He advises the Trustees of Perivoli Innovations which invests in early stage business with a focus on addressing climate change, health, social inclusion and productivity enhancement. Over fifty investments have been made since 2016.
Profits from Perivoli Innovations go to funding the Perivoli Foundation, a U.K. Charity which James settled in 2019. The Foundation has an Africa focus.
The Perivoli Foundation supports the Perivoli Schools Trust, the Perivoli Climate Trust, the Perivoli Africa Research Centre and a selection of founder-led charities.
The Perivoli Schools Trust focuses on enhancing the quality of nursery school education in sub-Saharan Africa. It has trained over 13,000 nursery school teachers across five countries with 200,000 being the ultimate target.
The Perivoli Climate Trust, established in 2022, supports climate change mitigation and adaptation projects in Africa through feasibility with the aim of scaling them with carbon offset funding. Initial projects include researching the use of biomass harvested from invasive species in savannah land as a substitute for cement and the promotion of a modified approach to rice production that reduces methane emissions. Other projects are under development.
The Perivoli Foundation funds the Perivoli Africa Research Centre (PARC) at the University of Bristol which aims to foster academic research on African issues undertaken in more balanced partnership than hitherto between universities in the UK and Africa. PARC's capstone projects are focusing on care systems, sexual exploitation, water usage and preservation of coral reefs and the impact of the Perivoli Schools Trust’s programme in Namibia.
He co-founded Arisaig Partners in 1996, an emerging market focussed fund management company headquartered in Singapore, and along with his co-founders passed on responsibility for the firm to the next generation of employees in 2017. He remains a director of the firm.
He gifted his ownership of Arisaig Partners in 2000 to the Perivoli Trust, of which he is a Trustee, which has established and supported the Perivoli entities described above. Perivoli Trust has funded the investments made by Perivoli Innovations although it is expected that Perivoli Innovations will be self-funding through the use of exit proceeds going forward.
James oversees the Perivoli entities from his home office in Somerset.
He is an independent director of Lindsell Train Investment Management Ltd and sits on the board of Bristol Innovations at the University of Bristol.