Pitt-Watson to advise Kiernan sustainable funds start-up – investment heads named

Inflection Point Capital Management launches with three investment strategies

David Pitt-Watson, executive chairman of London-based governance activist Hermes Focus Asset Management, has taken up a role as part-time strategic advisor to Inflection Point Capital Management, the new sustainable fund manager launched by Matthew Kiernan, former joint founder/owner of Innovest. Responsible-Investor.com can also reveal the investment heads that will oversee Inflection Point’s initial three launch strategies. A long-only equities portfolio will be headed up by James McCarthy, a seasoned investment professional and former chief investment officer of Strategic Capital Solutions. A fixed-income strategy will be headed by Ronald Ryan, founder and head of Ryan ALM, the US asset/liability management firm. Finally, a hedged long-short equities portfolio will be run by Bill Taki, former president and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald Asset Management. Inflection Point is using a proprietary sustainability research model that aims to identify companies it believes will outperform peers due to best practice environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and strategies. Andy White, Innovest’s former managing director of research and several of its former senior analysts have also joined Inflection Point. The firm, backed by Kiernan’s own money, is launchingwith 18 full-time staff operating out of satellite offices in Toronto, London, Sydney and Chicago. Kiernan, who with former co-partner, Hewson Baltzell, sold Innovest to RiskMetrics Group for $16m in February 2009, is chief executive of the new asset manager. Inflection Point will be headquartered in Wilmington Delaware, sharing an HQ with Global Currents, the bottom-up value manager that is 100% owned by Legg Mason, the $682bn US funds giant. Legg Mason, via Global Currents, has partnered with Inflection Point and taken a sweat equity stake in the new firm in return for investment infrastructure and additional sustainability and investment research. Paul Ehrlichman chairman and chief investment officer at Global Currents will be a partner at Inflection Point.
Inflection has also allied with Phoenix Global Advisors, a Chicago-based technology platform, which will integrate the fund manager’s environmental, social and governance research into its investment products.
Kiernan said he wanted to create a multi-asset boutique and was seeking to “push the envelope” in sustainable investing strategies: “In two years from now we want to be the go-to place for different ideas in the field.”