[Vancouver, Canada, 2022 March 22]
UpperStage.Capital Inc. announced today that it has strengthened its team with the addition of Kookai Chaimahawong as ESG Partner. Ms. Chaimahawong will head UpperStage’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) strategy, bridging both investment management and operational roles.
UpperStage.Capital is a buy-out and growth investor combining impact investment experience, hands-on operations, and ESG management to boost profitable businesses to their next level of success. A signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), UpperStage has developed a unique approach to operationalize ESG in lower middle market companies to scale impact and long-term performance advantages. UpperStage’s ESG framework aligns with best global standards from SDGs, SASB, TCFD, and the GRI, while also including MSCI framework and adopting the S&P Global Ratings work to incorporate preparedness factor (awareness, assessment, action-plan, culture, decision-making) into the overall ESG scores.
“Kookai has spent her career focused on making positive impact, and we are confident the ESG strategy she has developed for UpperStage will significantly improve the performance of all of our portfolio companies,” said UpperStage CEO Keith Gillard. “Many investors use ESG primarily for risk screening, but Kookai has operationalized ESG into our active ownership strategy to further reduce risk, increasing both top and bottom-line performance. We’re already seeing this with our portfolio company Talius.”
“I’ve dedicated my career to integrating impact and sustainability in business, from corporate responsibility to creating shared value (CSV), and social innovation to impact investing. My role with UpperStage will further expand my commitment to enable business as a force for good and scale positive impact as our portfolio grows,” said Ms. Chaimahawong.
Ms. Chaimahawong previously worked with Mr. Gillard at Pangaea Ventures, an impact-focused venture capital firm. “I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Kookai again,” said Keith Gillard. Earlier in her career, Ms. Chaimahawong launched an award-winning technology start-up and formed SDGs partnerships at the United Nations Development Programme. Ms. Chaimahawong is currently the Co-Chair of the Vancouver Entrepreneurs Forum and has been recognized in her various leadership roles to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in venture capital and start-up communities globally.