British International Investment
12 August 2021

We’re launching the ESG Performance Award for Private Capital Funds with GPCA

We’re partnering with GPCA to sponsor the ESG Performance Award for Private Capital Funds. This inaugural award will highlight the significant progress emerging market private capital funds have made to accelerate the integration of ESG strategies into investment decision making.

The award winner – and runners up – will be showcased on a global stage, promoted via CDC’s and GPCA platforms. The winner’s credible and strong ESG strategies will be highlighted, helping to raise the Fund’s profile amongst the global investment community.

Applications are now open to submissions from emerging markets focused private capital funds across geographies. Please note that applicants are not required to be a fund manager that CDC invests in.

The award winner will demonstrate prominence in the following areas:

  1. Governance of ESG
  2. Dedicated ESG (in house) capabilities
  3. Continuous improvement in ESG management (such as climate, gender or impact lenses)
  4. Transparency or market shaping work with ESG dimensions

Additionally, award winners will be able to showcase ESG performance improvements across their underlying portfolio.

How to apply

Once complete, submit application to [email protected].

The closing date for applications is midnight (UK time) on 30 September 2021.

About our ESG approach in private capital funds

CDC has been a major investor in emerging market private capital funds for more than 70 years. During this time, we have contributed to the establishment of significant changes to how private capital funds consider ESG performance to create further commercial value. For many managers, ESG is now a core strategic focus (from inception and fundraising, through to investment decision making and portfolio ownership). In particular, we have seen:

  • A significant increase in PE fund managers recruiting dedicated specialist resources or teams to lead ESG integration.
  • Leadership teams developing sophisticated management system frameworks and oversight to cement ESG as a risk management and value creation differentiator. Take a look at CDC’s ESG Toolkit to see how you could do this too
  • Increased focus on thematic investment strategies including: climate (aligned with TCFD); gender and diversity (including the 2X Challenge) or clearer developmental impact focus (such as Operating Principles for Impact Management)
  • There a now clear examples of portfolio companies with improvements in their practices as a consequence of an ESG lens analysis. Examples include a range of case studies.
  • A strong shift to other asset classes following the example of emerging markets PE (e.g. Responsible Venture Capital)
  • CDC Group has been investing to promote ESG for many decades. It believes in the long term sustainable success ambitious ESG strategies can bring businesses, employees and their communities.

About the judging panel

Adam Black, Partner, Head of ESG & Sustainability, Coller Capital
Adam has worked in ESG and sustainability since 1992 and took his first in-house role within private alternative finance in 2008 (private equity buy out, real estate, and venture, as well as private markets secondary investments of all types).  He holds a BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, MA Environmental Law and a post-graduate in Occupational Health and Safety. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (FIEMA), Registered Principal Environmental Auditor (IEMA), Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv), and Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health (CMIOSH).

Adam has developed and implemented risk mitigation and value creation impact strategies across most industry sectors in over 60 countries worldwide, including across Africa, APAC and Latin America.  As a Partner in Coller Capital’s Investment Team, he has primary responsibility for integrating ESG and sustainability across all investment decision-making and management processes, as well as a range of ESG and sustainability initiatives applicable across the firm.

Before joining Coller Capital in 2016, Adam was Partner and Head of Sustainability at a multi-national private equity, venture, and real estate manager (Doughty Hanson).  As one of the first dedicated ESG leads in the industry, he implemented one of the first ESG value creation impact strategies in private equity. Prior to this, he worked at KPMG Europe (as lead for the sustainability advisory business), at ERM (a leading sustainability consultancy), ERM CVS (ISO certification) and oil and gas focused multi-national (Halliburton).

Adam is a frequent speaker and contributor to publications on responsible investment, ESG and sustainability within private finance.

Mark Goldsmith, Managing Director and Sustainability Specialist, FiveOak
Mark has more than 25 years of experience managing complex projects and teams across the financial services, development, strategy consulting and energy sectors. His leadership extends to both the public and private sectors where he has demonstrated the ability to manage multi-stakeholders, understand complex issues and lead the implementation of industry-wide and sector-leading solutions. Before creating his own sustainability consultancy “FiveOak” in 2015, Mr. Goldsmith was Director, Responsible Investment for Actis for more than 10 years. During that time, he was a pioneer in environmental and social governance (ESG) thinking in the emerging markets. In this capacity he developed and promoted world class standards in business integrity, health and safety, social, environmental and climate change areas across all investment areas and companies and implemented robust corporate governance standards and transparent practices. Currently, Mark is also a member of the World Bank’s Inspection Panel, having been appointed on November 17, 2019. The committee of three is an independent complaints mechanism for people and communities who believe that they have been, or are likely to be, adversely affected by a World Bank-funded project. He has a degree in manufacturing engineering and a master’s degree in environmental pollution control, with distinction, from the University of Leeds.

Natasha Buckley, Vice President, ESG, HarbourVest
Natasha joined HarbourVest in 2019 and is responsible for sustaining the Firm’s ESG strategy and partnering with our general partners, limited partners, and the Firm’s employees to embrace sustainable investing. Natasha joined HarbourVest from Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), where she was responsible for their work in the private equity sector, developing tools and resources for PRI signatories to integrate ESG considerations into their investment processes. During her time at PRI, Natasha co-authored the organization’s guide for general partners, and guidance for LPs and GPs on ESG in fund selection, fund terms and fund monitoring/reporting. Natasha received a BA in History from University College London, an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and has completed the University of Oxford Private Equity Programme at the Saïd Business School.

Shami Nissan, Head of Sustainability, Actis
Shami leads Actis’ approach to responsible investment, working closely with investment colleagues and company management to assess and manage sustainability issues, helping to build world-class businesses and to deliver societal benefits. Shami is a member of Actis’ Executive Committee, sits on the Actis Inclusion and Diversity Working Group and is a Trustee of Actis Acts.  In 2021, Shami joined the G7 Impact Taskforce as an advisory panel member.

Before joining Actis in 2014 Shami was as a senior consultant at PwC’s Sustainability and Climate Change team for ten years. Prior to this, Shami led the London business of Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, providing sustainability research and analytics to institutional investors and asset managers. Shami has also worked with the United Nations Development Programme in Central America.

Shami holds an MSc Environmental Technology, with Distinction, from Imperial College London and a BSc Biological Sciences from University of Durham.

Shruti Chandrasekhar, Head, SME Ventures & Startup Catalyst, IFC/World Bank Group
Shruti Chandrasekhar is the Head of Startup Catalyst and SME Ventures at the IFC, investing and managing a portfolio of unlisted closed-end funds across frontier markets with a strong focus on emerging managers and impact.  Startup Catalyst is an early stage venture capital program focused on pre-seed, seed and early stage investing and SME Ventures is a private equity investment program focused on providing access to capital for SMEs across frontier markets.  Shruti also leads IFC’s gender focused initiatives across private equity and venture capital.  In addition, Shruti serves on the boards and advisory committees of several private equity and venture capital funds and companies.

Since 2006, Shruti built a successful track record investing equity—leading venture capital deals in Silicon Valley, private equity transactions in India and fund investments across the world.  Prior to the IFC, Shruti was based in California and focused on late-stage venture capital with PremjiInvest, a multi-billion dollar investment office with multiple investments in Silicon Valley & emerging market unicorns such as Coupa, Anaplan, ServiceMax, Flipkart, etc.  Prior to her investment career, Shruti was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman.  She has an MBA from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  She is a frequent speaker on the topics of private equity and venture capital investment and emerging markets.


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