Gianluca Ferrari, a former director at activist firm Shareholder Value Management (SVM), is working to launch a new fund that will focus on companies lagging on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters.
Ferrari, who spent seven years at Frankfurt-based SVM, told Reuters that the new vehicle will agitate for changes at mid-caps that are poorly rated by markets from an ESG perspective.
His plan is to tap the growing interest of money managers for companies with good performance on issues such as carbon emissions, water usage, and boardroom diversity.
“If I can go into companies … and push them to clean up their act, I can get rewarded through higher valuations because of all the ESG capital,” he told the newswire.
His firm, Clearway Capital, will look to initially raise somewhere around 100 million euros for its first fund, which should launch early next year, the newswire added.
Ferrari said there is ample room to push for such changes at European companies, especially those with a market capitalization of between 500 million euros and 3 billion euros.
According to Activist Insight Online, European funds including Christopher Hohn’s The Children’s Investment Fund, French activist Charity Investment Asset Management, and EQT Public Value use the ESG strategy.
Spanish airport operator Aena recently bowed to pressure from Hohn’s fund, agreeing to give shareholders an annual vote on its climate transition plan.
James Dilworth, who once headed Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm DWS, will lead the new fund’s capital raising efforts and be involved in other operational areas of the business, Ferrari said.
Ferrari sits on the board of Italian telecoms infrastructure group Retelit, the result of a 2018 campaign by SVM.