The next in our Altus Partners spotlight series focuses on our ESG and Sustainable team within the Altus Partners Investments practice. We sat down with Gizelle to learn more about her role and how she supports firms with their growth plans.
Tell us a little more about your role in the business:
I form a part of the Investment practice, concentrating on Impact investing hires with a special focus on Emerging market hires. Parallel to this, I support Private Market firms with the build out of internal ESG/ Sustainable teams which ultimately guides what responsible investment should represent in respective organizations. I consult to our clients on key market (candidate) drivers and influencers which better inform hiring strategies and recruitment processes. Given the geographic scope of my work I support clients with a continental Europe presence as well as those based on respective continents specific to emerging markets.
Outside of my core practice, I support Altus Partners on driving key Diversity initiatives where I have partnered with programmes who are at the forefront of advocating for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, particularly at the early-stage career. My participation has included a serving as a panellist for events designed for women returning to work and educating university level females on a best practice in preparation for interviewing within the Alternative Investing world. I have spearheaded Altus Partners’ first internship program in support of Diversity.
What does your Practice focus on:
The concentration of practice focus includes the placement of experienced investment professionals into Private Equity firms which have a clear investment strategy dedicated to creating positive impact, where impact is defined as a part of their investment strategy and may take into account the UN SDGs. This extends to Private Equity firms which have a specialized focus on Emerging markets.
The ESG/ Sustainability part of my practice focuses on professionals who have a hybrid suite of skills on key ESG/ Sustainability topics and either knowledge or demonstrated experience within Private Markets.
What kind of clients do you partner with and with what kind of searches:
My clients include Impact Investment funds and traditional Private Equity firms who are committed to building a complementary ESG/ Sustainability practice alongside their investment function.
What is your approach to supporting businesses with their executive search:
Partnering in a consultative and transparent manner is an important part of my client relationships, across both established and developing. Understanding the objective behind each hire and its significance within a business practice is critical to the direction and success of a search. Equal to this is the consultative engagement with my candidates which allows for a collaborative and connected experience.
What do you expect the trends for early 2023 to look like within your area:
Private Equity being resilient in its nature and long-term investing strategy may still allow for a healthy degree of hiring. Albeit this will often be guided by macro- and micro-economic influences. The optimism behind hiring within Private Equity extends to the healthy pool of dry powder available. A caution to be mindful of includes the heat of the battle which fund raising is set to face – to what extent will this influence Private Equity hiring is yet to be seen.
Greater demand is being received by GPs, from LPs, specific to ESG and Responsible investing data, compliance, and value creation metrics. Resultantly Private Equity firms, irrespective of AUM, will have to ensure that there are dedicated internal resources to support and drive this critical agenda. Resultantly hiring in this sphere could be quite buoyant.
Lastly, diversity will continue to receive its due attention. However, being the evolving domain that it is, there is no specific criteria on which areas of diversity will see the most attention in Alternative Investing.
What advice would you give to businesses looking to hire within their ESG and Sustainability teams?
My delivery across mandates in this area has shown that success stems from the initial buy-in of ESG/ Sustainability strategy at the board level. Once this is affirmed, there is conviction in what takes place thereafter and how the opportunity is received in the market. There should be clear parameters on what these teams need to deliver on, guided by quantifiable and a forward-thinking approach. Organizations which have a less robust strategy behind the framework of an ESG/ Sustainability practice and not being aware of how this will integrate with investment teams, resultantly endure drawn-out processes which create a poor candidate impression. By simply addressing what the success of such a team should represent will carefully direct hiring, allow for a well-informed process, and a strengthened market positioning for organizations at a time where ESG and Sustainability talent are one of the most sought after in Private Markets.
About Altus Partners
Altus Partners stands for quality and integrity and is committed to empowering growth within global private equity. We provide Executive Search & Advisory for Investment, M&A and Finance leadership.
We strive to change the private equity sector by promoting diversity and equality. Our mission is to challenge the status quo and create a more open, inclusive industry where everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed. We believe that together, we can make this happen.
We do this by being committed to delivering the highest quality outcomes for our clients and candidates. Our specialist methodology and industry expertise have enabled us to become leaders in our field and strive to provide the best in every aspect of our work. We are proud to have built a reputation for excellence that sets us apart from the competition.