What does your company do?
We are an exchange traded fund (ETF) sponsor with a laser focus on the companies that can decarbonise the planet.
We spend a lot of time looking at the existing solutions that bring the world to carbon neutrality – solutions that go beyond renewable energy or electric vehicles – such as telepresence, plant based diets, sustainable forestry, heat pumps, smart meters, smart thermostats, energy storage, fuel cells and the green hydrogen economy.
We launched our first ETF on the London Stock Exchange in December 2020 – the iClima Global Decarbonisation Enablers Index – raising over $30m in just a few weeks. We are going to launch our second ETF in March, also focused on decarbonisation.
Tell us about your UK and global operations.
London is and will remain our global headquarters. It's because we are easily able to partner with the right kind of players in global markets out of London.
We want to launch in the US and we want to launch in Asia. Being in the UK puts us in a very good position for this. Early in the morning we can speak to Asia and in the afternoon we can speak to people from New York to California.
London is a megaphone for us. It gives us that global reach and the credibility of operating out of this super special hub. I don't know if we would have been able to do what we've done as fast or as successfully if we could not tap into all the great things that we have in this great city.
What are the main benefits to being based in the UK?
There is a huge talent pool from fantastic schools in the UK. For us, it has been Imperial College but it could have equally been other schools such as London School of Economics or Oxford and Cambridge. We have three analysts and they all come from Imperial College's Master's in Climate Change, Finance and Management with its unique mix of both financial analysis and climate science skills.
Also all the major US schools like Wharton, Harvard and Columbia have a London club, representing their biggest networks outside of the US. If we were not in London, I'm not sure where we could pull so much talent.
But there are so many advantages being based in London. The government is very supportive of start ups and we are surrounded by many relevant fintech players. Pre Covid, we used to hang out with fintech companies at Level39 in Canary Wharf, the tech community, where we would network and share ideas. It was incredible.
Further, the London Stock Exchange has been extremely supportive of green initiatives like green bonds and the presence of carbon agencies and climate change initiatives and not for profit think tanks in London is massive.
The Financial Conduct Authority is also an extremely knowledgeable regulator that is so business friendly and there is a vibrant eco system of angel investors.
London is a megaphone for us. It gives us that global reach and the credibility of operating out of this super special hub. I don't know if we would have been able to do what we've done as fast or as successfully if we could not tap into all the great things that we have in this great city.”
The London Stock Exchange has been extremely supportive of green initiatives like green bonds and the presence of carbon agencies and climate change initiatives and not for profit think tanks in London is massive.
Which UK strengths do you see enduring and where are there shortcomings the UK should act to address?
The UK's talent pool will certainly endure both in terms of the quality of professionals and the talented people from around the world who will continue to want to come to the UK.
We expect the government focus on innovation and green finance to continue as well as the UK's highly supportive regulatory environment. These attract like-minded people, investors and businesses.
The City of London being so international is another major strength. I am not British yet I have felt so welcome here and English being the international language of business helps.
Going forward, clarity on the tax side of things such as Seed Entreprise Investment Schemes and Entreprise Investment Schemes, which encourage investment into start-ups, remains important.
Tell us about your company's growth ambitions.
We are registered across 11 markets and listed in three – London, Frankfurt and Milan. That will soon be extended to Switzerland as well. Our next global ambition is to launch our ETF in the US. Hopefully that will be done by the middle of this year. We are also hoping to licence our index in Australia and other countries.
We are also looking towards Asia, in particular to Singapore and Japan and perhaps China. In 2022, the South American market will perhaps be our next port of call for 2022.