February 20, 2019 / 8:25 PM / 6 months ago

Liechtenstein's LGT Group says impact investing arm's senior staff to leave

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) - Liechtenstein’s LGT Group, owned by the country’s ruling family, said its senior impact investment team were leaving the business unit as part of a shake-up of the financial firm’s structure.

Former Abraaj executive Sev Vettivetpillai, the CEO of LGT Impact, was among those departing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Impact investing, which promises social and environmental benefits as well as financial returns, has become an increasingly popular approach to investment for private equity firms and others.

As a result, LGT, one of the largest family-owned private banking and asset management groups in the world, said it had decided to integrate its impact unit with its other businesses.

“The existing senior central team of LGT Impact will over the course of the next few months move on to other initiatives,” it said in a statement, which did not say how many staff were affected nor mention any names.

LGT Impact has invested in six companies in three emerging markets, with its headquarters in London and Switzerland and teams in Brazil, Kenya and India, according to its website.

Vettivetpillai joined LGT Impact in April 2018 having previously worked for Abraaj after it acquired Aureos Capital, a private equity firm he helped lead. He didn’t respond to requests for comment.

LGT Group had 206 billion Swiss francs (158 billion pounds) of assets under management at June 30, according to the company’s website.

Abraaj was the largest buyout fund in the Middle East and North Africa until it collapsed last year due to the fallout from a row with investors, including the Gates Foundation, over the use of their money in a $1 billion healthcare fund.

Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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