5 Mar, 2021

Herman Bril and Ulrika Hasselgren join Arabesque as the Group expands its leadership team


  • Bril to join as CEO of Arabesque Asset Management after the end of his tenure as CIO of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF).
  • Hasselgren joins Arabesque as Head of Nordics and Head of Europe for Corporates and Sovereigns. Formerly served as Global Head of Sustainability and Impact Investment at Danske Bank, and Global Head of RI Strategy and ESG Integration at Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS).
  • Appointments are part of a series of significant new hires across Arabesque as the Group expands its sustainability and AI solutions to meet growing demand.

5 March, 2021, London, Frankfurt and Stockholm – Arabesque has today announced the appointment of Herman Bril, outgoing CIO of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund (UNJSPF), as the new CEO of Arabesque Asset Management, and Ulrika Hasselgren, former Global Head of Sustainability and Impact Investment at Danske Bank, as the Group’s new Head of Nordics as well as Head of Europe for Corporates and Sovereigns. Ms. Hasselgren joins with immediate effect, with Mr. Bril’s role commencing in July 2021, and both will be partners at Arabesque.

The appointments of Bril and Hasselgren, who bring with them a wealth of experience from leadership roles at prominent financial institutions, comes as Arabesque expands its services to meet rapidly increasing demand for sustainability and AI technology solutions across global markets.

Mr. Bril will be responsible for Arabesque’s global asset management business and its growing suite of AI-driven sustainable investment products and solutions, including the firm’s new net-zero climate investment strategy that launches this year for clients. He will be based at the Group’s new headquarters in London.

In addition to overseeing Arabesque’s range of ESG data and insights services for corporate and sovereign clients in Europe, Ms. Hasselgren will lead the group’s activities and expansion in the Nordic region and will be based in Stockholm.

Today’s announcement marks the latest in a series of significant new hires at Arabesque, as it looks to shape the industry of sustainability through its investment solutions, AI and financial technology expertise.

With over 25 years of experience in international financial institutions in multiple countries, Mr. Bril possesses broad-level expertise encompassing asset management, pension funds, life insurance, investment banking, derivatives trading and treasury operations. Joining UNJSPF as Chief Investment Officer in 2016 in New York, Bril successfully developed and implemented the fund’s sustainable investment strategy, with assets under management increasing from USD 52 billion to USD 82 billion during his tenure over nearly five years.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Mr. Bril said:

“Technology and data are playing a key role in reshaping sustainable investing, spurring market transformation away from industrial-era concepts towards future-fit models and new horizons.”

“Powered by the market-leading ESG data assets of S-Ray and the group’s AI technology, Arabesque can help drive change through its autonomous, sustainable investment products and solutions.”

“I am thrilled to be joining Arabesque’s exceptional team of sustainable investment engineers, and scaling-up the delivery of competitive ESG strategies that reflect client values whilst delivering market returns.”

Prior to his role at UNJSPF, Herman Bril served as Group CFO and Managing Director at Cardano Risk Management, and was Senior Vice President, Head of Treasury and Capital Management at Aegon NV, and Head of Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer of Syntrus Achmea Asset Management, where he was responsible for Dutch pension funds with assets under management totalling Euro 45 billion.

Ulrika Hasselgren is a senior business leader and pioneer in sustainability, with more than 20 years in the finance industry working with investors and asset managers across the Nordics, Europe and North America. Most recently, Ms. Hasselgren served as Global Head of Sustainability and Impact Investment and Member of the Wealth Management Leadership team at Danske Bank in Copenhagen. In this role, Hasselgren created a vision and strategic roadmap to embed sustainability into the core of the bank’s investment business and led the journey for ESG quant integration and active ownership across its investment processes, products, and advisory.

Upon joining Arabesque, Ulrika Hasselgren today said:

“Over the coming few years, technology will transform the global marketplace, with artificial intelligence shaping the rapid evolution of financial services from online banking to asset management, and ushering in the next generation of ESG products.”

“The emergence of technology has also enabled the integration of sustainability within business and investment processes at a greater scale than ever before, and Arabesque will play a key leadership role in this transition through its unique range of AI-based ESG solutions.”

“I’m excited to be joining Arabesque’s fast-growing team with its collaborative and entrepreneurial culture, and I look forward to bringing innovative new data, insights and investment products to the Nordic market.”

Before her role at Danske Bank, Hasselgren joined the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) leadership team as Global Head of RI Strategy and ESG Integration, after Ethix SRI Advisors, the company she co-founded in 1999, was acquired by ISS in 2015. Ms. Hasselgren has developed sustainability policies, investment strategies and products, created standard-setting research methodologies, and developed tools and education programs for asset owners and asset managers. She has served on the boards of Eurosif, Dansif, and Swesif, and chaired The LuxFlag ESG Label Eligibility Committee.

Georg Kell, Chairman of the Arabesque Group and founding Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, added:

“A more sustainable financial system is starting to emerge, with technology and digitalisation the key drivers shaping the future of ESG investing.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Herman Bril and Ulrika Hasselgren to Arabesque, with their experience of successfully developing and implementing sustainable investment strategies at various financial institutions. As the company scales up its products and services worldwide to meet market demand, their vision and leadership will be invaluable.”

Established in 2013, Arabesque is a leading provider of technology solutions for sustainable finance, with three integrated businesses offering ESG investment strategies, data and insights for financial decision-making, and AI investment technology.