Senior Investment Executive Kristen Kleiman Joins The Climate Trust to Head Up New Carbon Investment Fund Venture

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Decades of financial and investment expertise secured to guide carbon investment fund efforts

Karen Ward and Kristen Kleiman

The commitment of everyone in this company to integrity, transparency, and above all positive environmental impact is what makes our organization special.

The Climate Trust, a mission-driven nonprofit that specializes in mobilizing conservation finance, is pleased to announce two strategic additions to its senior leadership team — Kristen Kleiman, Director of Investments and Karen Ward, Director of Finance.

Climate Trust Capital (CTC), an independent firm of The Climate Trust, recently launched a carbon investment fund to provide upfront capital to early-stage projects in the U.S.; aiming to demonstrate that financial performance can be tied directly to verified environmental performance. Kleiman’s expertise around natural resource investment, as well as negotiation, structuring, analysis, and management of acquisitions and dispositions, will play a vital role in shaping CTC’s Investment Fund.

Kleiman commented, "I am passionate about the work being undertaken by Climate Trust Capital, and honored to lead the investment efforts of this ambitious team. The commitment of everyone in this company to integrity, transparency, and above all positive environmental impact is what makes our organization special. I look forward to continuing to work with Sean, the Board, and the management team to achieve future goals and write the next auspicious chapter in our history."

Kleiman is an institutional investment expert with over 25 years’ experience, ranging from portfolio strategy development, to investment structuring, and portfolio projections. Kleiman has served on the Boards of for-profit forestry companies, Green Resources and Matariki Forests. Prior to her time at The Climate Trust, she was a senior team member at FourWinds Capital Management, and formerly worked for Hancock Timber Resource Group.

“Both Kristen and Karen bring impressive professional track records, and their extensive knowledge in their respective industries will be of incredible value to our team,” said Sean Penrith, Executive Director for The Climate Trust. “Kristen brings decades of valuable investment expertise, with a particular focus on forestry, one of the core sectors being considered for funding under CTC’s carbon investment fund. Karen’s future-focused outlook on accounting, combined with her notable qualifications as a CPA and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), are just the right combination of perspective and talent to look after the financial health of our organization during this critical time,” added Penrith.

Ward commented, "I was attracted by the intersection of finance and sustainability in The Climate Trust's mission, as well as this team’s commitment to addressing climate change head on. I’m joining this leadership team at an exciting time in the history of our business, and look forward to playing a critical financial role as we scale up our efforts to mobilize increasingly impactful levels of conservation finance.”

Ward has a background in private sector finance, as well as many years experience providing financial expertise as an Executive Director in the nonprofit sector. Over the course of her career, Ward has overseen high-profile mergers; articulating a clear forward-looking vision throughout the transitions. She led financial due diligence, contract negotiations, and final deal transactions for these mergers while at the same time creating, reporting and preserving the value of the organization. Ward's base of knowledge and technical expertise is anchored in years of public accounting experience including financial reporting, risk management, and compliance auditing.

“Kristen and Karen each have an integral role to play in our carbon investment fund endeavor—ensuring robust strategies and systems are in place as we begin to deploy our initial $5 million traunche of funding to qualified forestry, grassland conservation, and livestock digester projects,” said Peter Weisberg, Senior Investment Manager. “The Climate Trust team and our Board of Directors are gratified to have identified two such exceptional individuals to help shape the future of our important work,” added Weisberg.

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Kassandra Krifka
The Climate Trust
+1 503.238.1915 Ext: 211
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