People moves

Jupiter environmental solutions head leaves as two ecology funds close

Rhys Petheram's role was created amid a restructure to the firm's sustainability offering in January 2021

Jupiter’s head of environmental solutions Rhys Petheram (pictured) is leaving after two years in the role amid fund closures at the firm.

A Jupiter spokesperson confirmed the firm has taken the decision to close the Jupiter Global Ecology Bond and Global Ecology Diversified funds on 6 April.

“As an active, high-conviction asset manager, it is important that our product range is designed to address clients’ needs, with a clear focus on providing core strategies that meet their desired investment outcomes,” they said.

“Following a detailed review as part of our ongoing product rationalisation process, including client feedback, it has been concluded that these two funds are not aligned with client demand. Therefore, liquidating these funds is in the best interests of investors.”

The spokesperson continued: “As a result of these decisions, fund manager Rhys Petheram will be leaving the firm.

“Rhys has worked at Jupiter for 17 years and has made a significant contribution to the company’s fixed income and environmental solutions strategies over this time. He leaves with our thanks and very best wishes.”

The Jupiter Global Ecology Bond fund was launched in February last year and was managed by Petheram, whose role as head of environmental solutions was created amid a restructure to the firm’s sustainability offering in January 2021.

JP Morgan appoints partner in sustainable growth equity team

Alex Bell has almost two decades' experience

JP Morgan Private Capital has appointed Alex Bell as a partner of its Sustainable Growth Equity (SGE) platform.

Bell brings close to two decades of private equity experience with a focus on energy and climate technology. 

Based in New York, he will support SGE platform’s climate solutions investing efforts.

Bell was previously head of North America climate private equity at Tikehau Capital, a multi-billion-dollar global asset manager headquartered in Europe.

There he was responsible for all stages of investing across sourcing, diligence, structuring, execution and fundraising. 

Prior to Tikehau Capital, Bell was a director at Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ), where he helped launch a C$500m platform investing in late-stage venture and early-growth private equity opportunities in energy transition, sustainable food & agriculture and industrial decarbonization.

He spent the early part of his career in energy private equity, including at Pine Brook Partners and Cadent Energy Partners, and started his career in the power & utilities investment banking division at Lehman Brothers. 

Tanya Barnes, managing partner and co-global head of sustainable growth equity at JP Morgan Private Capital, said: “I’ve known Alex for nearly two decades and he is a pragmatic, values-driven investor who brings years of multi-asset class sustainable investing experience to the team.”

Sustainable Growth Equity

The Sustainable Growth Equity platform was established in 2021, following JP Morgan Chase’s pledge to target more than $2.5trn over 10 years to advance sustainable development and climate action.

The firm has also made a commitment to co-invest alongside Project Black, an Ariel Alternatives private equity fund, which aims to close the racial wealth gap by investing in middle market businesses that are minority owned. 

JP Morgan is anchoring SGE’s first sustainability investment strategy with an investment of up to $150m, one of its largest capital commitments ever made into an alternative investment strategy.

Actis appoints global head of Investor Solutions Group

Neda Vakilian brings almost 20 years of experience to the role

Actis, an investor in sustainable infrastructure, has appointed Neda Vakilian as global head of its Investor Solutions Group (ISG) arm.

Vakilian brings almost 20 years of experience to the role, at what was previously known as the Investor Development Group.

Vakilian is based in London and will be responsible for leading Actis’ capital raising initiatives and strategic investor programs.  

Her experience includes a combination of infrastructure sector expertise and strategic oversight, which she brings to the firm’s capital raising team.

She will take over the role from Neil Brown, who is stepping back within Actis to focus on working directly with investors. 

As the new leader of the ISG, Vakilian will play a key role in building and managing relationships with investors and delivering the strategic growth ambitions of the firm.

She has previously worked across private capital markets, business development, and fundraising. 

Expansion plans

Before joining Actis, Vakilian was co-head of capital solutions and investor relations for Amber Infrastructure. In this role, she was responsible for sales, client servicing, and product development, and was an investment committee member and board director across strategies.

Prior to this, she worked at Macquarie Capital and the Green Investment Bank (now the Green Investment Group) where she was responsible for raising what was, at the time, the largest renewables fund in Europe.  

She began her career as a solicitor, working at Clifford Chance and SJ Berwin in the private equity, fund formation teams.

Torbjorn Caesar, senior partner at Actis, said: “As Actis continues to grow from strength to strength, expanding its footprint worldwide, we welcome Neda to lead our capital raising efforts. 

“She brings technical expertise, enthusiasm, and real belief in the value of sustainable infrastructure as the future.”

