As the first fund manager to the UK Government’s Green Investment Bank, we’ve grown green and sustainable businesses in some of the most challenging environments for over a decade.
Over the course of three successive funds, we have and continue to create long-term sustainable science-based and technical jobs, invest in and grow our supply chain partners, and try to spread good business practices.
Our team believes the best way to invest sustainably is to mitigate and manage true risk and that anything else is window-dressing. We do this through our science-based triple bottom line investment approach (profit, people and planet) and we don’t believe our investors need to compromise on returns to also do good.
Largely made up of engineers and science nerds, the Greensphere team is brought together
by a love of problem-solving using technology and investing in and growing sustainable
Greensphere’s teams are supported by an experienced Investment Committee comprising
leading names from the realms of public and private equity investing. With similarly strong
ESG credentials and exceptional business networks, the Investment Committee provides
additional strategic oversight whilst enhancing Greensphere’s ability to access attractive
Divya is CEO, Managing Partner and Investment Committee Member.
A committed science nerd, economist and biologist, Divya is a private equity and venture capital investor with over 20 years of experience, growing and investing in businesses in sustainable technology, infrastructure, energy, sustainable agriculture and forestry. Educated at Oxford (BA (Hons) in Politics, Philosophy and Economics) and at Harvard (MBA, the Harvard Business School), she built her track record at industry-leading organisations such as Goldman Sachs, Parthenon, Unilever Ventures, GIC (Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund) and at the global Private Equity house, TPG, where she was a Partner. Divya is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader for her work in sustainable and impact investing and has served on the Investment Committee for the Global Innovation Fund anchored by USAID and the UK’s DFID. She was previously a council member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) where she was re-elected for two consecutive terms. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Forterra PLC, a FTSE-250 British manufacturing business. In 2019 Divya was appointed by the Secretary of State to advise the UK Government as a member of the HMG’s Council for Sustainable Business where she leads the Net-Zero Initiative.
Graham is a Head of Nature Based Solutions, Partner and Investment Committee Member
Graham has held a wide range of leadership roles during his 30+ year career, growing and investing in businesses in food and agricultural technologies, sustainable development, renewable energy, and rural land management. Appointed to create a new diversification strategy for the Grosvenor Estate, Graham founded the Wheatsheaf Group in 2012. Over the next 10 years he led the business to become one of the leading, largest, and longest established international investment groups in Agritech leveraging a farsighted approach to rethink the food system to positively influence human health, ecosystems, and the climate. Prior to this, Graham was responsible for the expansive rural land portfolio of The Co-operative Group, developing a strategy to combine commercial activity with the Groups’ social and community goals through large scale sustainable land development and renewable energy projects throughout the UK. Previously, Graham was a partner with a national land management consultancy responsible for rural estates, enterprises, and landholdings throughout Scotland and northern England (including farming forestry and conservation) and served for five years as a Royal Navy Officer. Graham has held numerous Non-Executive Director Roles across a range of business, public sector, and educational organisations. Educated at Newcastle University (BSc Hons in Agriculture), The Royal Agricultural University (MSc Rural Land Management) and Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Programme).
Barry is Head of Engineered Solutions, Partner of Greensphere Capital
Barry is a long-standing member of the Greensphere team, marrying a strong financial background with a deep understanding of the business and regulatory environment that Greensphere’s engineered solutions portfolio operates in. Barry is a Chartered Accountant with over 2 decades of cross-sector experience, having spent 15+ years in PE-backed businesses as CFO and in other senior finance, commercial and strategy roles. Barry is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and holds a BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes.
Ben is an Operating Principal of Greensphere Capital
He has over 20 years in senior financial, operational and strategy roles across multiple industries, with the last 4 years spent in Operating Partner roles in Private Equity. Ben qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen and has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University.
Sri is an Operating Principal of Greensphere Capital
Sri has extensive expertise in the sustainable farming, seed technology, food processing and organic waste processing industries for over 10 years. As a qualified agricultural scientist, seed technologist and long-standing operator in sustainable agriculture and organic waste, Sri has engaged with leading technologies in green energy production as well. Sri has held a number of roles from Vale Green Energy, ReFood, Biffa and Severn Trent. Sri has a Bachelors degree with Distinction in B Tech Biotechnology at Allahabad Agricultural University, India, and an MSc Applied Sciences at Nottingham Trent University.
Jon is a Partner and Investment Committee Member of Greensphere Capital
A chemist and chartered accountant by training and a polymath by default Jon never fails to challenge the investment team with rather detailed chemistry and financial questions. Jon was formerly Managing Partner and Founder of Schroder Ventures where he served from 1985 to 1994. He was also the Managing Partner of Alchemy Partners, which he founded in 1997. Jon has previously worked with Citicorp Venture Capital, Permira, and was a Director at Apax Partners. He was an inaugural member of the British Venture Capital Hall of Fame and serves on the Board of the Corporate Finance Faculty of The Institute of Chartered Accountants. He has sat on the Board of several public companies and is currently a director of a number of private companies and charities.
