Greece’s €6.1bn sovereign wealth fund Growthfund has appointed a multi-disciplinary group of international advisers led by Earth Active, consultants in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing with headquarters in London, to build the value of its portfolio.

The appointments, which include Athens-based Sympraxis, combine expertise in ESG audit, capacity building, policy and strategy and ESG stakeholder communications.

Growthfund (the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations, or HCAP) is a holding company for the country’s government-owned assets. It was set up in 2016 with the Greek state as its sole shareholder – represented by the minister of finance – to include these assets in a single institutional structure, with the aim of operating and exploiting them more efficiently.

In doing so, the fund aims to play an active role in the modernisation of public enterprises, maximise the value of public property, ensure enhanced services for citizens and consumers, and contribute to the national economy.

Growthfund’s portfolio covers subsidiaries and stakes in public enterprises that are active in key areas of the Greek economy, such as real estate, energy and utilities (Public Power Corporation; Athens Water Supply and Sewerage); transport and infrastructure (Athens International Airport, 23 regional airports and the Corinth Canal); food (Hellenic Saltworks); technology and postal services (Hellenic Post).

Its direct subsidiaries are managed by three subsidiaries of the overall fund:

* The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, which manages part of the Greek state’s private property, to maximise its value and attract direct investments;

* Hellenic Public Properties, which manages and exploits the state’s diverse real estate portfolio throughout Greece;

* The Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, which contributes to maintain the stability of the Greek banking system.

A fourth vehicle, Public Properties Company, manages other holdings.

Growthfund says its mission includes cultivating a reputation for applying high standards of transparency, accountability and corporate practices.

The fund’s CEO, Gregory D. Dimitriadis, was appointed at the start of 2021.

Dimitriadis, whose background is in electronic engineering, previously held management posts in both state-owned and private sector enterprises, and was also secretary general for international economic affairs before his appointment at Growthfund.

Last October the fund endorsed the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Funds Framework and its three principles, in order to integrate climate change risks and invest in the smooth transition to a Paris-aligned low emissions economy.

Anthi Trokoudi, chief communications and sustainability officer, Growthfund said, “The international team we have appointed draws on specialists with many years’ experience, much of it honed in complex contexts where they have perfected the art and science of combining data and culture to bring about transformations that support ESG best practice.”

He added: “What our team in Growthfund aims for regarding the vital issues of sustainability and climate is to achieve managing public companies and public real estate responsibly.”

Athens-based Sympraxis provides consultancy services on implementing corporate social responsibility policies. Gong Communications, the third appointee, speciaises in communications.