Collaboration and vision are the hallmarks of an influencer

Our inaugural list of 50 influencers in sustainable private markets reveals some common traits among those shaping the future.

Sustainable private markets is a broad church, populated by individuals operating in different asset classes, pursuing different goals. However, looking through our first ever list of influencers in sustainable private markets, which we launched last week, there are certain common traits on display.

One is the importance of collaboration between individuals from ‘competing’ organisations to benefit the industry as a whole. In sustainability, the need to agree on common language and protocols has meant leaders have emerged who are willing to convene peers, exchange knowledge and spend time working outside of their own organisations.

Another common trait is vision. In an emerging and rapidly changing discipline like ESG or impact, the ability to visualise novel and ambitious solutions to daunting problems – to rethink the way something is done – is a must. New investment strategies and structures – and even new asset classes – require not only the vision to see a way forward, but also the influence to bring others along for the journey. Both are in abundance in this space.

We put this list together with two main aims. One is to give recognition to those spending time – going above and beyond – to further sustainability across wider private markets.

The other is to pinpoint the individuals with the influence or wherewithal to truly ‘move the needle’ when it comes to the positive impact private markets investing can have on society and the planet.

This list is the result of extensive discussions with market sources; we did not take submissions. Instead, we sought views and recommendations from market actors across the ecosystem.

While 50 felt like a large number to begin with, it quickly became clear that we could double the length of the list and still have many worthy candidates to spare. With this in mind, we look forward to repeating the exercise in the near future. And, as always, we welcome our readers’ suggestions and feedback.