Global Environment Fund recruits ex-Carlyle partner

The former head of Carlyle’s North American industrial buyouts group, Jay Powell, will apply his experience to the North American cleantech sector; GEF’s Clean Technology Fund II is targeting $350m.

Former Carlyle Group partner Jay Powell has joined the North America-focussed cleantech investment team of the Washington, DC-based Global Environment Fund (GEF).

Powell was most recently co-founder of private equity firm Severn Capital Partners focussing on finance and opportunistic investment in the industrial sector. From 1997 to 2005 he was a partner at Carlyle where he headed the North American industrial buyouts group.

Powell, who has no previous experience of the cleantech sector, will be one of the four managing directors responsible for investing capital out of the GEF Clean Technology Fund II, said the spokesman. The fund is targeting $350 million (€223.4 million), more than double the $127 million of its predecessor. The Clean Technology Fund II targets applied technology companies in the cleantech sector exclusively in North America.

GEF, which was founded in 1990, is also investing its third emerging markets cleantech fund. That fund has $350 million in capital under management and concentrates on investment opportunities in China, India, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

The firm added a sustainable forestry group in 2005 which is investing its $330 million first fund. The fund makes direct equity investments in mid-sized, sustainable forest management companies in the southern hemisphere.

GEF’s limited partner base is largely made up of institutions with assets of more than $1 billion including university endowments, foundations and prominent family offices. The emerging markets funds count development institutions among their investors as well. Investors are 60 percent non-US and 40 percent domestic.