Paul is a Partner and Investment Committee Member of Greensphere Capital
An engineer at heart, Paul has over 30 years experience at the senior management or director level of businesses. He currently serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Signia Wealth Limited, Readypower Group Limited, and McCarthy and Stone. Paul previously served as Non-Executive Chairman of Forterra, John Laing Infrastructure Fund Limited, a FTSE 250 company where he led the initial public offering of the fund in 2010; and was a Non-Executive Director of Invensys, a FTSE 100 company, and Chief Executive of VT Group Plc, amongst a variety of other directorships. Paul holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering and a diploma in Management Studies from Nottingham Trent University. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and a member of Her Majesty’s Major Projects Review Group. Paul was awarded a CBE in 2007.
Ian is an IC Member of Greensphere Capital
With a passion for technology, Ian has over three decades of experience in private equity and investment management and currently also serves as Partner of Circularity Capital, a sustainable investment fund. Ian was chosen by the UK Government as founding CEO in 2011 to establish the UK Green Investment Bank and was its Chief Investment Officer until 2014. Previously, Ian spent 25 years at at 3i during which time he was Chief Investment Officer with responsibility for managing £10 billion of assets across Europe. He was also a member of the 3i Group Executive, Investment Committee, Risk Committee and Conflicts Committee. Ian qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen and graduated with a BA in Economics from Cambridge University.
Paul is a Partner of Greensphere and has worked with the Partners of Greensphere in various capacities for over a decade
Paul has an extensive background in the chemical industry and private equity for over than 35 years. Paul is currently an investor in and NXD at Marine Biopolymers Limited, and Group Chair of multinational chemicals and materials company, Scott Bader Company limited. He is also a founding partner and director of the advisory group Cogency Chemical Consulting Limited, providing commercial strategy and market due diligence services to the financial investment sector. Paul is a graduate Chemist (1976), enjoying a long and successful career within a number of large multinational chemical companies until moving into private equity and venture capital in late 2001. His early roles included General Manager – Commercial for Albright & Wilson’s Surfactant Business in Europe, Marketing Director at Brent International PLC, and European Managing Director – Elementis Pigments. Paul has held a number of leadership roles in VC-backed businesses and has an enviable track record of creating value and highly profitable exits for investors. These include the sale in 2018 of the three Catexel Group companies to ICIG portfolio company, Weylchem, and US based Borchers Company, respectively, and Rahu Catalytics Limited (a business where he worked with Divya Seshamani at Unilever Ventures) to Wall Street listed US Specialty Chemicals player, OM Group Inc. in late 2011. He has extensive international experience in Europe, North America and Asia, and lived and worked in Germany for 4 years.
Greensphere was started to show that sustainability and being “green” did not have to be buzzwords but could be based on hard-nosed investment principles. As an early mover in the sustainable investment space, we focused on the basics to deliver success:
Investment returns matter – they matter to our investors, they matter to ensuring the market takes sustainable investing seriously and they matter to ensuring that the jobs and companies we create continue to operate successfully. How we generate those returns depends on a fairly basic focus on solving real risks. We weigh risk vs return on all our investments and focus on opportunities where there is fundamental mispricing due to the market’s inability to appropriately price the risk (or where we understand the risk better). Specifically, we focus on three systemic risks:
- Input price volatility: fossil fuels and other commodity inputs have typically contributed to significant volatility in cash flow generation, in turn creating an increased cost of capital that has often been mispriced.
- Resource scarcity: Resource scarce supply chains affect the ability to deliver services and products to market.
- Climate stress: We’ve encountered some hardened climate sceptics in our time so we want to pre-empt your assumptions that we invest in green because it’s good. No – we only invest in the bits of green that actually mitigate against a changing environment. What your beliefs about why climate change is occurring does not change how the climate is changing and fortunately how the climate is changing is measurable. The reality is business operates today in an arena that is more environmentally volatile, with more extreme climate events, and subsequent economic loss. We’re mathematically moving from a financial environment where averages don’t apply, where the climate is stress testing operating and financial environments. That is what Greensphere solves for – if we (and we always do) reduce GHG emissions along the way, that’s a bonus, but it isn’t how we generate the returns.
We were one of the first investment firms that collected comprehensive data to prove and measure the impact of our investments. From working with the Green Investment Bank over a decade ago to create a comprehensive environmental reporting framework to ensuring we were collecting metrics on job creation and retention, Greensphere has proven over the past decade that impact can be demonstrated in tangible metrics. We believe true change comes from investing to mitigate true risks – and that positive impact naturally flows from this.
Science, engineering and technology
The secret to how we understand the risk better, manage companies better, grow companies better is that we truly embrace the science, the engineering and the technology that mitigate the risks in our business. Comprised of enthusiastic chemists, biologists, engineers and data technologists, our team solves these mathematical and financial risks by deploying and scaling leading (but not bleeding) edge technology into our companies.
Greensphere Capital LLP is incorporated.
Greensphere obtains FCA authorisation and regulatory clearance.
Greensphere wins GIB account against 24 other fund manager.
Investment into Duranta Energy’s anaerobic digestion platform is announced.
First Investment in Biomass Platform Announced
Merger with TPG.
Investment into Whites Recycling at TPG.
Spin out of Greensphere from TPG to pursue two new funds.
GAIA Fund closed (buy-to-hold strategy backed by long terms institutional investors)
Expansion of GAIA portfolio into forestry
Announcement at COP26 of launch of Nature Based Solutions investing