Finn Partners hires Jane Madden as sustainability, social impact practice head

Most recently, Madden was MD of corporate responsibility and sustainability at Burson-Marsteller.

Jane Madden
Jane Madden

CHICAGO: Finn Partners has hired Jane Madden as managing partner and leader of its sustainability and social impact practice.

Based in Chicago, Madden started in newly created role September 4. She reports to senior managing partner Richard Funess.

Finn Partners did have an "environment and sustainability" practice, but Madden said this is a new practice with a broader focus than its predecessor.

In the U.S., sustainability refers to environmental issues. Elsewhere, in EMEA and Asia, it refers to social issues, governance, and economics, Madden explained.

"We’ll take a more global approach," she said, adding that Finn hopes to expand in Asia and EMEA.

Madden said more companies want to adhere more closely to the United Nation’s sustainable development goals. Part of this entails ensuring a certain level of reporting and disclosure. Madden said she’d want her clients to follow the Global Reporting Initiative and the U.S.-based Sustainability Accounting Standards Board as frameworks.

Instead of rolling out one annual sustainability report, clients should come out with campaigns year-round, whether that be in the form of social media campaigns, stakeholder engagement, or executive positioning, she said.

"This is an opportunity for prospective clients," Madden said. "It’s important for building corporate reputation and trust. We can’t just tell, we need to create a story and back it up with data and measurement."

More recently, Finn Partners named Cognito’s Ryan Barr as the head of its financial services practice after his predecessor, Amber Roberts, joined Vested.

Most recently, Madden worked at Burson-Marsteller. She joined the WPP firm in 2015 to lead its U.S. corporate responsibility and sustainability practice in Chicago. There, she doubled the size of the practice and served clients such as Astellas, Chipotle, Colgate, FedEx, and the International Olympic Committee, a statement said.

Madden is the latest Burson-Marsteller senior executive to exit following its merger with Cohn & Wolfe. In total, more than a dozen Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe executives have left the newly created entity, Burson Cohn & Wolfe. Most recently, Rowan Benecke, BCW’s technology chair, joined Ruder Finn as chief growth officer.

Parris Bowe, EVP of global marketing at BCW, declined to comment.

Earlier in her career, Madden was a principal and adviser at Mission Measurement, a social sector data and insights consultancy. She was a partner and leader of the sustainability practice at Environmental Resources Management. She also had a three-year turn at Edelman, her latest role being EVP of CSR and sustainability.

Prior to Edelman, Madden worked at the World Bank for 12 years as a capacity building specialist, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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