Lombard Odier fund arm hires first ‘chief nature officer’

Marc Palahi

Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) has announced the appointment of forestry expert Marc Palahi as its first Chief Nature Officer as part of the firm’s “continued drive to bolster its sustainability expertise and capabilities through the addition of industry-leading talent.”

LOIM, the fund arm of Swiss private bank Lombard Odier, had 63 billion Swiss francs ($70 billion) in assets under management at the end of December.

Palahi joins LOIM from the European Forest Institute, where he worked since 2007 and where was the director since 2015.

He holds a PhD in forestry and economics and has authored and contributed to over 40 scientific publications over the course of his career.

“Marc is a strategically important hire, following the recent launch of holistiQ Investment Partners, a dedicated sustainable investment platform within LOIM that will invest in critical themes of the environmental transition with a dedicated pillar on nature-based solutions,” said LOIM.

“Marc is an internationally recognised expert on forests, circular bioeconomy and global change with over two decades of experience in leading scientific initiatives, including the directorship of the European Forest Institute.

“In his new role, Marc is responsible for further developing the nature strategy within holistiQ’s sustainable investment platform.

“In addition to enhancing the platform’s nature-focused investment offering, Marc will integrate Nature centrally across holistiQ’s sustainability research activities, which provide intelligence and connectivity across all LOIM’s core businesses.

“Furthermore, Marc’s extensive knowledge and experience will be leveraged to create new tools and investment solutions that support the phase-out of carbon-intensive economic activity in favour of nature-based models, ultimately driving investment that contributes towards nature restoration, while further positioning holistiQ as a global leader in the distribution of nature-positive strategies.”

Jean-Pascal Porcherot, Co-Head of LOIM and Managing Partner of Lombard Odier, said: “The world continues to face unprecedented challenges in building a more sustainable economic future, encompassing climate change, biodiversity loss, socio-economic inequalities as well as resource security and scarcity.

“The role nature has to play in addressing these issues is increasingly clear, and we must ensure that a just transition includes positive nature outcomes.

“Marc’s extensive academic experience across Nature, forests and the emerging circular bioeconomy industries will be instrumental as holistiQ develops leading nature-based investment products that seek environmental outcomes and compelling returns1 for clients.”

Palahi said: “For the last twenty years I have been working to better understand the large societal challenges we are facing as well as the potential solutions that Nature, science and technology can offer to address them.

“It is paramount that in the next decade we need to facilitate an unprecedented economic transformation if we want to place our world on a sustainable path.

“The good news is that we have the knowledge to do it but need to deploy capital at the right scale in the right solutions.

“My ambition is to contribute to Lombard Odier´s long-term sustainable commitment by placing Nature and nature-based solutions at the centre of the global investment agenda.”