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First Net Zero Founder and Franklin Templeton’s former head of European equities, Dylan Ball, has embarked on a pioneering journey in the realm of sustainable investing. With a career spanning 16 years at the renowned US investment firm, Ball recognized a growing demand for investment solutions focused on climate change and sustainability. This insight led him to establish First Net Zero, an innovative investment boutique dedicated to addressing the urgent challenges of climate change and sustainability in the investment world.

Chris Sorely of CityWire recently delved into the details of this ambitious venture, highlighting Ball’s strategic move from managing funds worth around $2 billion to launching First Net Zero. The new firm, co-founded with three yet-to-be-named partners, aims to bridge the significant gap in the market for authentic, effective sustainability products. As detailed by Sorely, First Net Zero emerges in response to investor demands for genuine and impactful sustainable investment options, an area where larger investment managers have often fallen short.

Ball’s approach with First Net Zero is notably distinct. The firm plans to launch a suite of investment products, including a First Net Zero European Equity fund, which will concentrate on small- and mid-cap equity names and be available as a Ucits product. Additionally, there are plans for two private market-oriented strategies covering both private equity and private credit.

Sorely’s article on CityWire illuminates Ball’s vision of aligning investments with the European Union’s stimulus for meeting targets, primarily supporting private market companies. First Net Zero’s strategy focuses on small- and mid-cap companies that are crucial to the supply chains in Europe, thereby fully capturing the value chain of net-zero capital reallocation.

The article also sheds light on the upcoming September launch of these funds, the expected composition of the portfolios, and the broader impact these funds aim to achieve in the realm of sustainable and responsible investing.

For an in-depth understanding of Dylan Ball’s innovative approach to sustainability-focused investing and the detailed workings of First Net Zero, read more on

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