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Rising stars of sustainability from PEI’s 40 under 40 list

Every year affiliate publication Private Equity International scours the industry to identify 40 rising stars; here are eight who are set to shape sustainable and impact investment in private markets.

As part of affiliate title Private Equity International‘s Future of Private Equity special report, the editorial team created the Private Equity International 40 under 40: Future Leaders of Private Equity. The annual list celebrates emerging talent in the asset class, highlighting individuals set to play a leading role in the market in the years ahead. This year, among the dealmakers, fundraisers and operators, there were eight names with a direct link to sustainability.

To view the full list of 40, head over to Private Equity International (subscription or registration required). To learn about the eight rising stars of private markets ESG and impact, read on.

Shohei Akiyama

Shohei Akiyama, 35
Director, chief administrative officer and management committee member
Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko

Described as “one of the brightest stars in Japan’s private equity industry”, Shohei Akiyama began his career at JP Morgan before joining Tokyo-headquartered firm NSSK when it was established in 2014. Peers highlight his ability to “execute in complex environments”, while demonstrating “maturity beyond his years”.

He is the youngest member of NSSK’s management committee, with a remit that spans investor relations, fund administration and accounting. Akiyama also leads NSSK’s ESG initiatives and spearheaded the successful launch of a family of impact funds dedicated to regional markets in Japan. Standout achievements include leading the firm’s investment in nursing home operator Vati. Akiyama played a key role in value-creation efforts at the organisation, which garnered NSSK a Private Equity International Operational Excellence Award in 2020.

Khalida Ali

Khalida Ali, 37
Director, diversity and inclusion
Vista Equity Partners

Before joining Vista Equity Partners in 2019, Khalida Ali worked in recruiting and talent management at Bank of America and held diversity and inclusion management roles at NBC Universal and Zendesk. Ali uses the skills gained from these roles to bring new perspectives on how to approach diversity at Vista, where she is responsible for delivering the company’s DE&I strategy.

Passionate about facilitating access for all, Ali has created opportunities for under-represented groups within the tech and finance industry via internship programmes. She also helped launch Vista’s Conscious Inclusion programme, which educates employees on unconscious bias and provides workshops to help change behaviours. Ali has developed resources for Vista’s portfolio companies, introducing a DE&I Guide to help facilitate best practice. As of 31 December 2021, 93 percent of the firm’s portfolio companies have formal DE&I personnel or committees in place.

Mathieu Badjeck

Mathieu Badjeck, 35
Co-head of the energy transition practice, private equity
Tikehau Capital

Mathieu Badjeck co-manages Tikehau Capital’s T2 Energy Transition Fund, which launched in 2018. The aim of the €1 billion fund is to support the goals of the Paris Agreement by providing capital to European SMEs that help lower greenhouse gas emissions. It has deployed more than €500 million so far, investing in 10 European businesses within the clean energy generation, low-carbon mobility and energy efficiency sectors.

Badjeck has completed more than 15 investments at Tikehau to date. His recent investment activity includes Valgo, a French company engaged in complex industrial site remediation. Badjeck is said to bring “a unique degree of experience to the firm’s investments in the energy sector”. After joining Tikehau as a private equity analyst in 2010, he spent two years at the French Energy Regulatory Commission as an associate, before returning to Tikehau in 2014.

Ali Floyd

Ali Floyd, 35
Senior vice-president
Campbell Lutyens

Since joining Campbell Lutyens in 2016, Ali Floyd has been pivotal in building the firm’s sustainable investing advisory. Alongside colleague Paula Langton, Floyd established the firm’s sustainable investing team, which has raised over $14 billion for dedicated sustainable investing funds and advised some of the leading players in this space. He is understood to have developed coverage of specialist sustainability investors globally, while also taking the lead on the firm’s research activities into sustainable investing within the private equity industry.

Beyond his capital-raising remit, Floyd drives business development for Campbell Lutyens’ European private equity fund placement practice, which has seen him bring on board a number of new clients. He also serves on the firm’s charity committee, and has helped organise several charitable events.

Julia Jaskólska, 32
Lead, ESG and co-investments
CalPERS Private Equity

Julia Jaskólska

Aged just 32, California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s Julia Jaskólska has already played a pivotal role in developing a major industry-led initiative to standardise ESG reporting and benchmarking: the ESG Data Convergence Project. By the end of January this year, more than 100 LPs and GPs representing $8.7 trillion in AUM and 1,400 underlying portfolio companies had signed up to the project, which CalPERS spearheaded alongside Carlyle.

The Francisco Partners and Vitruvian Partners alumna is understood to have led diligence on more than a dozen co-investments, deploying over $1 billion into privately held companies. Jaskólska is also credited with revamping CalPERS’ internal reporting and introducing technology tools to improve information transparency and efficiency in investing. She is described as bringing “deep curiosity and intellectual rigour” to her role.

Johanna Levander

Johanna Levander, 38
Head of investor relations and business development
Trill Impact

Before joining Trill Impact in 2019, Johanna Levander already had over a decade of experience in institutional capital raising in private markets under her belt – she had previously been a director at Credit Suisse International Wealth Management in Zurich and worked in the investor relations and capital-raising team at EQT Partners in Stockholm. At Trill, Levander played an instrumental role in raising the firm’s inaugural impact mid-market buyout fund, which held its final close last year with total commitments of €900 million. That such a fundraising was successful in the midst of the pandemic was, as one market commentator put it, “an extraordinary achievement”. Peers have also commended Levander’s “absolute motivation for impact investing”, as well as her efforts to “develop the impact ecosystem”.

Olivia Prentice

Olivia Prentice, 33
Partner and head of impact
Bridges Fund Management

As head of impact at Bridges Fund Management, Olivia Prentice works to incorporate impact-driven value creation throughout the firm’s investment process, as well as leading the firm’s research and development activities in this area.

Prentice recently returned to Bridges following a secondment to the Impact Management Project, which she co-founded in 2016 to help build market consensus on sustainability and impact management. The initiative brought together more than 2,000 organisations from across the sector to agree on shared definitions and norms, which led to the development of the IMP’s five dimensions of impact and impact classes. She also led the creation of the Impact Management Platform, which launched last year with the goal of helping investors and enterprises understand how existing standards can be used together to manage sustainability impacts.

She is also a guest lecturer at Oxford University, LSE and Columbia Business School.

Ellinor Schrewelius

Ellinor Schrewelius, 39
Investor relations director
Verdane

Ellinor Schrewelius is praised by peers for her “unique combination of LP-GP insight”. Before joining Verdane in early 2021, Schrewelius was at Swedish pension fund AP6, where she served as investment director of fund investments, held a position on the fund’s dedicated sustainability and ESG team and expanded its activities to invest in US growth and buyout funds.

At Verdane, her remit includes investor relations, ESG reporting, fundraising, co-investments and business development. Schrewelius is credited for her contribution to the fundraising efforts for Verdane’s impact fund, Idun I, which exceeded its €225 million target to close at its €300 million hard-cap. Those who have worked with Schrewelius applaud her drive, as well as her “long-standing commitment to sustainability and gender equality”.