In brief: ESG is ‘probably as important as financials’ in due diligence, says Kartesia’s Rigon

Kartesia's head of France, Julien Rigon, joined senior editor Andy Thomson in the studio as part of Private Debt Investor's Decade of Private Debt podcast mini-series.

Those interested in charting the rise of ESG within private debt should check out affiliate title Private Debt Investor’s 23-minute podcast with Kartesia’s head of France, Julien Rigon.

It is fair to say Kartesia, a European private credit manager founded in 2013, is a wholehearted embracer of ESG as being material to financial value. “ESG is something that is very deeply embedded into any due diligence, when you look into a new company and try to understand its merits,” said Rigon, in conversation with senior editor Andy Thomson as part of PDI’s Decade of Private Debt podcast mini-series.

“I would say that today ESG is probably as important as financials,” Rigon continued. “It is definitely something that will have an impact on the future value of the business.”

  • On sustainability linked-loans (where the interest rate links to ESG performance): These are “probably the best way to incentivise companies to walk the walk” on sustainability. In Rigon’s home country of France, you “very much see the banks” pushing this type of mechanism.
  • On Article 9 status under SFDR: Kartesia has launched and invested an impact fund, classified as Article 9 under the EU SFDR. Rigon believes that “30 years from now, what we call Aritcle 9 will be all vehicles”. “We have laid down the principles of how we believe the ESG agenda should be pushed in Europe; how exactly we articulate it, define it and push it is still probably going to evolve,” he says, “but the direction is clear.”

Access the podcast here.