Which investors are making a difference with their allocations? As part of our 50 Influencers list, we identify investors driving sustainability in private markets, either through bar-raising ESG requirements or game-changing investment decisions. This is part two of two: read part one here.
Anna Murray, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Anna Murray, global head of sustainable investing at OTPP, oversees sustainability across OTPP’s entire portfolio. The pension’s sustainability strategy includes a C$5 billion ($3.7 billion; €3.4 billion) allocation to decarbonising industries. While this is a small portion of OTPP’s C$247.1 billion portfolio, it is distinctive in being dedicated to the nascent theme of transitioning high-emitting assets. OTPP seeks assets that have a decarbonisation pathway baked into their value-creation plans. Murray has a “cool seat and a cool mandate”, says one GP.
William Orum, Capricorn Investment Group
Few institutions can claim to influence sustainable private markets in the way that Capricorn, the investment platform founded by billionaire Jeff Skoll, can. Among its strategies is the Sustainable Investors Fund, a GP-stakes platform that backs and scales emerging impact managers (the latest SIF fund has invested in eight impact firms). Capricorn also plays the role of conventional fund LP. New York-based William Orum, partner and member of the investment team, has been with the firm since 2004 and co-leads the investment management of individual client portfolios as well as the SIF.
Liesel Pritzker Simmons, Blue Haven Initiative
Through the Blue Haven Initiative, which she co-founded with her husband Ian in 2012, Liesel Pritzker Simmons has established a family office investment platform built around impact investing, and in doing so has provided a blueprint for the creation of an entirely mission-aligned portfolio. Blue Haven invests across various asset classes, including private equity and private credit, and the substantial list of GPs it has backed includes Actis, Bain Capital Double Impact, Summa Equity, Quona Capital, ADM Capital and Vision Ridge Partners.
Keren Raz, APG
APG is among the largest European private markets investors, and one of the most deliberate when it comes to its ESG strategy. Keren Raz, as senior responsible investments manager for PE, hedge funds and private credit, is a key reason for this. The Morgan Stanley and Apollo veteran is cited by many peers as an influential voice, having helped advance the conversation on systemic materiality, and been a driving force behind the ESG Data Convergence Initiative. “You always come out of a meeting with Keren having learned something,” says one manager.
Andrew Siwo, New York State Common Retirement Fund
Andrew Siwo leads NYSCRF’s $20 billion allocation to climate and sustainable investments. In this capacity, he writes some of the largest cheques to impact funds in private markets, including $750 million to Brookfield Global Transition I and $300 million to KKR Global Impact Fund I. He is a prominent advocate for the importance of impact fund investing and the potential for outsized returns for private funds in this sector. Siwo’s voice has been instrumental in drawing other US pension funds to make commitments to impact and dual-purpose funds.
Roy Swan, Ford Foundation
As head of the Ford Foundation’s impact group, Roy Swan has been leading one of the earliest local and social impact investing programmes in the US. Swan also sits on KKR’s Sustainability Expert Advisory Council and the Global Impact Investing Network’s board of directors. At the Ford Foundation, he has led efforts to support integrity-building in impact investing: the foundation has provided grant funding to impact framework and verification organisations including GIIN and the Predistribution Initiative. Swan is now tilting the foundation’s programme to the Global South.
Allyson Tucker, Washington State Investment Board
Allyson Tucker is chief executive of the Washington State Investment Board, a large US pension with an appetite for impact funds: WSIB has committed a total $1.35 billion over the past five years to Ara Fund III, TPG Rise Climate, Rise II and III, KKR Global Impact II and TowerBrook Delta. Described by one GP as “very smart and forward thinking”, Tucker is also a strong advocate of employee ownership schemes for portfolio companies, and WSIB was a founding member of Ownership Works under her leadership.
Benoit Valentin, Temasek Holdings
Temasek is one of the world’s most active investors in private equity impact and a leading investor in climate solutions initiatives; the S$382 billion ($287 billion; €262 billion) Singaporean investor has a plan to increase both its private equity exposure and its impact and climate portfolio. It also owns stakes in LeapFrog Investments and ABC Impact. Benoit Valentin, head of private equity fund investments and head of impact investing, is leading the charge: described by one GP as “clearly shaping the landscape in Asia and globally”.
Craig Wyllie, GIC
Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC does not always shout about its investments, but it is among the world’s largest LPs, and has a demonstrable appetite for climate investing. It has allocated to Brookfield’s Global Transition Fund, as well as green metal developer H2 Green Steel. Craig Wyllie, senior vice-president for European private equity, is credited as the driver of the organisation’s climate plans and an influential LP.
Jimmy Yan, New York City Comptroller
Jimmy Yan is head of ESG integration for the New York City Comptroller, which administers six public pension funds for the city. Yan takes a holistic approach to sustainability: as well as impact fund commitments such as to TPG Rise Climate and Actis Energy 5, his team pushes for fund managers to commit to decarbonisation pathways and climate-related disclosures. Yan has also spoken at numerous industry conferences on the importance of diversity in fund management teams.