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Trilantic energy spins off into new firm Greenbelt

Longtime partners Chris Manning and Glenn Jacobson will head the new energy-focused venture, while maintaining a close relationship with parent company Trilantic.

The new year saw the launch of private equity firm Greenbelt Capital Partners, a spinout of the energy team at Trilantic North America. The firm’s chief executive is Chris Manning, previously managing partner at Trilantic. He brings with him Glenn Jacobson as Greenbelt’s managing partner, alongside the rest of the energy team from Trilantic. Manning and Jacobson’s working relationship began more than 20 years ago at Lehman Brothers, the company from which Trilantic was formed in the wake of the 2008 market crash.

Infrastructure Investor understands that the idea to convert the energy team into its own firm arose during Trilantic’s last fundraise in 2018, when it became apparent that the energy sector required its own dedicated vehicle. The project was given the green light last summer, when plans for Greenbelt’s launch were communicated to Trilantic’s investor base.

The relationship between the two firms will remain close, with upper level management at Greenbelt staying on at Trilantic in senior advisory roles to help monitor and manage existing energy-related assets.

Infrastructure Investor understands that LPs supported the spinout and that the firm expects its investor base to retain existing Trilantic investors while recruiting new sources of capital.

Our source added that while Trilantic and Lehman Brothers had always allowed its energy units to be run somewhat autonomously, Greenbelt sees a significant growth in the investor base from the spinout and believes the small size of the firm will allow it to innovate as needed in the changing energy sector.

Infrastructure Investor understands that Greenbelt has no plans to be a monoline private equity firm and there will not be a huge strategy shift from the activities undertaken by Trilantic’s energy team over the past three to four years. The firm, like Trilantic, will still be open to investments in oil and gas. The goal of Greenbelt, according to the source, is not to create a carbon-neutral portfolio, but rather to find a pragmatic, risk-and-reward-based solution for its investors. Trilantic has invested in oil and gas midstream assets, as well as more recently in the energy transition sector.

It is believed the long-term risks of climate change will not be formally adopted into the firm’s risk management model. Rather, Infrastructure Investor understands it will focus on climate risk from a mainly ESG point of view. While Greenbelt will still be open to investing in traditionally fossil fuel industries, it will do so with the goal aiding these industries – which leadership believes will exist regardless – in being the most efficient, environmental versions of themselves.

The firm is still deploying capital from Trilantic last energy fund, but is focusing on its inaugural fundraise, which sources say is coming soon and will be focused on the mid-market. Trilantic’s first energy fund closed on $388 million in 2014, while Trilantic Energy Partners II closed in December 2018 on $436 million, according to Infrastructure Investor data, having targeted $500 million.

Greenbelt declined to comment.