The creation of this position and the appointment of Van Wijk as Head of Responsible Business & Public Affairs reflects the growing importance of social responsibility and responsible investment across the industry, not only for Aegon Asset Management (AAM) but also for its clients and within Aegon Group.
As of 1 January, Van Wijk will oversee AAM’s strategy on responsible business, including the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues across AAM’s investments globally. She reports to Sarah Russell, CEO Aegon Asset Management.
Prior to this appointment Van Wijk was CEO of TKP Investments (TKPI), an Aegon Asset Management company, for over a decade. She helped grow the TKPI business from €6bn AuM to €28bn AuM. She also successfully spearheaded the creation of sustainable tailored investment strategies for TKPI’s clients.
Van Wijk has had numerous functions and additional positions within the investment industry throughout her 25 year career. Van Wijk has worked as Head of (ESG) Research and Head of Equity Investments at SNS Asset Management (now Actiam) and as Head of Trading and Senior Portfolio Manager Fixed Income at Philips Pension Fund and PGGM. She was also Chair of the Non-Executive Board of the €16bn AUM Dutch Railway Pension fund (SPF). Van Wijk is currently Vice-Chair of the Board of the Dutch Fund and Asset Management Association (DUFAS) and Chair of the Investment Leaders Group of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).
According to Van Wijk, “Long-term sustainable investing should be a mainstream activity, underpinned by common sense, and should be put forward by mainstream investors. Sustainable research or responsible investing should not be done by a separate department or different people but should be an integral part of an investor’s day-to-day business. All mainstream investors should ensure that this is part of their intrinsic investment beliefs and act accordingly when making their day-to-day investment decisions”.
TKPI’s Coos Luning succeeds Van Wijk and will head Fiduciary Services as an independent business reporting directly to AAM’s CEO Sarah Russell.