Chuka Umunna

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has hired former U.K. lawmaker Chuka Umunna to head its environmental, social and governance practice in EMEA.

Umunna, who of Nigerian descent, previously served as a Member of Parliament for nearly a decade, and will report to the region’s CEO Vis Raghavan, according to an internal memo seen by Bloomberg.

The hire is the latest indication that JPMorgan is thinking more seriously about its role in fighting climate change. It surpassed BNP Paribas SA to become the top underwriter of global green bonds last year, although that represents a fraction of its financing to fossil-fuel companies, Bloomberg reported.

Since the Paris climate agreement was signed at the end of 2015, JPMorgan has helped arrange $250 billion of bonds and loans for energy companies, excluding solar, wind and other renewable producers, the most of any lender, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes $43.2 billion in 2020 for clients including BP Plc and Saudi Aramco.

The bank underwrote $14 billion of green bonds in 2020, the data show.

The appointment will make Umunna, who previously co-headed Edelman’s ESG consultancy, one of the most senior Black bankers in the City of London.

He’s also the latest political figure to arrive in the City of London this year. Former U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is joining U.K. takeover advisory boutique Robey Warshaw LLP, while Rothschild & Co. has hired Mark Sedwill, the former head of Britain’s civil service, as a senior adviser.

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