The application of artificial intelligence to private markets investing, and to sustainability in particular, is getting market participants excited. “Its ability to process and analyse vast amounts of data; make predictions; optimise for complex systems; all of that makes it an incredibly powerful tool for accelerating impact,” said Alison Humphrey, a former head of ESG for TPG, now an adviser at boutique investment bank PJT Partners.
Humphrey was making her introductory remarks as one of the conference chairs for the Impact Investing Global Summit. “I was chatting with a couple of investors yesterday who said they’ve been using AI tools lately to help prepare for IC when the science of the business was a bit complex and they needed to explain it to their colleagues.”
Her excitement was echoed on-stage throughout the day. “It will be great when AI automates a lot of the work that is very hard and gruelling,” said Julia Jaskólska from the California Public Employees Retirement System, referring to data gathering and processing. “I hope that will help alleviate some of it and let GPs and LPs really focus on adding value, improving the performance of those impact and ESG metrics, rather than reporting them.
“We’re all in agreement, I think, in this room that the burden to manage, create and synthesise this [ESG] data is high,” said Abrielle Rosenthal, chief sustainability officer at TowerBrook, “so it’s exciting to think about what AI could potentially do”.