L Catterton, a large global consumer-focused private equity firm that owns, among others, brands like Birkenstock, Etro, Evelane and Ganni, has announced the establishment of The Impact Fund, a new impact investing platform that will focus on businesses involved in activities meant to operate against some of most pressing social and environmental challenges aiming, for instance, to mitigate climate change, reduce waste, and preserve nature.
Along with it, it has also appointed Tehmina Haider and Michael O’Leary as partners to lead the strategy.
The platform will leverage L Catterton’s resources to invest and grow consumer companies whose missions include making the economy cleaner, healthier, and more equitable, but also involved in initiatives that aim to eliminate disparities in health, wellness, and nutrition; and create a more inclusive economy by expanding access to the financial system and improving education and workforce development.
“As consumer-focused investors above all else, we have seen a revolution in consumer demand based on sustainability and impact. This is hitting a tipping point as younger generations lead a structural, long-term shift towards brands anchored on these values,” said Scott Dahnke, global co-CEO, L Catterton. “With our distinctive insights and operations-centric approach to value creation, we are poised to identify the most attractive investment opportunities amidst this shift and partner with strong companies in advantaged categories to accelerate growth.”
“Since our inception 33 years ago, we have been proud to back many best-in-class sustainable consumer companies. We are confident that now is the right time to launch a dedicated impact fund platform that will further enable us to support mission-driven entrepreneurs and companies where impact is a core driver of the brand,” added Michael Chu, global co-CEO of L Catterton. “Tehmina and Michael bring deep experience in consumer and impact investing, and we look forward to leveraging their leadership as we establish this platform.”
Haider, who was formerly a senior investor in L Catterton’s Growth Fund, re-joins the firm from Harry’s, Inc., where she served as the company’s chief growth officer. In that role, she was responsible for incubating and acquiring new brands, as well as overseeing their operations after launch or acquisition. During her time at L Catterton, she operated in investments across the beauty, personal care, apparel, and pet categories. Prior to L Catterton, she was a consumer investor at Castanea Partners, Estée Lauder and Bain & Company.
O’Leary was previously with Engine No. 1, where he served as a managing director. Prior to that, he was on the founding team of Bain Capital’s impact fund and an investor on its private equity fund. He is the co-author of the book 'Accountable: The Rise of Citizen Capitalism' (HarperCollins 2020), which profiles the challenges and opportunities of impact investing.