Our Speakers

Sofia Karadima

Head of Community Engagement, Actum Group

Sofia Karadima is the Head of Community Engagement at Actum Group, where she focuses on content strategy, event planning, social media, partnerships, and community building in the private equity value creation space.

Her expertise lies in global investments and ESG, gained through experience as a researcher, event moderator, and investment writer. She has reported on institutional asset management, private markets (including private equity, private debt, and infrastructure), and foreign direct investment (FDI).

Sofia holds an MA in Journalism, Media, and Globalisation, specializing in Business and Financial Journalism, from City University London and Aarhus University. Additionally, she has earned a BSc in Economics from National University of Athens and a BA in Translation and Spanish Language from Ionian University.

Her multicultural background, shaped by her experiences living in the UK, Chile, Greece, Denmark, and Spain, adds a diverse and global perspective to her work.

Frances Deft

Sustainability Programme Manager, BBC

Frances Deft is the Sustainability Programme Manager at the BBC, managing the governance and implementation of the BBC’s Planet Positive strategy (covering net zero, nature positive, and societal impact).

Frances has over a decade’s experience across in-house sustainability transformation and strategy and operations consultancy for large corporate and FS clients – such as Willis Towers Watson, Quilter, Avast, Sainsbury’s, SABIC, and Prudential. She previously led the sustainability strategy offering for Deloitte UK, before managing the ESG department of a boutique consultancy specialising in quantitative climate scenario analytics. She was a technical judge for the Earthshot Prize (2021), BBC Green Sports Awards (2023), and worked with Facebook to deliver a social impact bursary fund during the COVID pandemic.

Frances has a BA Hons degree in Politics and was an early participant in the Sustainable Business Design leadership course at the University of Cambridge. She is passionate about travel and exploration – with a keen interest in UK mountain climbing.

Aditya Vikram

Head of Private Equity, UNPRI

Aditya Vikram is the Head of Private Equity at the PRI where he also leads the Private Debt practice. Based in London, he joined PRI in 2023 having previously worked in responsible investing in private equity. He has c.16 years of experience working in investment management across UK, Europe and Asia having previously worked at Partners Group, QuadReal and Varde Partners. Aditya holds a Certificate in ESG Investing from the CFA and an MBA from London Business School.

Manuela Fumarola

Director - ESG Integration and Impact Investing, ERM

Manuela is a London-based Consulting Director that focuses on working with private equity firms and their portfolio companies in adopting ESG strategies and regulatory requirements as a change and value creation lever.

Prior joining ERM, Manuela was the Head of ESG for abrdn Private Equity department where she implemented the team’s first climate change strategy, led the team efforts under SFDR, including the launch of an Article 8+ and worked closely with the investment teams in assessing ESG materiality of targets as well as supporting portfolio companies in entering new markets via adopting ESG strategies.

Ahead of abrdn, Manuela worked as a Private Equity Investment Professional at M&G Investments where she invested in primary and co-investment deals across Europe and Asia. At M&G, Manuela was also responsible for the design and implementation of the ESG strategy and launched the team first Impact Fund of Funds. The work Manuela led in Private Equity was rolled across the Alternative Assets and shaped the basis for M&G’s contribution to the ILPA ESG Assessment Framework, which Manuela supported.

Manuela holds a BSc (Hons) in Management at Bayes (previously known as Cass) Business School in London and is now completing a MSt in Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University, where she researched the issues of “Investors’ potential to Improve Labour Rights across Value Chain” and the “Barriers to scale sustainable investments in the Food Systems in the European Private Equity market”. Manuela is also an Impact Champion for the Conduit Club in London where she fosters a community of purpose-led female leaders.

Sophie Flak

Member of the Executive Board and Managing Partner ESG & Digital, Eurazeo

Sophie Flak is Member of the Executive Board and Managing Partner ESG & Digital at Eurazeo.
She joined Eurazeo in 2013, bringing with her 20 years’ experience in sustainable and technological transformation of major international groups, which she advocates as powerful levers of a company’s performance and resilience.

Under Sophie’s ESG leadership, Eurazeo has become a pioneering force in ESG, notably with its ambitious ESG strategy, O+, and the Group is now recognized as the leading investment group in this area.

Previously, she spent 11 years at Accenture where she was Senior Executive within the strategy division, and notably initiated the development of Accenture France’s sustainable development consulting business. In 2010, Sophie joined AccorHotels Group as member of the Executive Committee in charge of the group’s transformation, in charge of technology and sustainable development.

Sophie is proactive in shaping the industry dialogue regarding ESG practices, for example by being part of the EFRAG’s in 2020, an advisory group to the European Commission on the extra-financial performance of companies, and member of the National Digital Council (Conseil National Du Numérique) from 2018 to January 2021.
Sophie also taught Sustainability at Sciences Po Paris for 7 years and chairs a non-profit dedicated to Research on Yoga in Education.

