Aquila appoints consultant relations and ESG head

The German firm, which is active in fund and direct secondaries, has hired a former BNY Mellon veteran for the newly created role.

Aquila Capital, an alternative investment firm active in fund and direct secondaries, has appointed a former BNY Mellon veteran to lead engagement on research and consultancy services, according to a statement.

In the newly created role, Ian Williams is also tasked with developing Aquila’s environmental, social and governance principles, and implementing these within the firms and as part of its investment strategy.

Williams held a similar role at New York-headquartered BNY Mellon for 11 years.

“Ian’s role as our representative for ESG principles complements his relationship function at Aquila Capital and enables us not only to incorporate ESG principles within our daily activities, but also enhances our ability to promote social responsibility and sustainable thinking at each level of the Firm and externally,” said Roman Rosslenbroich, chief executive and co-founder of Aquila Capital, in the statement.

In March last year Aquila was preparing to launch a €500 million yield-focused infrastructure strategy targeting a majority of investments in unlisted third-party infrastructure funds. The fund’s strategy includes primary, fund and direct secondaries, directs and co-investment

The firm had previously partnered with research and advisory firm ECPI to offer sustainable investment opportunities to its investor in 2014. ECPI assessed the sustainability of potential real asset investments in relation to environmental protection and governance for Aquila. Aquila then offered the deals as co-investment opportunities to its investors.

ESG adoption is only set to continue, according to a joint survey by Adveq and the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association, published in March. Almost 80 percent of respondents believed ESG will be more important three years from now.

Aquila Capital, which was established in 2001, is part of Hamburg-headquartered Aquila Group. It has nine offices around the world, including Zurich, London, Frankfurt and Singapore.

The group has €7.1 billion assets under management and invests in asset classes including private equity, infrastructure, renewables and real estate.