Kelly Hirsch is the Head of ESG with VCIM. She joined the firm in 2016 as an ESG Analyst and worked closely with senior members of the ESG team for 5 years, before taking on the Head of ESG position in 2021.
Kelly oversees VCIM’s overall sustainability and ESG integration strategy including our net zero commitment as a member of the Net Zero Asset Manager’s initiative (NZAM) and the adoption of the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge. She is also responsible for leading a team of analysts in the assessment of the ESG practices of publicly traded companies, the evaluation of risks and opportunities associated with emerging ESG issues, and the creation and execution of shareholder engagement strategies.
Kelly has over 10 years of financial services experience and holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science from the University of Guelph and a diploma in accounting from the University of British Columbia. She is a CFA Charterholder, certified as a Responsible Investment Specialist (RIS) with the Responsible Investment Association and registered with the BC Securities Commission as an Associate Advising Representative. In her spare time, she gets out into nature as much as possible, whether hiking through the alpine or kayaking up an inlet to a marine campsite. She is passionate about travelling the world and believes that the variety of perspectives gained from visiting different cultures and environments is valuable experience that directly translates into better leadership and decision making.
Kelly’s investment philosophy is rooted in being idealistic about long term possibilities whilst taking a pragmatic approach to achieving them. She believes it is very important to be open to new information and to focus on taking incremental steps in the right direction. Take the infamous Pacific Crest Trail, a 4,270 km long trail, as an example. If one sets out to hike it in a single day, they are almost certain to fail. However, if they set a realistic goal of hiking 20 km per day, they can achieve the full trail in just over 200 days. This approach fosters real progress and change. While the person who announces their intention to hike the trail in one day may receive attention, they are unlikely to succeed. In contrast, the person who sets realistic goals and takes incremental steps is more likely to achieve their goals and possibly surpass them.
“Most of the companies we research and engage with want to create long-term value for their customers and shareholders. Seeing companies implement changes based on VCIM’s shareholder engagement is inspiring.”