The Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF) is an investment company under Luxembourg law. It was established by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and KfW Entwicklungsbank in 2009.
GCPF has clear governance structures in place, underscoring its commitment to transparency and accountability.
Board of Directors
Appointed by the GCPF shareholders, the Board of Directors has an oversight role and is responsible for defining GCPF’s strategic direction. It has sole power to administer and manage the Fund. The Board has six members:
- Ulrike Lassmann, Chairperson
- Sharmila Hardi
- James McEwen
- Cornelis van Aerssen
- Carolin Gassner
The Investment Committee is appointed by the Board of Directors. Its main function is to approve the investment decisions proposed by the Investment Manager and to monitor its other activities. The Investment Committee’s members are:
- Jürgen Welschof, Chairperson
- Dr. Juan Alario
- Judith Brandsma
- Ritva Laukkanen
- Markus Bohni
Technical Assistance Facility Committee
Appointed by facility donors, the Technical Assistance Facility Committee ensures that the Technical Assistance provided by GCPF supports the fund’s objectives and activities.
- Andreas Arvanitakis
- Carolin Gassner
- Judith Brandsma
GCPF has the backing of institutions including: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), KfW Entwicklungsbank, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Danida), Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Development Bank of Austria (OeEB), European Investment Bank (EIB) and Dutch Development Bank (FMO), as well as private investors.
The Investment Manager, responsAbility Investments AG, is responsible for running GCPF’s business activities and for managing the Technical Assistance Facility. responsAbility Investments AG is one of the world’s leading asset managers in the field of development investments.
- General Secretary : Innpact
- Fund Accountant: European Fund Administration
- Custodian: Banque de Luxembourg
Ulrike Lassmann chairs GCPF's Board of Director since May 2020. She is the Regional Manager of East and South East Asia of KfW Development Bank. Since 2002, she has held various positions at KfW as senior expert in financial sector in the departments East Asia, Middle East/North Africa. She has extensive experience across geographies, specializing in structured microfinance funds, guarantee funds as well as green financing via the banking sector. Ulrike worked at the central institute for cooperative banks in Germany, DZ Bank AG, where she gained extensive knowledge in commercial financing mechanism for small and medium enterprises (SME) in Germany.
Sharmila Hardi is a member of GCPFs Board since 2017. She is the Global Head of IFC’s Banking, Small and Medium Enterprise Business line, SME Finance Forum and Banking on Women. She leads a team of over 50 professionals in an area that is business critical to the corporation and delivering impact by providing access to finance for SMEs in emerging markets. Ms. Hardi has been with the IFC since 1992 and was most recently the Global Head of Syndications where she was responsible for raising $3-$4 billion annually in additional senior long term debt from commercial banks and development finance institutions to complement IFC’s own financing. She has also advised and represented the Vice-President on all IFC’s business and stakeholder relationship issues related to Western Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. Prior to her appointment as a special advisor, Ms. Hardi was the Principal Investment Officer and sector head of Sustainable Forestry (including pulp and paper). Ms. Hardi has structured IFC’s investments in several complex projects in manufacturing including pre-IPO equities. Ms. Hardi has led teams in developing business and investing in firms in varied sectors including but not limited to agribusiness, retail, tourism, health, manufacturing and banks globally, but with a specific focus on Latin America.
James McEwen has been a member of GCPF’s Board since 2016. James is currently Finance Director of the Legal Aid Agency, which is part of the UK’s Justice Department. He has worked for the UK Civil Service for 13 years.
During that time, he has held posts in a number of departments, including those responsible for energy and climate change, justice, and work and pensions. While at the Department of Energy & Climate Change, James served as Head of Financial Strategy and as a Director for Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty.
Cornelis van Aerssen has been a member of GCPF’s Board since 2016. In his role as Senior Investment Officer at FMO, he arranges syndicated loans for financial institutions in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America and manages FMO’s relations with private and public investment partners. He spent five years funding financial institutions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and originating and executing FMO’s debt, equity and fund investments with a focus on energy efficiency and renewables.
