The asset management division of JPMorgan Chase has hired Tanya Barnes, who previously led Blackstone’s defunct impact platform, to help launch a dedicated sustainable investment strategy.
JPMorgan Asset Management has committed $150 million to kick off fundraising for the new strategy, Sustainable Growth Private Equity, which will invest in “growth-stage” companies emerging from the global transition to a low-carbon economy, according to a statement from the US bank. Last April, JPMorgan said it would invest $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years to address climate change, including $1 trillion earmarked for clean energy technologies.
Barnes will co-lead the sustainability strategy as a managing partner alongside Osei Van Horne, who joined JPMorgan Asset Management last May. The two previously worked together during overlapping stints at Goldman Sachs, where Barnes helped launch a co-investment platform for merchant banking, while Van Horne managed venture capital strategies.
Sarah Kapnick, JPMorgan’s senior climate scientist, will also assist the Sustainable Growth Private Equity strategy by joining the group’s investment committee and working with portfolio companies.
Prior to joining JPMorgan Asset Management, Barnes spent two years as a managing director heading Blackstone’s impact investing platform. She left the firm last fall in the weeks leading up to Blackstone shuttering the strategy. The platform was housed within the firm’s secondaries group Strategic Partners and reportedly failed to gain traction among investors. Blackstone declined to comment.
Across private markets, investment managers have launched strategies in recent years to back opportunities emerging from increased demand to develop climate change solutions. Top investment banks have moved into this space as well, with Goldman Sachs’ asset management unit launching the $1 billion Horizon Environment and Climate Solutions Fund last March, while a division of Morgan Stanley Investment Management closed its Global Climate Impact Fund on $110 million in 2020.
“Our new sustainable growth private equity team sits at the intersection of the two investing megatrends of our times,” Brian Carlin, chief executive of JPMorgan’s private capital group, part of the asset management division, said in the statement. “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.”