Demand is growing for impact-oriented professionals | Q&A with Acre's Ian Povey-Hall

04 May 2022 by Acre
blog author

With more capital being directed to meet urgent social and environmental needs, demand for individuals with an impact mindset is growing. Acre's Executive Director and Global Head of Sustainable Finance & Impact Investing was recently featured in PEI Media's Infrastructure Investor magazine to discuss what this means for impact-oriented professionals and the infrastructure investing sector. You can browse the full article below or at the original source here.

1. What is the current state of the recruitment market for infrastructure impact professionals?

We are seeing an evolution of the role of ESG teams to cover more and more sustainability, and ultimately impact orientated aspects of existing and potential investments. Most large infrastructure funds now have dedicated ESG teams in place which in turn is driving demand for specialist individuals who can operate through an outcome orientated, impact lens. The ideal candidate is somebody who is technically sound, has a very high level of EQ, the ability to operate as part of the deal teams and can articulate impact principles & narratives effectively to Investors/shareholders and stakeholders from a value-add perspective.

2. What key compensation trends do you see in this area?

Compensation levels across the board have shown a significant increase in the last 18-24 months. Like the whole of the ESG, sustainability & impact market, it is candidate led, resulting in the top tier talent often being involved in multiple processes at the same time. The way to improve your chances of securing these candidates is to ensure your proposition is the most aligned to a candidate’s perspective of how they can create positive change within the infrastructure space whilst also offering a competitive level of compensation, including carry.

3. What are specialist infrastructure impact firms looking for when recruiting new talent?

Specialist firms are looking for investment and operational talent who have deep expertise in specific areas core to the theory of change of that fund such as: social & digital infrastructure, the future of mobility, smart cities, energy transition, waste & recycling, access to education, healthcare, affordable housing. As an example, we are currently working on a project to source both investment and operational individuals for a new fund focused on repurposing and decarbonising infrastructural processes used in the global textiles value chain.

4. How do you expect talent supply and demand to evolve in 2022 and beyond?

Supply vs demand is obviously the key issue when looking to make these hires. On the demand side, I expect to see an increase for impact measurement and management talent as well as individuals who can create value both at an operating level and by advising on origination targets through their pre-investment analysis to deliver verifiable positive net impact as a function of scale.

On the supply side, we will continue to see the need for individuals to transition into this space using core transferable skills developed in specialist consulting firms, public sector organisations as well as corporates. I expect more top talent to seek to become impact specialists from the outset of their careers and, over time, that will help to bridge the supply vs demand gap. In the meantime, funds will continue to need a strong overall proposition and highly targeted approach to attract the top talent in the market.


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If your business is looking to better understand the current demand for impact talent in the infrastructure space, please get in touch with Ian at ian.povey-hall@acre.com. Our sustainable finance and impact investing recruitment and executive search services span four core client verticals: investment management, banking & insurance, private markets & real assets, and sustainable development. With that, we provide global financial institutions and investors with access to the most established network of sustainable finance professionals to build teams that not only outperform their markets but also support the transition to a more sustainable economy.

Whether you're looking for hiring support, or more strategic advice around optimal team structures, compensation packages, skillsets required, and more, we're best placed to help.