Vakilian, global head of Investor Solutions Group at Actis, added: “Creating long-term value with sustainability at the core drives Actis’ investment strategy and I look forward to working with our limited partners to realise these goals as global economies are increasingly looking towards sustainable infrastructure solutions to meet decarbonisation goals.”

In 2022, Actis saw substantial growth and high levels of deal activity, as well as expansion into new markets by opening an office in Tokyo and launching its first Central and Eastern European platform.

Following what it said was “a successful year”, Actis is now entering into a new stage of its growth and development, according to the company.

Its aim is to secure new investment opportunities to “further drive its objective of facilitating the energy transition by investing in sustainable infrastructure worldwide”.

Evelyn Partners recruits Gee for charities role

Firm runs £3bn in assets for charities

Caroline Jarvis Gee has joined Evelyn Partners as head of charity business development.

Gee has more than 20 years’ experience working with charities and was most recently at EdenTree as charity business development manager and prior to that held roles at James Hambro and Partners and Investec. She is also a member of the board of trustees at the Association of Charitable Organisations.

A statement from Evelyn Partners said Gee has a special interest in ESG and helping charities align their investments with their values.

Evelyn Partners has 1,200 charity clients with £3bn in assets. Gee will be working directly with the charities as well as working on Evelyn’s charity thought leadership programme. 

Nick Murphy, head of charities at the wealth manager, commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to welcome Caroline to Evelyn Partners to lead our business development work with charities. She brings extensive experience in the space, and we think she’ll do a fantastic job developing our charity offering”.

Gee added: “Evelyn Partners’ breadth of experience and investment process is entirely aligned with charity thinking – long term, stable and results driven. I am delighted to be joining the team.”

Aegon appoints global climate solutions lead

Anne Scott will take on the newly created role

Aegon Asset Management has appointed Anne Scott (pictured) to the newly created role of global climate solutions lead.

She joins the firm’s global fixed income team with a focus on supporting its efforts in climate solutions.

With 25 years in industry, Scott arrived at Aegon in 2005 to lead its middle office delivery teams. She joined the firm’s investment department in 2012, before leading the Mifid II structure to evaluate Aegon’s investment research consumption.

She has also co-chaired the asset manager’s global investment management risk control commitee. Before arriving at Aegon, Scott held roles at Financial Times Information and HSBC Global Fund Services.

Adrian Hull, Aegon global head of core fixed income, said: “Responsible investing has been a key element of Aegon Asset Management’s investment philosophy for more than 30 years and we are constantly reviewing our product offering to ensure we meet the needs of our clients. Most recently this has seen us shift our short-dated investment grade bond strategy to become the Global Short Dated Climate Transition Fund, focusing on the transition to a net-zero global economy.

“Anne brings deep experience of implementing regulatory change and adaptation across the business and is a strong advocate for climate solutions with real-world impact. Her appointment as global climate solutions lead allows us to accelerate our expertise in climate transition investing as we continue to adapt for the future.”

This article first appeared on ESG Clarity’s sister title Portfolio Adviser.

EdenTree adds sustainable experts to advisory panel

Annette Fergusson and Paul Simpson join

EdenTree Investment Management has added two members to its responsible investment advisory panel – an external panel of senior financial, environmental and business figures.

Annette Fergusson, an independent consultant and director of Threefold (Sustainable Advisory Services), brings more than 25 years of experience of working in sustainability and human rights. She advises companies, industry associations and non-governmental organisations on a wide range of human rights issues including digital rights, children’s rights and labour standards. She was previously Vodafone Group’s head of sustainable business and led the company’s human rights programme for more than 10 years. 

“At a time when the ESG community is being challenged and managers’ green credentials are being put to test, we are delighted to be welcomed onto EdenTree’s advisory board,” Ferguson said.

EdenTree has also added Paul Simpson, an adviser to organisations focused on accelerating the transition to a net-zero economy, who co-founded the Carbon Disclosure Project. Simpson received an OBE for services tackling climate change in the 2022 Honours List. He initiated the Science Based Targets initiative in 2014 and has held board positions with SBTi, We Mean Business, EIRIS, The Investor Agenda and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (now part of the International Sustainability Standards Board).

“Today ESG and the transition to a net-zero economy have become a mainstream consideration for all financial institutions. I am therefore delighted to join the advisory panel of EdenTree, a pioneer of ESG investment,” Simpson said.

Andy Clark (pictured), CEO at EdenTree, added: “We’re excited to bring Annette and Paul on board at a time when the industry is facing more scrutiny than ever and expert knowledge in responsible and sustainable investing is more critical than ever.”