IFM appoints ESG investment director

The Melbourne-based firm has hired Chris Newton from Australia Post to spearhead its responsible investment strategy.

IFM Investors, the Australian asset manager, has appointed Chris Newton as executive director for responsible investment. 

In this newly created role, Newton will work across the investment teams to develop and progress the firm's sustainable investment strategies at a time when institutional investors are zooming in on ESG issues, IFM said in a statement.

His role will commence on 22 June. He will report to Josh Lim, chief commercial officer. 

“Newton has extensive experience across the environmental, social and governance sector and he will be integral in providing leadership for IFM Investors in this capacity,” said Brett Himbury, chief executive of IFM Investors. 

Newton joins the Melbourne-based firm from Australian Post, where he was head of social innovation and development. That role saw him take charge of the design and execution of social initiatives for the company as well as integrated community programmes with the Federal government. 

Previously, Newton was also Principal Economic Advisor in the Premier’s office, leading development of the state budget and coordination of policy papers on energy, infrastructure delivery, tax and climate change, and Senior Economic Advisor to the Treasurer, providing advice on PPPs, energy and resources, water, sustainability and corporate governance. 

This is the fourth appointment IFM makes in just a month, following the naming of Alex Joiner as chief economist, Rich Randall as global head of debt investments and Brad Vann as independent chair of the Australian Infrastructure Fund Investor Advisory Committee.