UK’s first trans-led investment firm goes ‘all in on impact’

CEO Reece Tomlinson says transitioning was 'terrifying' but inspired Saône Capital's ESG and impact activities

The experience of transitioning while working in the finance industry was a key motivation for Reece Tomlinson to set up an impact-focused investment firm.

Saône Capital, which launched late last year, is reportedly the UK’s first trans-led investment advisory dedicated to supporting underrepresented founders. A private equity firm with a portfolio of 63% minority founders, Saône Capital also has an ESG advisory arm and focuses on environmental as well as social investments.

CEO and founder Tomlinson (pictured) says the idea of coming out while working in the finance industry initially was “terrifying”. Research conducted by her firm found that 27% of people who identify as LGBT+ have hidden their true identity in the workplace, with 20% saying their identity has hindered their professional progression.

But she also saw the opportunity to be a role model for others in the community.

“After a lot of inner turmoil and the ultimate decision that I was going to live my truth; I quickly recognised that my uniqueness and abilities in corporate finance awarded me the capacity to do something positive for others and this planet,” she tells ESG Clarity.

Tomlinson has worked in the finance industry for more than a decade, and previously founded RWT Growth in 2015, a capital advisory boutique in Canada.

“I had worked on hundreds of millions of dollars of cleantech projects prior, so this combined with the notion that I could inspire underrepresented founders to follow their dreams while providing them with a fair shot at advisory and funding, inspired me to go all in on impact and Saone Capital.”

The ESG advisory part of the firm aims to work with its portfolio companies and clients to analyse, assess and improve their ability to create impact.

“Our ESG advisory services normally consist of an impact report with clear takeaways on what can be done to further strengthen their ESG standing,” Tomlinson says.

Saône Capital has plans to reach $1bn in assets under management by 2027, expanding the portfolio from its current nine companies.

Tomlinson adds: “We’re looking to back businesses that can make an impact while also making a lot of money and I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.”


Natasha Turner

Natasha is global editor at ESG Clarity, part of Mark Allen Financial, and has been a financial journalist for seven years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of the...