Two Years Post-Acquisition, a Midwestern Firm Rebrands
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Friday, October 16, 2020

Two Years Post-Acquisition, a Midwestern Firm Rebrands

A midwestern asset manager is rebranding, combining its name with that of a firm acquired almost two years ago.

Harold "Kevin" Birzer
On October 9, the Tortoise team confirmed that the Leawood, Kansas-based firm now goes by the name TortoiseEcofin. TortoiseEcofin is now the parent company of both Tortoise and Ecofin, a London-based environmental investing firm acquired by Tortoise in late 2018.

Brett Newcomb, president of Ecofin, tells MFWire, "Tortoise, founded in 2002, was built to focus on energy."

Newcomb notes that the company's mission remains the same, though the energy world has shifted dramatically over the past two decades.

"Around 2013," he continues, "we started to see some changes in the energy landscape and thought there would be disruptions in the form of renewables. We spent a few years talking to others in the field about what that new landscape might look like, and bringing in consultants who could help us navigate those changes."

"Between 2016 and 2018, we also added a private renewable energy team to our firm that had previously been at General Electric," Newcomb says.

Ecofin has been active since the 1990s, Newcomb says. "Ecofin currently has a team of around sixteen people in London. They focus on renewables, investing in utilities, and energy transitions. Ever since we acquired them [in 2018], they've been integrated with our investment teams."

"We continue our focus on essential assets investing through two separate brands: Tortoise, which focuses on power and energy infrastructure and energy evolution; and Ecofin, which focuses on sustainable infrastructure, energy transition, water and environment and social impact," states Kevin Birzer, CEO of TortoiseEcofin.

Regarding new market outreach, Newcomb tells MFWire, "Sustainability can take many forms, and the rebrand is for the Ecofin side to get their own brand and reach investors focused on sustainability, impact, and ESG."

"What we do on the Ecofin side is inherently based around finding solutions to climate change, and we're proud of our efforts to reduce carbon emissions globally and invest in companies focused on doing just that," Newcomb says. Looking ahead to the future post-COVID, Newcomb concludes, "COVID has changed the landscape of energy transitions, and I think it's really accelerated that. Citizens, companies, and other organizations all play a part in the local community and the world at large, so we can't underestimate anyone's particular impact."

The Ecofin team alone manages around $1.2 billion in AUM. Tortoise had more than $17.5 billion in AUM as of their latest form ADV, filed last month.

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