Jeremy Coller invests in fintech voting transparency platform Tumelo

Private equity chief and FAIRR backer joins investors including musician Peter Gabriel and other respected financial heads.

Jeremy Coller, founder of Coller Capital, the private equity secondaries specialist, and a well-known ESG supporter, is one of the high-profile backers of Tumelo, the UK start-up aimed at giving pension beneficiaries and retail investors a say on how asset managers invest their money. 

RI understands that Coller bought just under 7% (36,513 units) of Tumelo shares for an amount believed to be close to £1m, which could value the start-up at circa £15m.

He joins investors including Peter Gabriel, the musician, who owns just under 3% of Tumelo equity.

Coller and Gabriel know each from their work on the Advisory Council of The Elders, the group of global leaders working for peace, justice and human rights.

Notably, Tumelo has also attracted investment from other financial professionals including Charles Eve, former Head of EMEA Compliance at Goldman Sachs, who has an advisory role with Tumelo.

Other major investors included Richard Macgrail, Partner and Head of IT at Baillie Gifford, Charles Grimsdale, co-founder of tech investor Eden Ventures, and Chris Craig-Wood, a tech investor and former UBS and Deutsche Bank equity and derivatives trader.

Coller has an active interest in ESG issues. He launched the charity, FAIRR, just over five years ago to coordinate institutional investor research engagement over animal welfare concerns with companies in the food and farming sectors.

He also has a long-held interest in shareholder democracy. Earlier this year, he described pension funds as “the democratisation of wealth”. “It’s your money, it’s the citizens’ money,” he said in a YouTube video for charity WWF. 

Tumelo was founded in 2018 by Georgia Stewart, Benjamin King and William Goodwin, three Cambridge University graduates who had been involved with fossil fuel-divestment campaigns targeting the university’s endowment. It shows clients of investment funds ESG controversies regarding companies they are invested in and enables them to message the manager to influence their share voting decisions.

The company has a total equity base of 539,732 shares valued at £1 each with a total aggregate, nominal value of just under £5.4m.

The founders still hold  a controlling stake of 100,000 shares each, about 55%.

Last year, Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) became the first corporate pension provider to roll Tumelo out to its pension scheme clients.

Emma Douglas, LGIM’s Head of Defined Contribution said at the time: “Our research has shown that most members don’t spend much time thinking about how their pension money is invested but once they have the opportunity to engage, they are interested in the underlying themes such as climate change, human exploitation, and fair pay,” 

TumeIo has also worked with Aviva Investors and several other fintecHs, including iClima Earth, Seccl, and cushon. It has signed Make My Money Matter’s Green Pension Charter.

Tumelo is still in its start-up phase and made losses of £123K in 2019 and £514k in 2020.