Company Profiles

Gresham House's Growth Ambitions For Sustainable, Alternative Investments

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 8 February 2024

Gresham House's Growth Ambitions For Sustainable, Alternative Investments

Having de-listed last year, the UK-headquartered investment firm, which focuses on sustainable investment, private markets, and sectors such as forestry, is determined to grow strongly. We talk to its CEO.

Gresham House, a UK-headquartered alternative investment manager, has set its sights on expanding assets and its international footprint, as it moves on from being acquired in a £470 million ($593 million) take-private deal late last year by Searchlight Capital Partners.

“We have an opportunity to take this business and turn it into a fantastic business,” Tony Dalwood, Gresham House’s chief executive, told this news service in a recent interview. He wants his colleagues to “make a difference – don’t hide and keep your head down…ask questions and take a risk.”

Dalwood says that Searchlight’s commitment to providing capital and expertise for more acquisitions will give his firm the resources to continue on its growth track. Gresham House was transformed in late 2014 through a management buy-in. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Gresham House delisted in December 2023. It now employs about 230 people.

Dalwood isn’t missing some of the regulatory and reporting burdens that public listed status entails – he is enjoying the chance to concentrate on investments without distractions.

Gresham House has about £8.3 billion of investments, focusing on sustainable investments. For example, it operates in areas such as forestry, sustainable infrastructure, UK housing, public and private equity, among others. With “alternative” investment being a hot-button topic since before the 2008 financial crash, Dalwood and his colleagues know wealth managers want to tap into this expertise.

The firm has a plan to take its AuM to £20 billion by 2030, he said. 

Gresham House is an active asset manager; its clients are institutions, charities and endowments, family offices, private individuals. Its advisors cover forestry, real estate, sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, battery storage and public and private equity.

The firm, which already has operations in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, wants to expand in these geographies, as well as in the US, Japan and Northern Europe.

This news service asked Dalwood if the firm was where it needs to be in terms of the range and depth of its investments.

“We are committed to our current strategies and our focus in real assets and strategic equity. Growth will come from within these areas, both in the UK and through expansion of our global footprint to meet growing demand from international investors."

We also asked Dalwood about broader trends in what investors actually want.

“The most significant trend in our space over the past decade has been increased investor awareness that you don’t have to compromise returns to make sustainable investments. We have taken previously niche markets, such as forestry and battery storage, and transformed them into investment solutions that work at scale. This trend will continue with investments we are currently nurturing, such as vertical farming and other areas of natural capital.”

There has been a great deal of interest in subjects such as forestry, carbon credits, sustainable infrastructure. WealthBriefing asked Dalwood what has led the firm to be interested in these areas? 

“We saw the potential for these areas very early on and made it the core of the business soon after the management buy-in. It was clear that there was an opportunity to generate attractive, sustainable, long-term investment returns from areas [such as] infrastructure and natural capital that would also meet social and environmental needs. The combination of the performance potential and the long-term structural trends in the market made it a natural path for us.”

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