Stockholm (NordSIP) – Just a week after the AP3 broke the news that Pablo Bernengo would take over the reins from acting CIO Kerim Kaskal (pictured), Worthwhile Capital Partners announces that Kaskal is joining the firm as a Partner. Worthwhile was founded in late 2018 by CEO Christian Andersson, to help managers raise money in sustainable investment strategies. Prior to re-joining AP3 as acting CIO in July 2018, Kerim Kaskal was founder and portfolio manager at Swedish asset management firm Ambrosia Fonder. Previously, he was CEO and portfolio manager for Nektar, a fixed income fund which was part of the Brummers & Partners platform, until only recently.
We reached out to Kaskal to find out what his role will entail, and what opportunities he sees in the soaring sustainable investment market. “To begin with, I will continue to develop my understanding of the transformation of the energy system and we are currently working together with two specialist managers in this sector, NextEnergy Capital and Foresight Group,” Kaskal starts. “My role will be to support these managers in their fundraising by engaging with investors. Beyond that, we will need to develop the longer-term strategy for the firm including finding new and interesting fund managers that meet our investors’ investment and sustainability criteria for 2020-21.”
In the short term, Kaskal expects to spend time sorting the real sustainable opportunities from the rest. “The speed at which new investment opportunities for sustainable investing emerges is enormous and institutional investors face the challenge of selecting the right fund managers for their needs,” he says.
“Speaking from experience, I do not think that all opportunities that are presented as sustainable investing currently are appropriate. Worthwhile’s approach is to work only with specialist managers that have the required expertise and documented experience in the sectors they represent. The non-financial reporting plays a very important role as well if you want to be successful in this market,” Kaskal explains.
“We will adopt a thematic approach to fundraising, which I think is important as we aim to educate the market about new opportunities,” he adds. “By inviting a select group of investors to openly discuss a specific market or sector as part of our fundraising, we aim to contribute towards their learning and stimulate discussions in the industry. That also represents an opportunity for us to learn what investors need.”
It may take time for investors to open up to more innovative impact solutions, but the journey has already started for most. “Generally speaking, I believe that investors need support to identify their sustainability strategy and we realize that different investors have different views on what impact they would like to make, or what sectors they want to focus on. But they also need support developing the measurable impact of their investments for communication purposes. Internal and external regulations will also become more important over the coming years. Other than that, we are learning that investors now appear to adopt an attitude to just ‘get going’ with implementation and learn as they do,” Kaskal concludes.
Picture courtesy of Worthwhile Capital Partners