Dana Barsky, Credit Suisse’s global head of sustainable finance, has left the Swiss bank to help lead an impact-focused special purpose acquisition company.
Barsky is joining the Growth for Good Acquisition Corporation as president and board member, according to a statement announcing her new position. The SPAC, or so-called ‘blank-cheque company’, is looking to execute “business combinations” with companies that have “strong business fundamentals, high growth potential and a mission of positively impacting the environment and society”, the statement said.
SPACs have gained prominence among investors over the last few years serving as vehicles chasing early-stage start-ups working on promising business ventures. There was $166 billion in deal volume via SPACs in the first quarter of 2021, according to a report from Bloomberg last year.
Clean energy technologies have drawn interest from SPAC investors seeking to finance the next big ideas in electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, energy efficiency software systems and innovations in battery storage.
Barsky brings to Growth for Good her 20 years of skills developed across private and public markets investing. She’s joining Yana Watson Kakar, chief executive of Growth for Good, who also is global managing partner emeritus at the sustainability-focused Dalberg Advisors.
At Credit Suisse, Barsky helped create the bank’s sustainable activities framework and served as chief operating officer and head of sustainable products and partnerships for Credit Suisse’s Sustainability Strategy, Advisory and Finance Department.
“The market opportunity for sustainability and inclusivity has never been stronger, and yet many companies devoted to these principles still require the right capital to scale their initiatives,” Barsky said in the statement. “I am eager to work closely with management and the board to change that paradigm by helping to finance businesses with missions that complement our global net-zero ambitions.”