Invest Europe’s new chair to target climate change and Brexit

Marta Jankovic, ESG and responsible investment specialist at APG, replaces Blackstone’s Gerry Murphy at the industry body.

Invest Europe’s newly appointed chair will focus on environmental issues and the UK’s departure from the EU as she assumes her post at the European private equity, venture capital and infrastructure industry body.

Marta Jankovic, who is an environmental, social and governance specialist with Dutch pension manager APG Asset Management, took on the role on Thursday and is the first institutional investor representative in the post.

She replaces Gerry Murphy, Blackstone’s European chairman.

In an interview with sister title Private Equity International, Jankovic cited climate change and Brexit as two of the top priorities she intends to focus on during her 12-month tenure.

“LPs are increasingly engaging with GPs on climate change,” Jankovic said. “APG includes climate change questions in its [due diligence questionnaire] for every new private equity mandate. Things that LPs look at are, for example, that the GP has a systematic approach to climate change risk assessment.”

Invest Europe will work with GPs and LPs in sharing best practices around this topic, Jankovic said.

Janovic joined APG in 2013 and has been involved in signing off on the ESG aspects of all new investment proposals in private equity, hedge funds and other illiquid asset classes.

The UK, France and the Nordic countries lead in terms of strong ESG performance in Europe, according to a report released this year by investment firm LGT Capital Partners, which surveyed 184 fund managers across Europe, the US and Asia. Overall, 66 percent of European fund managers are rated in the top two categories for ESG, compared with 38 percent in the US, the survey, ESG Report 2017, found.

On Brexit, one of the biggest challenges facing UK and European private equity, Invest Europe will also aim to minimise the impact of political debates on European private equity, as well as ensuring successful outcomes from European regulation including the review of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, Jankovic said.

“We need to make sure that members receive the support and communication needed to understand that is happening and have an influence in the debate as it evolves,” Jankovic said. “These are moving pieces, so in the course of the year we will see how things evolve. From our perspective, as far as Brexit is concerned, we want to ensure as much as possible that the situation in terms of cross border capital flows is preserved and that there is minimal impact on the ability to fundraise and invest in Europe.”

Prior to joining APG in 2012 Jankovic was in-house counsel at private equity fund of funds SVG Advisers, now part of Aberdeen Asset Management, and has previous experience practicing law at King & Wood Mallesons and Baker & McKenzie.

“This is the first time Invest Europe has had a major institutional investor as its Chair and demonstrates the association’s commitment to representing the whole industry,” said Michael Collins, Invest Europe’s chief executive. “Marta’s contribution to Invest Europe’s work on professional standards, investor reporting guidelines and responsible investment is invaluable and we are delighted that she has agreed to step into the role of Chair for the coming year.”

Brussels-based Invest Europe represents Europe’s private equity, venture capital and infrastructure sectors, as well as their investors. Almost one-third of its full members are limited partners, according to a spokeswoman for the association.