Fink-backed Earth Capital Partners hires team for sustainable agriculture launches

Managers join from IBIS Asset Management.

Earth Capital Partners (ECP), the environmental fund manager backed by Stanley Fink, the founder of Man Group, the hedge fund giant, has lifted out a three-strong sustainable agriculture team from another fund manager ahead of a launch of a series of institutional funds in the sector. The new team has all been hired from IBIS Asset Management, a captive financial advisory group to a large multi-sector private conglomerate. Bosworth Monck, former chief executive at IBIS AM joins London-based ECP as head of sustainable agriculture and forestry investment. He is joined by Gabriel Montana and Richard Smith, both formerly directors at IBIS, who will be partners at ECP. They will advise Earth Capital Partners on agriculture, forestry and biodiversity investments, with a particular focus on deploying capital in Latin America. The fund manager said its forthcoming range of agriculture funds aimed to have low return correlations compared to traditional asset classes.Stanley Fink, non-executive chairman of ECP, said: “Appointing this new agriculture team takes us one step closer to having a diversified range of sustainable investment opportunities for institutional investors. One of the positive developments to come out of Copenhagen was an agreement regarding deforestation and reforestation, and this will make the sector even more attractive for investors.”
ECP announced the first close of its renewable energy infrastructure fund, ECP Renewable Energy Fund One, in December last year. The fund, which is targeting up to €750m of investment, says it has seed capital from a large pension fund investor. It will invest in solar, biogas and biomass projects in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. A final close of the fund is expected to take place by the end of November 2010.