JPMorgan hires Blackstone’s Barnes for sustainable investment team

Tanya Barnes formerly headed Blackstone's impact platform.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said it hired Tanya Barnes, the former head of Blackstone’s impact platform, as co-managing partner of its sustainability-focused growth equity investing effort.

Barnes will co-lead the group, which sits within JPMorgan Private Capital, alongside Osei Van Horne. New York-based JPMorgan will provide as much as $150 million to anchor the group’s first fund, which may begin investing as soon as this quarter. It’ll focus on companies in real estate, industrials and manufacturing, transportation and supply-chain logistics, as well as food and agriculture.

“As investors, we can utilize the relationships and connectivity across the JPMorgan platform to identify and partner with companies that are driving both climate mitigation and adaptation,” Van Horne said in an interview.

The firm is seeking to raise $1 billion for the fund, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment on fundraising details.

The sustainable growth private equity team “sits at the intersection of the two investing megatrends of our times — the massive opportunity and innovation required to address the sustainability transition, coupled with the ever-increasing demand from both individual and institutional investors to look beyond public markets,” Brian Carlin, head of JPMorgan Private Capital, said in a statement.

In an interview with Bloomberg News last year, Carlin said JPMorgan’s growth equity strategy typically features equity checks of $25 million to $75

JPMorgan Asset Management last year agreed to acquire timberland-focused investment manager Campbell Global. It manages climate-focused exchange-traded funds among other green initiatives. 

The bank’s senior climate scientist and sustainability strategist, Sarah Kapnick, will be on the sustainable growth private equity group’s investment committee alongside Barnes, Van Horne, Carlin and Rick Smith.

“We are committed to playing a leading role in the transition to a low-carbon economy as evidenced by the firm’s $2.5 trillion commitment to advancing sustainable development,” George Gatch, chief executive of JPMorgan Asset Management, said in the statement, referring to a pledge the firm made in April 2021. “We are in a unique position to leverage our global scale, data science capabilities and the expertise of our sustainability leaders to source and invest in best-in-class companies driving the sustainable future.”