abrdn Launches Sustainability Institute, Americas & Appoints Fionna Ross to Lead

16 August 2022

New initiative follows successful global model shaping abrdn solutions & engagement

August 16, 2022—PHILADELPHIA—Today leading global asset manager abrdn is pleased to announce the launch of the abrdn Sustainability Institute, Americas and the appointment of Fionna Ross as Sustainability Investment Specialist & Head of the Sustainability Institute, Americas.

The new initiative will be modeled upon the successful buildout of a similar institute in the Asia Pacific region in 2021, and is the latest step in an expansive evolution undertaken earlier this year for abrdn’s broader Sustainability leadership. The institute model is designed to develop sustainable investment solutions for clients, and in the Americas it will drive efforts to deliver new products and offerings across asset classes; align and apply consistent standards, methodology and reporting; and leverage abrdn’s global perspective in influencing issues that affect the firm’s clients and engagement with invested companies.

Ross will lead the new Institute after 14 years at abrdn, much of which has been spent developing abrdn’s ESG frameworks and approach to engagement for the Americas. In addition, Ross champions sustainability within abrdn by co-leading the firm’s existing Americas ESG network, including coordination for abrdn’s corporate practices in the region, and she is an active member of the CFA Philadelphia Chapter’s Sustainable Investing Thought Leadership Group.

Having most recently served as Senior ESG Analyst for abrdn’s US equities franchise, Ross’s new role is positioned within the Sustainability Group’s Investment Specialists team headed by Danielle Welsh-Rose, and she will also report to Ralph Bassett, abrdn Head of Investments, Americas. A Scotland native, she is a graduate of the University of St Andrews and Royal Holloway University of London, receiving degrees in Geography and Quaternary Science respectively, which inform her view into urgent climate matters and biodiversity.

“We are proud to bring our institute model to the Americas, and Fionna’s appointment is a testament to abrdn’s Sustainability heritage. She has built years-long relationships and reputation among our colleagues, clients and external stakeholders,” says Amanda Young, Chief Sustainability Officer, Investments. “Her expertise and unique perspective of the US market make her a natural choice to lead this important launch.”

Adds Ralph Bassett, Head of Investments, Americas at abrdn: “Sustainability continues to gain mindshare among American investors, regulators and in the public discourse, and the imperative for today’s launch could not be higher. The formation of the Institute and appointment of Fionna signals our commitment to strive for best-in-class thought leadership as well as capabilities in the Americas to help our clients navigate an increasingly complex landscape with authenticity and transparency. Our Institute will achieve these goals under Fionna’s guidance, leveraging her tremendous experience and technical knowledge of the issues.”

“At abrdn we are proud to have developed a strong reputation for active engagement with invested companies and entities, and a well-articulated vision for integrating sustainability principles through our proxy voting and governance policies, fund construction, and commitments as a company,” says Ross. “With a strong foundation in place, we hope that our Sustainability Institute, Americas will further catalyze and inform these efforts so that we may further deliver sustainable solutions for clients, and take a frontline role in shaping this critical area for asset managers in the region.”

Media Contact

Tim Bourgaize Murray
Senior Communications Americas, abrdn

About abrdn

At abrdn, we enable our clients to plan, save and invest for their futures.

We structure our business into three areas – and together they reflect our focus on enabling our clients to be better investors:

  • Investments: We work with clients to create solutions across asset classes, regions and markets globally – combining multi-layered research and market insights with technology and diverse thinking.
  • Adviser: We offer market-leading platform technology and tools that enable UK wealth managers and financial advisers to create more opportunity for their business and their clients.
  • Personal: We help people throughout the UK plan for their financial futures – through our financial planning business and our digital investing services.

Across our investments, adviser and personal businesses we manage and administer approximately $616 billion of assets for our clients, and abrdn plc has over 1 million shareholders. (Figures as at 30 June 2022)

Our investments are built on an insight strength that comes from multi-layered research and a large global footprint. Our teams collaborate across multiple capabilities, to create forward-thinking solutions that aim to meet our clients’ needs and deliver more sustainable outcomes. Our investments business manages assets on behalf of individuals, governments, pension funds, insurers, companies, charities and foundations – with support and expertise from 800 investment specialists in over 30 locations. abrdn is the single global brand for all areas of our business. In July 2021 our plc listing became abrdn plc. In September our investments business, formerly Aberdeen Standard Investments, became abrdn.


US Marketing Disclosure

In the United States, abrdn is the marketing name for the following affiliated, registered investment advisers: abrdn Inc., Aberdeen Asset Managers Ltd., abrdn Australia Limited, abrdn Asia Limited, Aberdeen Capital Management, LLC, abrdn ETFs Advisors LLC and Aberdeen Standard Alternative Funds Limited.