Adinah Shackleton

Head of ESG, Permira

Adinah is Head of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and is responsible for overseeing and further developing Permira’s ESG activities across private equity and credit. She is also a trustee of The Permira Foundation.

Prior to joining Permira, Adinah spent eight years with ERM, a global sustainability consultancy, as a Principal Consultant focusing on transaction services and ESG for private equity clients. Before that, she spent over a year in construction as an Environmental Coordinator. Adinah is a member and former chair of the BVCA’s Responsible Investment Advisory Group. She is also a member of Invest Europe’s ESG Committee, a member of Initiative Climate International’s OpCo and represents Permira on the ESG Data Convergence Initiative Steering Committee.

Graeme Ardus

Head of ESG, Triton Partners

Prior to joining West Park in 2013, Graeme was the Global Director of Occupational Health, Safety and Environment (OHSE) and Sustainability at Amcor Speciality Packaging. He also worked at Environmental Resources Management and Shell International. Graeme holds an MSc in Environmental Management from the European Association of Environmental Management Education and an MA in Geography from the University of Glasgow. Graeme is also a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

Elsa Palanza

Global Head of Sustainability & ESG, ICG

Having worked across FTSE and Fortune companies plus the not-for-profit sectors for the past 20 years, Elsa has extensive experience in launching and driving ambitious and diverse ESG initiatives.

Elsa joined ICG from Barclays, where she was Global Head of Sustainability & ESG for four years. Prior to that, she worked for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, giving her a unique and global perspective on best practices in sustainability and cross-sector partnerships.

Ann Cousins

Associate Director, Arup

Ann is an associate director in Arup’s climate and sustainability services portfolio, having joined in 2008. She works with corporate clients and investors to provide strategic advice on ESG and climate change, covering infrastructure and property sectors. She is passionate about helping organisations to integrate consideration of ESG topics into decision making for investment.

She has a masters degree in leadership for sustainable development.

Chantal Beck

Managing Director, Portfolio Value Creation, CPP Investments

Chantal is a partner in McKinsey’s energy sector based in London. During her time with the firm, she has completed projects in strategy and planning, organization, and marketing topics in energy, basic materials, and telecommunications industries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Chantal convenes McKinsey’s events associated with women in power and natural resources. She is the leader of the firm’s work in the energy sector in the UK and leads the energy transition and decarbonization movement globally.

Her recent experience includes leading our work on energy transition and decarbonization, supporting private sector oil and gas companies in driving 20 to 30 percent out of their cost structure, and application of new technologies to core operating models to support digital transformations.

Britta Lindhorst

MD, Head of European Investments, Global Head of ESG / Impact, HQ Capital

Britta Lindhorst is a Managing Director, Head of European Investments, and Global Head of ESG/Impact, at HQ Capital, based in Bad Homburg. HQ Capital is a global private equity specialist that has deployed $11.7 billion of capital since 1989. Ms. Lindhorst is responsible for the strategic development and implementation of the firm’s European strategy for its comingled funds and large European institutional managed accounts. In addition, she has led the development and implementation of the firm’s global ESG and impact strategy since 2013.

Prior to joining HQ Capital in 2012, Ms. Lindhorst was a Managing Director at Generali Private Equity, Europe’s third largest insurance group, where she was responsible for investing and managing the company’s €1.5 billion global private equity portfolio. Prior to joining Generali in 1998, Ms. Lindhorst worked as a sell-side analyst and later as deputy Managing Director in the Equity Research department of the German private bank, Sal. Oppenheim. Ms. Lindhorst has 36 years of investment experience in public and private markets and holds a Masters Degree (Diplom-Kaufmann) in economics, with a focus on banking and tax law, from Cologne University.

Honor Fell

Sustainable Investment Lead, University of Cambridge Investment Management

Honor joined UCIM in May 2020 from her role as Head of Responsible Investment at Redington, an investment consulting firm advising long term savers and investors. At Redington, Honor built and oversaw Redington’s Responsible Investment strategy and worked closely with the Manager Research and Investment Consulting teams to provide advice to a range of institutional clients. Honor has a Geography degree from Cambridge University. She is a CFA Charterholder and has a Masters in Sustainability Leadership from Cambridge University.

Kanika Goela

Director, Private Equity Responsible Investing, abrdn

Kanika joined abrdn’s European PE business in 2021, covering fund investments, secondaries, co-investments and direct investments and leads coverage of impact and sustainability focused investments. She has over 15 years of experience across investing, investment banking, strategy and operating roles and has lived and worked in 5 countries across 3 continents.
Prior to abrdn, Kanika was an early-stage investor focusing on women-founded tech and purpose-driven businesses. Previously she was an Investment Director at Temasek where she spent several years involved in global investment opportunities spanning growth equity, pre-IPO, PIPE and M&A financing transactions. Her investment and portfolio management experience spans tech, financial services, industrials, logistics & transportation, telecom, retail and real estate.
Kanika holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and a bachelor’s degree from Delhi University. She is based in London.

