AIA hires Karen Lee to lead ESG partnerships and advocacy

Lee joins AIA from rival insurer MSIG Asia, where she led the sustainability function.

Karen Lee, Head of Partnerships & Advocacy, Group ESG, AIA
Karen Lee has been appointed head of partnerships and advocacy at AIA, based in Singapore. Image: Karen Lee

AIA has bolstered its environmental, social and governance (ESG) team with the appointment of Karen Lee as head of partnerships and advocacy.

She joins the Hong Kong-headquartered insurance giant after two and a half years with Japanese insurer MSIG, where she led sustainability and communications across 14 markets.

Lee’s role will involve working with partners towards the AIA’s net-zero 2050 goal, developing a sustainability culture among the firm’s employees, partners and agents, and engaging with multilateral entities such as the UN Principles of Sustainable Insurance and UN Global Compact.

She joins a company that has made a number of appointments to strengthen its sustainability offering in recent years, including Leong Li Sun as Singapore head of ESG from United Overseas Bank and former Unilever executive Amita Chaudhury to lead sustainability for the region.

Lee will report to Chaudhury, who is part of the company’s ESG committee, the governance body responsible for overseeing ESG Strategy, targets, policies and disclosure across the firm’s 18 markets.

AIA’s most high-profile sustainability commitment in recent years was divesting from coal. Last December, the firm sold off its $10 billion portfolio of coal investments, becoming the first major Asian insurer to curtail its exposure to the fossil fuel.

Over her career, Lee has led sustainability for carpet company Interface across the region, and consulted for Asian Venture Philanthropy Network and Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN). She started out her career with events company Launch Group.

Did you find this article useful? Help us keep our journalism free to read.

We have a team of journalists dedicated to providing independent, well-researched stories from around the region on the topics that matter to you. Consider supporting our brand of purposeful journalism with a donation and keep Eco-Business free for all to read. Thank you.

Most popular

Featured Events

Publish your event

More from People

Neo Gim Huay and En Lee
The international bank, the world's largest family-owned private banking and asset management group, has appointed Neo Gim Huay and En Lee, two individuals with sustainability credentials, to the board of its Singapore unit.
Mark Watson, APAC head of ESG advisory, Teneo
In his new role at the leadership consulting firm, Watson will advise chief executives and board leadership on ESG strategy.
Jasmine Chew, Macquarie Group Foundation
Chew joins from AVPN where she led the capital mobilisation team.
IFC_World Bank
In her new role at IFC, Horowitz says climate will be her key focus. The World Bank Group’s investment arm, however, has been in the limelight this year for engaging in a few controversial projects, including for bankrolling a coal boom in the Philippines.
leaf background pattern

Transforming Innovation for Sustainability Join the Ecosystem →

Strategic Organisations

ESG Book
City Developments Ltd