TIAA-CREF, the $569 billion financial services provider, appointed Bess Joffe as managing director of corporate governance, effective August 4. She will report to Jonathan Feigelson, senior managing director, general counsel and head of corporate governance, and will be based in London. Joffe will help lead TIAA-Cref’s corporate governance program and policies, including active ownership, public advocacy, thought leadership and proxy voting.
Currently, Joffe is Vice President of Investor Relations at Goldman Sachs and leads the team’s outreach with institutional shareholders on corporate governance policies and practices. In this role, Joffe engages with both asset managers and public pension funds, regulators, proxy advisory firms, along with governance thought leaders and academics. Before joining Goldman Sachs in 2010, she was an associate director at Hermes Equity Ownership Services in London where she led corporate governance engagements for client holdings in the Americas. Hermes is a fund management company owned by the BT Pension Scheme, with a client base primarily comprised of other pension funds, both public and private.
Jaffe is a Canadian qualified lawyer who graduated from the University of Toronto and has worked in corporate and securities law at Stikeman Elliott, as well as at Fairvest in Toronto (now ISS Canada), and PIRC, a UK-based proxy research and advisory firm. She earned a bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Montreal in North American Studies (English, Economics, History, Political Science).
Both TIAA-CREF and Bess Joffe enjoy great reputations in the corporate governance industrial complex. It should be a good match.