Strutt & Parker unveils new Natural Capital team

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Strutt & Parker has announced Alex Brearley as its head of Natural Capital, leading a new team that will advise clients on realising the value of natural capital assets while enhancing the environment and boosting biodiversity.

The Natural Capital team will be responsible for advising and supporting rural estates, farmers and other landowners who are seeking to unlock opportunities arising from the drive to improve the natural and rural environment. It will be working with land managers looking to generate new income streams by delivering ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, enhancing biodiversity, flood mitigation and nutrient neutrality. It will also assist commercial clients and other investors looking to invest in green projects or secure carbon offsets to improve the ESG credentials of their portfolios and meet net zero commitments.

Rhodri Thomas, head of Rural at Strutt & Parker, says: “The creation of this new UK-wide team signals the importance that Strutt & Parker, as part of the BNP Paribas Group, places on efforts to address climate change and biodiversity loss. We are seeing unprecedented levels of interest from individuals, corporations and funds who recognise the role nature-based solutions, such as tree planting and peatland restoration, can play in meeting the big challenges faced by society. Our extensive rural client base is in a unique position to deliver such nature restoration projects, opening up valuable new revenue streams by generating carbon and biodiversity credits. Alex and his team will be working with clients of both Strutt & Parker and the wider BNP Paribas Group to offer a joined-up, cohesive approach to natural capital.”

Carbon finance

Mr Brearley joined Strutt & Parker in Autumn 2022 as the Head of Forestry and is experienced in all aspects of woodland creation, including the opportunities for securing carbon finance. He has over 20 years’ specialist experience within the forestry sector and has been a Director in Forestry England, responsible for the management of 35,000ha of environmentally sensitive land in the UK.

Mr Brearley will be supported by Jonty Rawcliffe as the Head of Natural Capital in England, and Joel Paterson as Head of Natural Capital in Scotland. The markets in each region are quite distinct, so this will enable the team to provide tailored advice to clients. Jonty has most recently been leading the development of Strutt & Parker’s Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) services. Joel is a specialist in environmental land management, with a proven track record in advising on peatland restoration projects, drawing in public and private investment to fund schemes.

Mr Brearley says: “This new team has been established to work with landowners and farmers who are looking to increase and monetise the management of natural capital. The appetite for natural capital investment is huge and we are excited at the prospect of delivering projects that make a positive difference both to clients and the environment.”

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