Equistone strengthens ESG support for portfolio companies with trio of local hires
Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading mid-market private equity investors, today announces the appointment of three ESG Managers in Q4 to help drive the firm’s sustainability objectives across each of its core European markets. Based locally in London, Paris and Munich, these new hires will work closely with Equistone’s investment teams to support long-term value creation and manage ESG risks, both within the existing portfolio and for new investment opportunities.
Jessica Clavette has joined Equistone’s London office to help implement industry-leading ESG standards across the UK portfolio and brings over 12 years of experience across five countries advising on environmental and social sustainability issues and trends. She joins from the sustainability consultancy Sancroft, where she supported corporations and financial institutions in responding to emerging regulation and developing sustainability strategies. There she focused on working with private market firms to implement ESG practices across the investment lifecycle. Previously a consultant at both Aleron Partners and Farnam Associates, Jessica also possesses expertise in impact measurement and management, sustainable operating models and cross-sector collaborative initiatives. Prior to her time in consulting, she worked on and led several high-impact projects focused on addressing societal challenges in the US, Australia and the UK. She studied Political Science at the University of Vermont and second-majored in Economics. Jessica holds a certificate in ESG investing from the CFA Institute.
Diane Vignalou has been appointed to the firm’s Paris office, where she will likewise work closely with the local investment team to support the integration of ESG best practice into the investment process and value-creation strategies. Diane previously worked at the sustainability-focused research and consulting group EthiFinance, where she developed ESG solutions for private equity, private debt and VC investors and conducted ESG due diligence on private companies. Before EthiFinance, Diane gained experience as an M&A analyst at Sycomore Corporate Finance and as a financial auditor at KPMG and graduated ‘cum Laude’ from Sciences Po with a Master’s in Finance & Strategy.
Completing these hires, and providing the additional resource to implement best-in-class ESG standards across portfolio companies in the DACH/NL region, is Sophia Nicol, who has joined Equistone’s Munich office. Sophia brings eight years of experience in sustainability consulting. She previously worked at EY as a Manager in the Sustainability Service Practice and advised companies in various industries on their sustainability strategy and management as well as non-financial reporting. Before that, Sophia gained experience at the Chair of Management & Sustainability at the University of Hamburg, in the sustainability department of an industrial company, and in consulting at sustainable AG, a strategy and management consultancy focused on sustainability, corporate responsibility and carbon management. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Hamburg and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Passau.
Christiian Marriott, Partner and Head of Investor Relations at Equistone, commented: “ESG analysis and considerations are firmly embedded across our investment and portfolio management processes, with all our team members responsible for thinking about sustainability. We therefore felt that the best way to drive further improvements was to add specialist, dedicated resource into our deal team. That approach is true to Equistone’s model of having local people in local markets, and we are excited to have them on board.”
Equistone is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and the Initiative Climate International (formerly iC20 Climate Initiative). Previous initiatives to drive continuous improvement in the area of responsible investing have included appointing PwC to develop an ESG assessment tool to identify ESG risks for new investments and portfolio companies.
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