Meet new Green Angel Syndicate board member Claire Ainsworth

Claire is a Partner (former Managing Partner) and Chair of the Investment Committee at Triple Point Investment Management, a purpose-driven investment manager with assets under management of £2.7 billion. Triple Point’s funds include Venture Capital Trusts, an Impact EIS Programme, the Triple Point Heat Networks fund provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and several quoted Investment Trusts including TEEC, which is focussed on energy efficiency. Triple Point funds have invested in many renewable energy projects, including solar PV, anaerobic digestion and run-of-river hydro, as well as in social housing and digital infrastructure. Claire is also a director of PfP Capital Ltd, part of the Places for People Group, and of Energy Garden, a Community Benefit Society which aims to bring gardens and sustainable energy to London communities.

How did you first hear about GAS?

Simon Acland [Green Angel Syndicate’s Co-Founder and Chairman] is a good friend of mine. We were at university together and he is a Non-Executive Director of one of the VCTs managed by Triple Point. The TP ventures team has also worked with GAS and co-invested in some of the GAS portfolio companies.

What was it that brought you to Triple Point to start with?

I joined Triple Point as a near start up after working in investment banking for 20 years. The Triple Point founders all relished the freedom from the politics of big banking and the ability to be the authors of our own destiny. A small investment manager can be more agile than a larger business, and we have been able to be leaders in investing with purpose, which was important to all of the founders. A responsible investor should always support a business to improve its ESG as well as its financial performance, and it is very satisfying to see that development.

What’s it like being a board member at Green Angel Syndicate?

In the short time that I have been a board member it has been great to start to get to know the staff and members of the syndicate. I expected that the syndicate members would share my interest in the fight against climate change, but I have been amazed at the depth and breadth of experience, wisdom and investing power in that room. I strongly believe that responsible and targeted investing can be a force for change and for good and it is clear that that is an aim also shared by the Green Angel Syndicate.

What do you think of Green Angel Syndicate’s plans for the future?

GAS is growing and transitioning and I think it’s really exciting. With Green Angel Syndicate’s brand and reputation in climate change investment, it makes sense to extend its activities and increase its firepower. The challenge will be to keep the strength of the current GAS business model while also growing and bringing in different investors which will inevitably mean taking on some of the characteristics of a more conventional investment firm. I think it’s important for GAS to make a conscious effort to hold on to its activist passion for fighting climate change, and continue to draw on that huge network of expertise and experience at the same time as we reach out to new investors.

How do you like to spend your free time?

I read a lot. As a working mother I was always sad that I lacked the time to start a book group, but now I’m in two! I go to the theatre – not so much recently of course. My son is an actor and playwright. I also love walking on the many beautiful trails here in the UK and in the US with my “American” daughter. I have one grandchild and another arriving soon – being a grandma is a joy.

 

*Risk disclaimer: Investment in early-stage companies involves risks such as illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution. Even when diversified within a fund, investing in early stage companies carries a higher risk than investing in more established companies. Investment in EIS and SEIS funds should be considered as part of a diversified portfolio. For professional investors only.

Abi Siri Andersen is Communications Consultant at Green Angel Syndicate, the only angel investment syndicate in the UK specialising in the fight against Climate Change and Global Warming. For regular updates follow Green Angel Syndicate on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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