The Rosenberg Equities branch of the asset manager has been taking into account environmental, social and governance factors in its portfolio management process since the mid-1990’s, but said the hire comes as part of a push to achieve “full ESG integration” across the platform by the end of the year.
The move toward full ESG integration “is fully in line with Axa IM’s overarching convictions and commitment to investing responsibly,” said Rosenberg Equities chief executive Heidi Ridley.
She added: “We believe the winners of the future will be well-run companies that successfully adapt to tomorrow’s challenges.
“We are excited to lead the way in further embedding ESG across Axa IM’s investment processes and strategies.”
McDonald, who has been with Axa IM since 1999, has had a varied career at the firm, which includes roles as director of investment strategy, senior strategist for emerging markets and Asia ex-Japan, as well as head of investments for Australia and New Zealand.
Under her leadership, there will be more cross-over between Axa's responsible investment team and the Rosenberg division, with the latter leveraging qualitative and quantitative ESG data to guide portfolio construction.
Axa IM has said that the ESG information will be treated as complementary to the traditional financial information gathered by the Rosenberg team from its analysis of thousands of companies.
On McDonald's appointment, Ridley added: “We are confident that Kathryn’s expertise in the subject matter and our close working partnership with Axa IM’s Responsible Investment team will help us to successfully reach our ESG ambitions.”