Jasper Berens joins CCLA to spearhead move into UK intermediary market

by | Oct 11, 2021

Drawing on the strength of its ESG heritage serving the not-for-profit sector, CCLA prepares to make funds more widely available

CCLA Investment Management, the UK’s largest charity investment manager today announces Jasper Berens, a veteran of the UK fund management industry, has joined CCLA as Head of Client Relationships and Distribution. Berens will lead CCLA’s efforts in bringing its ESG funds beyond its existing not-for-profit client base to UK investors through the intermediary market while also leading CCLA’s client relationship team.

Mr Peter Hugh Smith, CCLA’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted to have Jasper Berens join our ranks to lead our push into the intermediary market while ensuring that all of our clients continue to receive the highest levels of service to which they are accustomed.

The huge demand for an ESG-oriented investment approach combined with requests from existing clients wanting to invest their personal funds with CCLA, has led CCLA to start planning the move to make its responsibly invested funds more widely available. CCLA’s ESG equity and multi-asset funds have outperformed against the funds’ respective comparator benchmark over 5 years but are currently only available to its not-for-profit clients.

“CCLA is the largest manager of church and charity funds in the UK, and well known in the local government sector.  Our long heritage of serving the not-for-profit sector underpins our responsible and sustainable investment approach which is in line with our clients’ community-oriented values. Today this is known as ‘ESG investing’. At CCLA, we have always believed that truly healthy and sustainable investment markets require healthy communities and our investment approach has embodied such principles since inception,” continued Mr Hugh Smith.

Majority owned by its not-for-profit clients, CCLA has a long track record of taking the lead to catalyse the investment sector to push for progress within investee companies to help create a better world. CCLA established Aiming for A, the precursor to Climate Action 100+, to push for concerted climate goals in the highest emitting industrial companies. It leads the investment industry in addressing modern slavery, most recently spearheading the Find it, Fix it, Prevent it initiative to engage with companies to tackle modern slavery in supply chains. Earlier this year, CCLA launched its mental health benchmarking initiative to encourage best practice in protecting employee mental health as it believes companies have a duty to safeguard the wellbeing of their labour force and that this has a bearing on a company’s financial performance.

Mr Jasper Berens, said:

“Having left the fund management industry, I am thrilled to return to join CCLA. There are not many managers that have achieved such consistent outperformance in their equity and multi-asset funds* and that have been focused 100% on responsible investment for as long and as authentically as CCLA. I truly believe that sustainable investment is the future of investing and frankly speaking, CCLA was one of the very few investment companies that I would have considered returning to.”

Berens joins CCLA from consultancy Stratevolve. He previously held senior positions at Artemis Investment Management and JP Morgan Asset Management.

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