UK names advisory board to £3bn Green Investment Bank, includes UKSIF chief

Bank plans to start lending early next year.

The UK Government has announced the advisory board that will guide its Green Investment Bank which aims to begin financing commitments of £3bn – initially into offshore wind, waste and energy efficiency – by next April, with plans to seek an extra £15bn in private capital. The nine-strong board, which features climate change luminaries such as Lord Nicholas Stern, also includes Penny Shepherd, Chief Executive, of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF). Shepherd has been a member of the Mayor of London’s Sustainable Development Commission. Other board members include Dima Rifai, Managing Partner of Paradigm Change Capital Partners, Simon Brooks, UK Vice President of the European Investment Bank and James Smith, former Chairman of Shell UK and board member of the Carbon Trust. The Advisory Group, which is unpaid and voluntary, will have a consultative role only. The Government said the group would not make any decisions regarding individual investments during the bank’s incubation phase. It said the nine members had a wide range of experience and capability in finance, from building and running institutions to project finance transactions, green economics, sustainable and responsible financial services and development banking. The UK government is hopeful that the Green Investment Bank will start lending in April, although it is waiting for the European Commission to approve the project under state aid rules. Speaking at Responsible Investor’s Clean Investor 2011 conference in London yesterday (June 30), Greg Barker, UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change, said the government was in conversation withinstitutional asset owners and managers in the UK about what part they could play in joining this financing. He said: “I think there’s a very big appetite amongst institutional investors. I’ve no doubt about that. All the conversations I’ve had have been positive”. Commenting on her appointment, UKSIF’s Shepherd, said: “The Green Investment Bank is an outstanding example of government leadership in building a resilient low carbon economy for the UK. I look forward to using my understanding of the needs of long-term responsible investors to support the Bank’s development.”
The other Advisory Board members are:
Sir Adrian Montague, Chair of the Advisory Group, and non-executive Chairman of 3i, Anglian Water Group Ltd, Hurricane Exploration and CellMark Investments AB, a supplier of biomass for renewable regeneration technologies.
John Burnham, former Managing Director and global Head of Infrastructure, Citigroup.
David Gregson, Chairman of Phoenix Equity Partners.
Melville Haggard, Managing Director, Quartermain Advisers Limited.
Lord Stern of Brentford, Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics and Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
Bob Wigley, Chairman, Yell Group, former Chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe, Middle East and Africa and chaired the Green Investment Bank Commission which reported in July 2010.