Verdane bolsters sustainability capabilities with hire of Erik Osmundsen as Partner
Verdane, the Northern European specialist growth equity investor, is pleased to announce the hire of Erik Osmundsen as Partner, based in Oslo. Erik brings decades of experience as a chief executive, investment professional, board member, and sustainability expert. With a proven ability to turn sustainability into competitive advantage and financial results, Erik is further strengthening Verdane’s capabilities in this space.
Erik has more than two decades’ experience as an operator and investor, and has served on numerous company boards. He joins Verdane after nine years as Group Chief Executive Officer of Norsk Gjenvinning, a leading Scandinavian supplier of waste management and recycling services. During his time at Norsk Gjenvinning, Erik oversaw the Nordic expansion of the company’s sustainable recycling and waste treatment solutions, transforming it into Norway’s eleventh most reputable company based on a number one position on environment, according to the market research company Ipsos.
Erik’s appointment reflects a continued build-up of Verdane’s sustainable growth capabilities, following the recent hire of Axel Elmqvist as Sustainability Lead for Verdane Elevate, the firm’s specialised team of in-house operational experts, in March 2021.
Bjarne Kveim Lie, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Verdane said: “Verdane has invested behind sustainability as an important driver of growth and innovation for over a decade, and believes that the universe of companies will continue to grow fast. With Erik onboard, we will further strengthen our position as a leading growth investor in this area. He brings a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge to Verdane, not only as a sustainability expert, but as a founder, operator, and investor, and I look forward to having him join our team on this journey.”
Erik Osmundsen, Partner at Verdane commented: “I firmly believe that sustainable business practices can be used to create competitive advantage for companies, and I can’t wait to translate this into action at Verdane. I’m incredibly excited to be joining one of Northern Europe’s leading growth equity investors and I look forward to working alongside the Verdane team to continue to invest in tomorrow’s winners, and to help our portfolio companies grow into even more sustainable and profitable businesses.”
George Serafeim, the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School commented: “In our research we have found that organizations with strong management of environmental and social impacts outperform over the long-term, as those impacts become financially material. I teach the Norsk Gjenvinning transformation case in my Reimaging Capitalism class at Harvard and know Erik well. I am very excited that he will now use his experience using sustainability to create competitive advantage as an equity investor and catalyst for sustainable and profitable change.”
Verdane has a strong track record of investment in sustainable businesses, having made its first cleantech investment over ten years ago. More recent sustainable investments span re-commerce (momox, asgoodasnew), spare parts that enable upcycling (Bildeler.no, Spares Group), sustainable consumer goods (The Humble Co.), and software (Evondos, Danelec Marine).
Earlier this year, Verdane announced the successful closing of its ninth fund, Edda II, at its EUR540m hard cap. The firm is currently investing across the Nordics and Germany from Edda II and its SEK6bn Verdane Capital X fund.