Agilitas Private Equity, a pan-European private equity firm that invests in companies that generate positive societal or environmental value, has appointed its first ESG specialist.
Agilitas has been linking value to purpose for over a decade. Despite not describing itself as an impact fund, the firm was a relatively early mover in aligning its investment strategy to UN sustainable development goals. The appointment of an ESG specialist will help to “refine the ESG aspect of our business transformation plans”, Martin Calderbank, managing partner, told New Private Markets.
Philip Krinks joins Agilitas from Boston Consulting Group, where he served as a partner for 15 years, working with global companies in the healthcare and natural resources sectors. Alongside this, he also spent 10 years as director at The Saint Martin’s Partnership, helping social enterprises, charities and public bodies to develop their sustainability practices. This is his first role in private equity.
Krinks will have two main responsibilities: further institutionalising responsible investment best practices at the firm level, and helping portfolio companies to implement their ESG-related transformation plans. He will also focus on “diversity, inclusion and belonging” in the Agilitas team and at portfolio companies, Calderbank said.
Across the portfolio, he will also contribute to Agilitas’s efforts to improve the reporting of positive impact. For example, by improving the KPIs that help the firm measure its impact progress.
While the introduction of regulatory measures, such as the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, is a sign of progress, Calderbank believes the industry should be doing more to measure how private equity firms are managing their assets.
“One of the issues that sits across impact measurement is that a lot of it is currently about asset selection,” said Calderbank. “However, in private equity, we believe we should also be able to account for the impact made within a company, regardless of what it does. Most of the measures widely available are not particularly adapted to private equity in that they fail to take into account the significant level of influence private equity firms can also have on ESG-related matters as controlling shareholders.”
Founded in 2011, Agilitas invests across healthcare, environmental technologies and services, education and essential infrastructure in businesses that “address human or planetary needs”, according to the firm’s website. The GP is currently investing from Agilitas 2020 Private Equity, which closed on €565 million last year.
This article has been corrected to clarify that Krinks held his role at St Martin’s Partnership concurrently with his role at BCG.