PRI turns to Partners Group for new PE head

The UN-backed institution has found a replacement for Pete Dunbar, who has joined Stepstone.

The Principles for Responsible Investment, which counts almost all the largest fund managers as members, has hired Aditya Vikram, previously of Partners Group, to be its new head of private equity, according to an announcement seen by New Private Markets.

Vikram has over 16 years’ experience in the investment industry, and joined Partners Group’s London office in 2019, where he served as a senior vice-president. Prior to that, he worked as a director at Quadreal Property Group and Varde Partners.

As private equity lead, Vikram will lead PRI’s efforts to produce guidance to help members refine their approach to responsible investing in the asset class. Most recently, the PRI has published guidance on how private markets investors should approach human rights.

Vikram has replaced Pete Dunbar, who announced earlier this year that he would be departing the PRI at the end of August. Dunbar spent over three years at the United Nations-supported institution and assumed the role of head of PE in February 2022. He has now taken a position as a principal in Stepstone Group‘s responsible investment team, according to a LinkedIn post.

During his tenure, Dunbar led PRI’s efforts to promote ESG standards in the PE and venture capital industry. This included authoring a report on ESG in the VC industry in which he encouraged LPs to push their managers to up their ESG game.

“LPs need to voice their opinion on ESG more. But getting them to do that as individual asset owners is quite difficult,” he told New Private Markets when the report released last year. “Because some of these firms are just so successful, the LPs tread very carefully for fear of being seen as difficult by VCs if they do it alone… LPs that do interact with VC firms on ESG don’t always properly understand the VC model.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that Vikram had left Partners Group ahead of his recruitment by the PRI, rather than being hired directly from the firm.