SASB names Madelyn Antoncic as new CEO

Madelyn Antoncic, a former vice president and treasurer of the World Bank, is taking the helm of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.

The SASB Foundation, which oversees the nonprofit group, said Antoncic became CEO effective Feb. 25, 2019. She has held leadership and management roles for over 30 years at various financial institutions. Most recently she was executive director and global head of official sector partnerships at Principal Global Investors. From 2011 to 2015, Antoncic was vice president and treasurer of the World Bank, where she was an early advocate of establishing global standards for Green Bond issuers and called for greening the financial system, closing the climate-induced catastrophic risk insurance gap, closing the infrastructure funding gap and other issues. Before joining the World Bank, she was an executive at Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital and Goldman Sachs. Antoncic began her career as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“I am thrilled to join SASB and take on this important opportunity,” said Antoncic in a statement. “I have built a career studying and managing risk, value creation and economic policy, and what I’ve learned is the importance of governance and transparency for ensuring the best, most efficient outcomes. For shareholders and stakeholders external to a company, having clear, accurate information is critical for good decision-making. I am excited to put my knowledge to work on behalf of businesses around the world seeking to improve how they identify, manage and communicate financially material sustainability risks and opportunities to their investors and creditors.”

SASB released a set of industry-specific sustainability accounting standards last year developed with input from companies, investors and sustainability advocates. Its original CEO, Dr. Jean Rogers, stepped down last year (see SASB founder Jean Rogers steps down). The group also overhauled its governance structure, setting up a SASB Foundation to oversee the SASB Standards Board, similar to the way the Financial Accounting Foundation oversees the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the IFRS Foundation oversees the International Accounting Standards Board. Vice chair Jeffrey Hales took over Rogers’ role last year as chair of what was referred to as the SASB Standards Board. Hales remains chair of the SASB Standards Board, which provides oversight of the SASB staff, now led by Antoncic.

SASB Chair Jeffrey Hales (center) at the opening bell of the London Stock Exchange

“SASB is pleased to welcome Madelyn Antoncic as our next CEO,” said SASB Foundation chair Robert K. Steel in a statement. “Madelyn has extensive experience and contacts in the financial markets. Her deep understanding of the risks and opportunities related to environmental, social and governance issues will be invaluable as we take SASB’s codified standards to the market and support their use by corporations and investors.”

“Madelyn’s global policy experience and extensive knowledge of the financial markets will make her an ideal leader for SASB,” stated former SEC chair Mary Schapiro, who is vice-chair of the SASB Foundation board of directors. “With her understanding of sustainability opportunities and risks, she will be a great ally for companies and investors seeking tools to improve sustainability disclosure to benefit both corporate and investment performance.”

Antoncic also still serves as a director or overseer on some other boards, including S&P Global Ratings, FinTec Acquisition Corp III and Weill Cornell Medicine at Cornell University.

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