The winner of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors’ (ACSI’s) Michael O’Sullivan* ESG Rising Star Award, Josephine Toral, has called for investment professionals to join her in establishing a working group to examine how to achieve an outcomes based impact approach on investments.

Toral, investment analyst of unlisted assets at HESTA, was announced as the winner last week at ACSI’s national conference in Melbourne in front of more than 200 delegates.

In her acceptance speech, Toral said: “Collaboration is key, so I am keen to develop a working group to engage superannuation investment individuals on an ‘outcomes-based impact approach on investments’, so please do get in touch if you would be interested.”

She also took the opportunity to thank ACSI and CareSuper for this award.

“I am very humbled that I have been chosen for this achievement in memory of Michael,” Toral said. “I wish to also thank HESTA for the opportunity to develop ESG investment opportunities and strategies that I have been extremely passionate about.”

Toral impressed the judges with her commitment to ESG integration, both within her fund and more broadly throughout the investment community.

“Josephine is a great advocate for the importance of ESG issues,” said Cate Wood, CareSuper chair. “Michael O’Sullivan would thoroughly approve of her dedication to spreading the message.”

ACSI president Gerard Noonan said it was important for a younger generation of superannuation professionals to take up the pioneering work of Michael in insisting ESG principles were interwoven in the risk profile of long-term investments of member funds.

As winner of the 2016 award, Toral will receive funding from CareSuper to attend the PRI in Person Annual Conference in Singapore, in September this year.

*Michael O’Sullivan was ACSI President from its foundation in 2001 until 2011, chair of CareSuper for three separate two-year terms, and deputy chair in the intervening years. He passed away in 2012.

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The Michael O’Sullivan ESG Rising Star Award was established to commemorate O’Sullivan’s legacy in the superannuation sector and in particular to the incorporation of ESG principles in the risk management of long-term investing. The award aims to advance the ESG agenda through development of the next generation of ESG advocates and professionals within the profit to member’s superannuation sector.

Nominations for the 2017 award will open in March 2017.

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