CDC hires ESG director from Actis

Ritu Kumar has joined the UK development finance institution as a director.

CDC Group has appointed Ritu Kumar as a director of environmental and social responsibility to focus on CDC’s direct equity investments, according to a statement.

Kumar will also focus on the environmental and social performance of CDC’s investments through the UK’s Department for International Development Impact Fund and CDC’s approach to climate change. She will work closely with fellow ESG director Mark Eckstein.

Previously, Kumar worked as a director and senior advisor for responsible investment at Actis, a private equity firm that invests in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She has also held roles in energy and environmental programmes at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation.

CDC was unavailable to comment at press time.

Earlier this month, The Carlyle Group appointed Jackie Roberts as its chief sustainability officer in its Washington DC office. Prior to assuming the newly-created role, Roberts was a senior director of the Idea Bank for the US Climate and Energy Programme at the Environmental Defense Fund, according to a Carlyle statement. Triton Partners also appointed Graeme Ardus as head of ESG last year. Ardus works with the firm’s portfolio companies “to help them incorporate ESG guidelines into their policies and activities”, the firm told Private Equity International in November.

“By virtue of being embedded at the firm, [ESG specialists] have the leverage to make improvements happen and complete initiatives quickly,” Adam Black, head of sustainability at UK private equity firm Doughty Hanson, said in early 2013.

CDC is a UK government-owned development finance institution with £2.8 billion of net assets for investments in Africa and South Asia.