Bridges announces leadership evolution ahead of next growth phase

2nd July 2024

Michele Giddens will now be sole CEO of the firm, with Philip Newborough moving to a new role as Executive Chair.

Bridges is pleased to announce a managed evolution of its leadership team, as it looks ahead to a critical next decade for sustainable and impact investing,

Co-founder Michele Giddens will transition from co-CEO to CEO of Bridges in July. With this expanded remit, Michele will oversee all investment activity across the Bridges platform of funds, as well as strategy, operations, people and all other aspects of the business.

Fellow co-founder Philip Newborough, who has been CEO of the business for the past 22 years – serving as co-CEO alongside Michele for the last 5 years – is moving to the role of Executive Chair.

Christophe Evain, the former chairman and CEO of Intermediate Capital Group, who has been Bridges’ Non-Executive Chair since 2020, will continue as a Non-Executive Director, working alongside Philip and the rest of the board to support Bridges’ growth.

As part of this transition, Bridges has also expanded its Executive Committee to include three of its existing partners: Maggie Loo, Client & Strategy Development, Henry Jones, Head of Value Creation, and Mila Lukic, Head of Bridges Outcomes Partnerships.

Michele and Philip co-founded Bridges in 2002 with the support of Apax Partners, 3i and Doughty Hanson. Bridges was an early pioneer in sustainable and impact investment in private markets. and has played a central role in building this field. The firm invests exclusively in the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive economy across three key private fund verticals: real estate, private equity and outcomes partnerships.

Michele Giddens, CEO of Bridges Fund Management, said:
“I am delighted to be taking on the full CEO responsibilities ahead of this exciting next chapter of Bridges’ growth.

“For many years, sustainable and impact investing was seen as a marginal niche; now it’s one of the most important and fastest-growing areas of the investment world. Climate change and inequality are the two biggest challenges of our time, and we urgently need to ramp up our efforts to tackle them. We believe that this careful management transition – which we have been working towards internally for some time now – will provide Bridges with the continuity, the rich experience and the blend of leadership skills required to benefit from the growth of our market over the next decade, and accelerate our ability to invest in a more sustainable and inclusive future.”

“I’m also hugely grateful that I will still be able to rely on Philip’s support and advice. He has made an extraordinary contribution to the growth of both Bridges and the broader impact investing market over the last two decades, and I have no doubt he will continue to draw on this wealth of experience and expertise to offer invaluable insight and wisdom to Bridges in his new role.”

Philip Newborough, chair of Bridges, said:
“It has been my greatest privilege to lead Bridges since we founded the firm 22 years ago. I am proud of what Bridges has achieved so far as a pioneer in impact investment, helping to build this important market. I am delighted that Michele is stepping into the CEO role: there is no one better to lead the firm through its next phase of growth. There is much to be done to accelerate the firm’s ability to invest in and help create a more sustainable and inclusive economy, and I look forward to supporting Michele and our talented team to achieve that.”

Christophe Evain, non-executive director of Bridges, said:
“Since joining the Bridges team in 2020, it has been a real pleasure to work alongside Michele and Philip, and to see first-hand the outstanding team they have assembled. I have no doubt that Michele will be an exceptional CEO in her own right, and I am excited to see the rest of the team step up as Philip moves into the Chair role. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the future success of the firm as an active member of the Board.”

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