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JPMorgan's new expanding team - climate tech

JPMorgan is beefing up its fight against climate change.

The bank might be the biggest facilitator of pollution in the world, but that doesn’t mean it can’t turn away from its life of clime. The climate tech team – which is part of its Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) – might be nascent, but it’s already added some firepower to the bank’s green reputation.

JPMorgan isn’t currently advertising for any more new team members, but vacancies posted last year have a fantastically vague quality to them. The bank was looking for a VP in New York to join its “mission in powering the future of ClimateTech by making the best and boldest ideas reality.” That involved research, investment sourcing, and due diligence, among other things.

Last year, JPM also advertised for a “climate scientist”, with a similarly vague mission statement, but with more or less the exact same day-to-day responsibilities. This one did (both are now closed) require 8+ years in academia (as opposed to 6-8 years in finance for the VP) as well as a PhD.

So, if the applications are closed – who are the VP and PhD in question? Well, they’ve both joined this month.

Pradipta Parhi (the PhD) joined the bank after a year and a half with Lazard, where he was a VP in sustainable investment. Daniel Baruch (the VP), meanwhile, joined JPM after two years with Moody’s, the ratings agency, where he was a VP of climate strategy. Both he and Parhi join JPM this month as executive directors, and both are based in New York.

The climate tech team at JPMorgan has been headed up by Neha Manaktala since September last year. She’s been part of the digital innovations team (which climate tech is part of) since 2019, when she joined the bank from market intelligence firm Brismo.

The team, which is part of digital innovations (which is itself part of the CIB), has a mandate to invest in and partner with climate-focused startups. The digital innovation group is a fintech focused team that “co-creates products and incubates startups,” as well as directly invest in (or acquire) them.

Climate tech, which is under the ESG umbrella, is a key part of the global strategy to combat climate change. There are even entire venture capital funds dedicated to investing in companies that utilise technology in the fight against climate change.

JPMorgan's new appointments come as hedge funds are hiring PhDs to advise on climate issues. The bank is currently looking for a climate modelling vice president and an executive director and macro economic lead to look at climate impacts. Both will be part of its climate risk team in London. 

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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