Sustainable Asset Management (SAM), a leader in sustainability investing, is increasing its push into the U.S. market by hiring a North American head of sales for the first time.

The firm, based in Zurich, Switzerland, announced that it has hired Neil Johnson, a veteran investment marketer, to lead its North American operations as head of sales at Sustainable Asset Management USA Inc.

Johnson will focus on strengthening the firm's institutional, consultant, wholesale and retail business in the U.S. and Canada. He previously was a director at Credit Suisse in New York, responsible for marketing investment strategies to public and private pension plans, foundations, endowments, consultants and hedge fund-of-funds.  He has held similar positions at AIG Investments and Neuberger Berman following his 7 years as an institutional investment consultant.

"Interest in sustainability investing is well established in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world and is now gaining momentum in the United States amongst public and private pensions, endowments, foundations and individual investors," says Michael Baldinger, SAM's head of global clients and marketing.

SAM, based in Zurich, Switzerland, is a subsidiary of Robeco with $14.8 billion in assets as of December 31 and is one of the world's most well-known sustainability managers. In addition to managing money for institutions, it manages clean tech private-equity assets and licenses indexes, including the 10-year-old Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the longest-running and best-known group of sustainability indexes.