Jay Barrymore

Managing Director, Accenture

Jay is a Managing Director at Accenture. Working with C-suite executives and at Board level, he is responsible for leveraging Accenture’s unrivalled depth of experience across technology, sustainability and capital markets to support the world’s leading investors finance the changes that the world needs. 

This includes working across asset classes and the capital stack, from ESG data and analytics in public equity; compressed sustainability transformations in private equity; climate resilience in commercial real estate; and machine learning applications to drive nature positive outcomes.

Prior to joining Accenture, Jay spent over 15 years as a sustainable investor. He started his career at a hedge fund in London where he launched and co-managed a $40m long-short portfolio investing across renewable energy, alternative energy technology, biofuel and carbon, before spending the next 10+ years in private markets from Base of the Pyramid venture capital in India, to sustainable real assets in APAC. 

He currently serves as a NED of The Real Wild Estates Company, the first ecosystem and species restoration specialists for natural capital investors, delivering financial returns alongside biodiversity gains. Also a proud Trustee of the Historic England Foundation, supporting the work of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission, the public body responsible for championing England’s historic places, and helping people understand, value and care for them.

Hannah-Polly Williams

Head of ESG, Europe, Clayton Dubilier & Rice

Hannah-Polly joined CD&R in 2023 after a 15-year career in social impact and sustainability. Based in Paris, she works closely with CD&R’s European investment teams and the Global ESG team to accelerate initiatives that create value for the Firm’s portfolio companies in the UK, France, Germany and Ireland. Before joining CD&R, Hannah-Polly was a Senior Director at FTI Consulting, where she advised on corporate strategy projects and helped financial services, healthcare and industrials clients devise and implement sustainability programs and improve operational performance. Prior to FTI, she worked at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Oxfam, and the Overseas Development Institute. Hannah-Polly has an M.B.A. from Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, an M.Sc. in global governance and ethics from University College London, and a B.Sc. in economics and government from the London School of Economics.

Denise Odaro

Head of ESG, PAI Partners

Denise joined PAI in 2022 as Head of the ESG & Sustainability team. She is responsible for developing PAI’s sustainability strategy and creating value through sustainability initiatives in the portfolio.

Denise joined from The World Bank Group’s private sector arm IFC, where she spent over 11 years based in the US and Europe. She was Head of Investor Relations & Sustainable Finance Coordination and chaired both the ESG Capital Markets Integration and Sustainable Finance Committees. Denise also served as Chair of the global Green, Social and Sustainability-Linked Bond Principles Steering Committee under ICMA. Denise started her career in the UK, working for Goldman Sachs, GE Capital and Lehman Brothers in various capital market roles.

Denise holds an MBA in Finance from Cornell University and a MSt in Sustainability Leadership from the University of Cambridge. She is an alumna of the Emerging Leaders Program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Cornelia Gomez

Global Head of ESG, General Atlantic

Cornelia Gomez is a Principal at General Atlantic and the firm’s Global Head of ESG. In this role, she oversees the firm’s strategy to advance environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts for its global operations and across its portfolio. Before joining General Atlantic in 2022, Cornelia was Head of ESG and Sustainability at PAI Partners, and she also served as the Global Coordinator for the International Climate Initiative (iCI), a Private Equity industry group that is sponsored by the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment. Previously, Cornelia led the Social and Environmental Compliance unit at Casino Group.

Caroline Lofgren

Chief Sustainability Officer, Hg

Caroline heads up the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) team at Hg and covers ESG topics across the firm and portfolio. Caroline is part of Hg’s Portfolio team and is working actively with Hg’s businesses to reduce risk, share best practice and improve ESG performance. She is also responsible for Hg’s ESG reporting to clients and other external stakeholders such as the UNPRI.

Caroline is part of the BVCA’s Responsible Investment Advisory Group, Invest Europe’s Responsible Investment Affiliate Network, as well as the UK Operating Committee of initiative Climate International (iCI). Furthermore, she is a Board Trustee of the Hg Foundation.

Before joining Hg in 2017, Caroline spent over eight years in strategy consulting and in-house sustainability roles across various industries, most recently as the global supply chain sustainability lead at GlaxoSmithKline. Caroline has a MSc in Industrial Engineering and Management from Lund University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Value Chains from Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

John Abel

Technical Director, Office of the CTO, Google

John is focused on transformational sustainability solutions and uses emerging technologies to enable the acceleration of reducing carbon emissions. John works in the Sustainability group within Office of the CTO

John works within a diverse team drawn from multiple backgrounds and skill sets to ensure synergies of various perspectives working together comes to the fore. John also supports a number of STEM projects that are aimed at enhancing participation overall but particularly from a wider range of backgrounds. John is also very proud of being an ambassador for British Dyslexia Association

John began his technology career nearly 32 years ago, working on early AI and even distributed ledger technologies that were deployed to great impact in private and public sector environments. His expertise across many roles within Oracle and now Google in sustainability and data technologies have led to him being a renowned industry speaker, author and commentator on technical and business innovation issues.