Actis ESG exec sets up new shop – Exclusive

Mark Goldsmith left the firm at the end of 2015 to set up Fiveoak Consulting, which offers sustainability services to the financial services sector.

Mark Goldsmith, a director in the responsible investment team at Actis, has left the emerging markets specialist to set up his own consultancy, Private Equity International has learned.

Goldsmith, who joined Actis in 2002 prior to its spinout from UK development finance institution CDC Group in 2004, left the firm in December to launch Fiveoak Consulting. Fiveoak provides sustainability services to the financial services sector, according to LinkedIn.

One of Goldsmith’s first projects as an independent consultant is with advocacy group Principles for Responsible Investment, working on a publication regarding investor-company engagement on anti-corruption measures, according to PRI.

Goldsmith did not return a request for comment at press time.

In July 2014 Actis hired Shami Nissan as a director in its responsible investment team in London to work with Goldsmith. Nissan joined the firm from PwC, where she was a member of its sustainability and climate change team, as reported by PEI.

Earlier that year Actis lost responsible investment director and senior advisor Ritu Kumar, who left the firm to join CDC as a director of environmental and social responsibility, focusing on the DFI’s direct equity investments.

Actis confirmed Goldsmith’s departure, and told PEI that the firm has hired James Magor as a manager in the responsible investment team, reporting to Nissan. Magor joins from CDC, where he was an executive on the ESG team.

Actis is currently investing multiple vehicles, including its $1.7 billion fourth global flagship fund, which closed in October 2013 and includes a $212 million African co-investment pool, PEI reported at the time.