The local Australian network of a global sustainability initiative has added a former BlackRock managing director to its board.
Pru Bennett has become a director of the Australian arm of the UN Global Compact.
She currently works as an independent consultant advising Australian corporations on stakeholder management and communication as well as ESG strategies.
“There has probably never been a more challenging time for corporations to manage the interests of stakeholders, while also ensuring the long-term sustainability of their businesses,” Ms Bennett said.
“The GCNA (Global Compact Network Australia) has a vital role to play in guiding business through this very difficult time and I look forward to working with the board to ensure that sustainability issues remain a key consideration as companies negotiate the new social and economic landscape.”
Until January last year, Ms Bennett was managing director at BlackRock and head of the group’s investment stewardship team for the APAC region. In the role she led the team responsible for engagement and proxy voting activities.
Most recently, she was a senior adviser to the Brunswick Group in Hong Kong and she is a senior adviser to Morrow Sodali. She is also a member of the advisory council for Hong Kong-based investment management firm, Oasis Capital.
Ms Bennett is also a member of a number of industry and regulatory bodies, including Public Shareholder Group of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission, the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Corporate Governance Advisory Committee, a council member of the Asian Corporate Governance Association, director of the International Integrated Reporting Council and a member of the Deakin University Integrated Reporting Centre Advisory Board.
In 2018, she received the Asia Industry Leadership Award from 100 Women in Finance and in 2013, she was named one of Australia’s top 10 women in influence in corporate governance.
GCNA chairman Dr David Cooke welcomed the addition of Ms Bennett to the network’s board.
“Pru joins a group of passionate and experienced business leaders who are committed to ensuring that Australian business plays an active and worthy role in the equitable development of our society,” Dr Cooke said.
“Her wealth of experience in governance and stakeholder management complements the input available to a board whose skill set includes leaders from the manufacturing, social policy, legal, energy and banking sectors.”
GCNA executive director Kylie Porter added Ms Bennett’s experience will be useful for the group’s advocacy in the Australian corporate landscape.
“Her background as a leader in the international investment sector and her impressive business connections will greatly assist the Global Compact Network Australia as we continue to be thought leaders on key issues such as sustainable development, climate change, human rights, modern slavery and anti-bribery/corruption,” Ms Porter said.
The UN Global Compact claims to be the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with its membership consisting of more than 10,000 businesses and 3,000 non-business participants.
In Australia, the GCNA brings together signatories to the UN Global Compact. It has signed on more than 30 ASX 100 companies, alongside other corporates, non-profits and universities to advance corporate sustainability and the private sector’s contribution to sustainable development.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].
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