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Carney Joins Brookfield Asset Management as Vice-Chair, Head of ESG and Impact Investing

Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England now serving as United Nations special envoy on climate action and finance, signed on last week as vice-chair of Toronto-based Brookfield Asset Management.

The announcement cut short a brief but intense period of speculation that Carney might be planning a move into federal politics, following the resignation of former finance minister bill Morneau.

As Brookfield’s vice-chair and head of ESG (environmental, social and governance) and impact fund investing, Carney will have a role in overseeing a portfolio of assets worth more than US$500 billion, including a number of renewable energy facilities. The job “gives Mr. Carney an opportunity to transform businesses by tapping Brookfield’s operational skills and its clients’ wallets,” since “the fund manager invests on behalf of clients such as sovereign wealth funds and pension plans,” the Globe and Mail reports.

He’ll continue in his role as informal advisor to national leaders like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and UK PM Boris Johnson, and as UN special envoy for climate action and finance.

“With an accelerated transition to a net zero economy imperative for climate sustainability and one of the greatest commercial opportunities of our time, I’m looking forward to building on Brookfield’s leading positions in renewable energy and sustainability,” Carney said.

“We are not going to solve climate change without the private sector,” he added in an interview with the Globe. “We are in the early innings of a very long game.”

“Mark has been a vocal proponent of the positive role that private capital can play in climate action,” said Brookfield CEO Bruce Flatt. “Building on our track record in renewable investing, Mark will help accelerate our efforts to combine better long-term outcomes for society with strong risk-adjusted returns.”

The Globe says Brookfield’s portfolio includes US$200 billion worth of real estate, $130 billion in infrastructure and green power assets, and $65 billion of private equity businesses. “Over the past five years, the company’s assets under management grew at a 24% annual clip,” the paper notes,” and “ESG criteria are now woven into most mundane assets—corporate clients will pay more rent for space in a Brookfield building with a small environmental footprint.”