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Louise Davidson Appointed CEO of ACSI

13th April 2015 | New Leader for Peak Australian Investor ESG Council

Prominent industry figure Louise Davidson will fill the CEO role at the influential Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) following the February resignation of Gordon Haggart.


ACSI provides a range of research, ESG and proxy voting services to 31 Australian mutual pension funds that collectively manage more than $A400 billion in assets. ACSI also includes APG, CalPERS, PGGM, RPMI Railpen and USS amongst its international membership.


Ms Davidson has had two decades in Australia’s pensions investment sector initially having held a variety of executive roles at the pioneering Industry Fund Services (IFS) from the mid-1990s.


In 2007 she took up the newly created position of Sustainability and Governance manager at IFM Investors where she formulated the global asset manager’s initial ESG frameworks and subsequent implementation of PRI membership and principles.


Since 2009, Ms Davidson has headed up the ESG team at Cbus, one of Australia’s leading industry based superannuation (pension) funds.

Ms Davidson is also the co-founder of the long running Mothers’ Day Classic, (MDC) the  high profile breast cancer fundraising and awareness initiative that since 1998 has grown to become Australia’s largest national fun-run.


For over a decade, she has been at the forefront of the small group of female pension industry executives that have driven the development of Women in Super the umbrella women’s retirement policy and coordination group behind the MDC.


In 2008, Ms Davidson was inducted to the Victorian Governments Honour Roll of Women for her decade long voluntary fundraising efforts around breast cancer and in late 2014 was further honoured as a  2015 Victorian nominee in the Australian of the Year Awards.


In 2013 Ms Davidson also was listed amongst the Australian Financial Review's '100 Women of Influence' and is currently  Chair of the PRI Australia Network and Secretary of the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC).


‘Louise is well known in the nation’s boardrooms where much of ACSI’s important work is conducted. She's determined to improve corporate governance in listed companies as well as encourage company boards and management to take more seriously their environmental and social impact,’ ACSI President Gerard Noonan said in announcing Ms Davidson’s appointment.


‘Louise’s leadership in the responsible investment area is nationally recognised and her engagement with Australian and international corporations has contributed to lifting corporate consciousness and changing practices to improve sustainability,’ Cbus CEO David Atkin said  in a statement issued by the $A30b construction industry pension fun.


The decision was well received by international stakeholders when contacted by PIRC Alerts.


‘This is a welcome appointment that will help strengthen the voice of ACSI both in Australia and internationally. Louise will bring the determination and ability she has demonstrated throughout her career to this significant role,’ PRI Chief Fiona Reynolds said.


‘Congratulations to both Louise and ACSI on this appointment.  It's great to see someone with such strong experience and reputation on responsible investment both nationally and internationally in such an important role in the Australian market,’ David Russell Co Head of Responsible Investment at USS commented.


‘This is a strong appointment and I am looking forward to Louise's leadership of ACSI in both the Australian market and internationally,’ Deborah Gilshan, Head of Sustainable Ownership RPMI Railpen responded.


Ms Davidson is expected to take up her new role at the end of April.

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