Before joining FMO, Cornelis spent several years as a strategic advisor to the Board of the EBRD in London. He holds a degree in Economics from the University of Groningen.
Carolin Gassner is First Vice President and Head of Department South Asia within KfW, where she has worked over 24 years. Within KfW, she has held different senior and management positions in the areas of development finance, asset securitization, and credit risk. Before taking over the current position, Carolin headed the Department Credit Risk Management, Financial Institutions and Country Risk. Ms. Gassner holds a Master Degree in Economics from the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, Germany, a Postgraduate Certificate of the German Development Institute, Bonn, and a Senior Executive Programme Certificate from the London Business School.
Jürgen Welschof joined GCPF’s Investment Committee in April 2018. Jürgen has over 22 years of experience in development finance. He started to work at KfW Group in 1995. He has held various positions at KfW with a focus on direct investments in water and waste water management in the Middle East & North Africa region and has been heading KfW’s sector policy division for 6 years. In 2010, Jürgen became KfW’s country director in Serbia and Macedonia, where more than half of KfW’s portfolio consists of energy projects, including direct investments in thermal, hydro, wind and biomass power plants, as well as a large number of credit lines for energy efficiency and renewable energy. He currently heads the Energy South Asia Division of KfW Development Bank, a post he has held since early 2015.
Juan Alario has been a member of GCPF’s Investment Committee since April 2017. He is an independent Project Advisor in energy matters. He advises several international and national entities. Juan has close to 30 years experience in the evaluation and finance of projects. This experience has been gained especially through his long term employment with the EIB (from 1987 to 2015), where he rose to a Director-grade position, as one of its most senior and experienced energy advisors.
Juan holds a MA in Industrial Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Barcelona, a Doctorate in Economic Sciences, option Energy Economics from Grenoble University and a post-graduate in Business Management & Planning from the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
Judith Brandsma has been a member of GCPF’s Investment Committee since 2015. She has over 20 years of experience in financial sector development around the globe, including at the World Bank and as an independent advisor to international development finance institutions. Judith has served on the Board of Directors of several MSME banks.
In the area of impact investing, Judith serves as a Board member at two independent media development funds and one microfinance fund. She holds a degree in Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam and an MBA from INSEAD.
Ritva Laukkanen joined GCPF’s Investment Committee in April 2020. She has over 30 years of experience in development finance and international financial markets. She held various technical and executive positions at the IFC, overseeing origination and portfolio management in the Eastern/Southern Europe and Central Asia financial sector, with focus on Micro/SME finance, as well as in other sectors globally including sustainable forestry. Before moving to the investment side, Ritva spent nearly 10 years at the IFC Treasury developing new emerging capital markets. Prior to IFC, Ritva worked 8 years in New York at a Scandinavian consortium bank, American Scandinavian Banking Corporation. Since 2012 she has been acting as a non-executive director in various development finance institutions including Magma Fincorp. Ltd. (an Indian SME lender), Acleda Bank PLC in Cambodia and AccessHolding Microfinance AG, as well as chairing the Board of the Finnish development finance institution – Finnfund.
Markus Bohni joined GCPF’s Investment Committee in June 2020. He is a private equity investment advisor with change- and transformation management experience with 20 years in the financial sector. He provides strategic and financial advisory to family office owned or private equity financed companies. He has broad industry expertise through numerous buyouts and due diligence / advisory projects in various industries. Markus holds a degree in Economics from University of St. Gallen and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Andreas Arvanitakis joined the Technical Assistance Committee in 2019. He is a Climate Finance Investment Manager at the UK department for business, energy and industrial strategy. Andreas has 20 years of experience working at the interaction of climate change policy, climate finance investments and strategy, and carbon markets. He has a Masters in International Politics and is a member of the UK Charter of Financial Analysts.