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Top venture investors leave family office; Impact investment group hires rainmaker

CEO leaves family office, so does top venture investor

Reimann Investors, which manages the money of members from one of  Germany’s wealthiest dynasties,  has lost a number of senior investment specialists.

Michael Riemenschneider, the former head of Reimann Investors, left late last year. However, his departure only was recently made public with the announcement of Reimann Investors’ partner Noel Zeh leaving the Munich-based family office. 

Riemenschneider had been at Reimann Investors for ten years and played a crucial role in building the family office’s venture portfolio, as Family Capital commented on three years ago. German media reports suggest the departure might have been prompted by Reimann Investors going cold on venture investing, dispute their early enthusiasm for the asset class.  

Riemenschneider and Zeh wouldn’t be drawn on where they are heading. But their considerable experience in building a portfolio of venture businesses will ensure they are in demand, particularly in the family investment world. 

The family office, which also works with other investors, was set up in 2006 by two members of the Reimann family who had earlier sold their stakes in the family investment business, JAB Holding, which still has a stake in the company where the family’s money was originally made, the consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser Group. The Benckiser bit was the Reimann family business, it merged with Reckitt in the late 1990s.

Senior finance specialist hired to grow a new impact investing business 

Shaun Kingsbury, former chief executive of the UK’s Green Investment Bank, has been appointed to develop a new impact investing business for Conduit Capital.

Kingsbury has taken a leading role in several clean energy projects. He was appointed to lead state-sponsored GIB in 2012, but left after its sale to Macquarie Bank in 2017.

He typifies a new generation of experienced executives keen to achieve social improvement with support from a growing number of family offices keen to back impact investing projects, which seek to achieve social and economic returns. The impact approach often attracts young talent, keen to save humanity, however they can.

Kingsbury is backed by Conduit Capital chief executive Robert Zulkoski, who developed an Asian business for Howard Marks’ $80 million Oaktree Capital Management, one the world’s smartest investors in alternatives.

In 2007, Marks agreed to buy Pangaea Capital Management from Zulkoski who became Oaktree’s head of special situations and real estate in Asia until 2011, when he became its adviser. He has become head of a social business in Vermont and a South African black empowerment business. He has also developed Singapore-based Laurasia Capital Management, a socially-aware infrastructure manager whose finance director, Kenneth Tang, also used to work for Oaktree. 

In 2017, Zulkoski became a co-founder of The Conduit, which lobbies policymakers on social and environmentally-friendly opportunities making Conduit Capital its commercial arm a year ago. 

Conduit Capital chairman Nick Hamilton, another founder of The Conduit is also involved in Laurasia Capital Management. He used to be Asian chief executive at Standard Bank.  Co-founder Nina Pfifer has worked on a string of sustainable projects. 

Paul van Zyl, The Conduit’s chief creative officer, has been involved in a series of social justice and gender empowerment issues, including secretary general of South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

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