Former DeAM investment chief Parker launches sustainability manager backed by $100m

Mainstream funds seniors regroup for ESG alpha proposition at Sustainable Insight Capital Management.

Kevin Parker, the former Head of Asset Management at Deutsche Asset Management (DeAM) in New York has returned to the funds industry just over a year after he departed from the German investment house, with the launch of a new ESG focused asset manager, Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), backed by $100m in investment from a US west coast family office. Parker, a former investment banker and ex member of the Group Executive Committee of Deutsche Bank, is reuniting with former senior DeAM colleagues, John Willis, its ex London-based Global Head of Trading, Securities Lending and Research, and Paul Spence, former Managing Director at DeAM in Sydney. The three former DeAM seniors are making the call that mainstream fund management must combine financial research with environmental, social and governance (ESG) data for sustainable investment outperformance. Parker is Founding Partner and CEO of SICM. Willis and Spence are also Partners in the firm along with Bruce Kahn, another former DeAM colleague who was Director and Senior Investment Analyst at DB Climate Change Advisors, its New York-based in-house environmentalresearch and investment division. SICM has offices in New York, London and Sydney and a personnel of 14. Alongside the $100m in family office seed investment, Parker told RI that SICM has equity backing from a major mid-west investment foundation. He declined to name either the family office or the foundation. SICM is a long-only equity and sustainable agriculture manager. The firm combines financial and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) data to identify companies it believes will outperform. The firm has launched four funds, three equity funds: US, international and global (including emerging markets), and a fourth sustainable agriculture fund managed by Kahn that will invest in large listed agri firms through a sustainability lens. In November last year, RI revealed that DeAM had quietly disbanded its DB Climate Change Advisors leading to seven redundancies worldwide, including Kahn and Mark Fulton, Global Head of Climate Change Investment Research. SICM is launching with new research in tandem with CDP, released today (September 23), which builds on the sustainability/alpha theme. The research finds that superior corporate reporting on climate to CDP is linked to better financial performance. Link to CDP/SICM research