based non-profit Conservation International in forest protection schemes in South America to generate certified carbon credits that can be traded on voluntary carbon markets.

In November 2021 the pension released a reporting framework for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CPP increased its fossil fuel investments in 2021 and affiliate title Responsible Investor reported in October that the pension’s CEO John Graham had said that it did not plan to divest from oil and gas investments.

Hall, who is based in London according to his LinkedIn profile, left DPI in November 2021 after seven years at the firm, most recently as head of ESG and impact. He has been succeeded in this role by Vincent Lecat, who joined DPI in January 2020 to work in the ESG and impact team. DPI is an Africa-focused firm headquartered in London. It closed its third flagship fund, African Development Partners III, in September 2021 at $900 million.