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Nuveen strengthens global ESG capabilities with new Head of Sustainability for Westchester Group

Westchester Group Investment Management, a TIAA and Nuveen company specialising in global farmland investment, has appointed Cristina Hastings Newsome as Head of Sustainability, effective from 12 April.

Based in London, Hastings Newsome will drive Westchester’s global sustainability efforts, supporting the team’s approach to sensitively managing farmland investments.

She will support Westchester’s response to rising investor demand for carbon neutral portfolios, providing scalable, natural solutions to counter climate change through farmland investments. Hastings Newsome will also support Westchester’s ESG committee to lead innovation and implementation on a broader range of ESG themes across the farmland portfolio, including providing supportive working conditions and resource efficiency.

Hastings Newsome brings more than 18 years’ experience, joining from Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) in Switzerland where she was Global Sustainability Lead, responsible for the sustainability strategy for the Grains and Oilseeds complex. She previously held roles at AstraZeneca, Proteus and Accenture.

Originally from the UK, Cristina has significant international experience in sustainable agricultural production systems across Europe, the US, Latam and Asia Pacific regions. She holds an MA from Oxford University, an MBA from London Business School and qualifications in sustainable finance from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership.

She will report to Martin Davies, CEO and President of Westchester.

Martin Davies, CEO and President of Westchester Group, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of agriculture to everyday societies, with food essential to a growing population. The FAO estimate that $350B of investment is needed annually by agriculture and the supply chain to develop sustainable food production systems. With a limited land resource base and focus on more efficient resource use stable supply-demand dynamics for agricultural produce are critical for a sustainable future. We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of agricultural production whilst acting as valued partners with local communities to drive ESG improvements. For our increasingly sustainably focused investors, this is compelling.

“Cristina brings with her a wealth of experience that will be integral to support sustainability efforts across our farmland portfolio. We continue to evolve our approach to ESG to meet our commitment to drive positive change and client demand, and Cristina’s appointment is testament to this.”

Westchester has more than 35 years’ experience acquiring, managing and marketing agricultural real estate assets around the world. The team is committed to helping the world meet ESG challenges. Its farmland portfolio comprises 2.2 million acres in seven countries.
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