Daily ESG Briefing: Investors bullish on renewables as Nuveen buys Glennmont and Aker Horizon takes stake in Mainstream

The latest developments in sustainable finance

Investment giant Nuveen has acquired renewable energy fund manager Glennmont Partners for an undisclosed sum. The transaction, expected to close during the first quarter of 2021, will see Glennmont integrated into Nuveen’s Real Assets platform. Nuveen runs more than $1trn in assets, while Glennmont runs some $2bn in clean energy mandates. 

Renewables investor company Aker Horizon will take a 75% equity stake in wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power; in a deal that values the latter at €1bn (including a potential earn-out of up to €100m in 2023). Mainstream is expected to be floated within the next three years. It will continue to be led by Mary Quaney and supported by its leadership team. 

The London School of Economics has established a new research institute to help firms create a more inclusive culture through insights from behavioural science. Already The Inclusion Initiative has several projects that are open to partnership with corporates, including the creation of an ‘Inclusion Index’, the development of a framework to address “behavioral risk” with a work-from-home workforce, and addressing the barriers for black women in finance. 

Banque de France has announced it will exit coal and reduce its exposure to gas and oil in its investment portfolio by 2024. The central bank will axe companies that generate more than 2% of their revenues from coal by the end of the year, reducing the threshold to zero by the end of 2024, by which stage it will also have excluded firms with more than 10% of revenue from oil or 50% from gas. Finally, as a shareholder from this year it will vote against new fossil fuel projects by the companies it invests in.

Apex Group has launched a tool to help investors collect data to enable them to comply with the upcoming EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation, which will require asset managers to incorporate sustainability risks across their investment process. The ‘Invest Check’ claims to evaluate asset managers’ sustainability strategy at company and product level, track performance and identify data gaps. 

ESG factors commonly have a negative impact on sovereign credit quality, particularly in emerging markets, according to new research from Moody's. In General Principles for Assessing Environmental, Social and Governance Risks Methodology, the firm highlights that environmental risks are most often moderately negative, while social risks tend to be moderately or highly negative.

DWS has committed to report using the Human Capital Reporting Standards from the International Standards Organisation. “We are absolutely delighted to be one of the first organizations to be certified in accordance with these standards and aspire to lead in this developing area of disclosure. This is particularly important given that enhanced human capital disclosures will improve sustainability, investment analysis, investee engagement and stewardship, client understanding and the management of organizations globally,” said Kristina Fluegel, Head of DWS Human Resources.