Syntaxis hires ESG specialist

In a progressive move, the CEE-focused mezzanine firm has appointed Rupert Coull to lead its ESG effort.

Central and Eastern Europe-focused mezzanine specialist Syntaxis has appointed environmental, social and governance (ESG) professional Rupert Coull, underlining the firm’s commitment to responsible investment.

Coull has more than a decade’s experience in finance, having initially trained as a barrister before moving into investment banking at Cazenove, then Merrill Lynch. Most recently, he ran a large private equity portfolio for a pension fund, with a key focus being ESG, the firm said in a statement announcing the appointment.

The move is an unusual one, as ESG principles have typically taken longer to percolate into the private debt industry than they have with private equity, for example. ESG principles are also typically less likely to be a consideration in less developed markets, like CEE, although Syntaxis hopes to change this.

Ben Edwards, managing partner at Syntaxis, said in the statement: “In line with the growing importance of ESG in the industry, we have continuously developed our firm’s responsible investment principles. We are accelerating this process with the establishment of a dedicated ESG officer.

“Being a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles of Responsible Investment, we understand the importance of investing responsibly, both from the point of view our investors and that of our portfolio companies,” he added.