Friday Funds: Allianz GI launches SDG funds

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

Allianz Global Investors has launched three new SDG-focused equities strategies. The Positive Change fund covers all SDGs, while the Clean Planet fund looks specifically at environmental Goals, and the Food Security fund specialises in those linked to food and agriculture. “The portfolio management team will look closely into eight larger themes: social inclusion, health, financial inclusion, education, food security, water, clean land/circular economy and energy transition,” Allianz explained. “They will then identify specific outcomes targeted by one or more of the SDGs to select companies which are contributing to the attainment of the underlying targets with a solution.”

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board has led a $267m fundraising round for – a driverless car start-up backed by Toyota Motor. Sequoia Capital China and Beijing Kunlun Tech are among the other backers, and the funding will be used to expand operations.

Schroders-backed impact firm BlueOrchard has launched a Covid-19 Emerging and Frontier Markets MSME Support Fund to support more than 200 million jobs in emerging and frontier markets. Alongside Schroders, the fund – which has a target size of $350m – is backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Development Finance Corporation and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Royal Bank of Canada’s subsidiary for Trinidad and Tobago has committed $10m to an investment vehicle from MPC Capital, focused on supporting the energy transition in the Caribbean. The strategy has attracted more than $30m from regional institutional investors since it launched last year. 

Alternatives manager Tikehau Capital has become a key shareholder of solar power producer Amarenco Group, following a €150m capital raise. Tikehau invested via its Energy Transition Fund. Credit Agricole also took part in the fundraising, through its IDIA Capital Investissement arm. 

Gresham House’s Energy Storage Fund has announced a new share issuance programme to allow it to significantly increase the size of its portfolio. It plans to sell 250 million new ordinary shares priced at 105.0 pence – a discount of approximately 4.5% to the closing at November 9. 

BlackRock has created a iShares Developed World Fossil Fuel Screened Equity Index Fund for Oxford University Endowment Management, to help the latter fulfil its recent commitment to invest sustainably. The benchmark also excludes certain companies involved in controversial nuclear and civilian weapons, tobacco, thermal coal and tar sands; and those that do not comply with the UN Global Compact.

Oddo BHF Asset Management has launched the Oddo BHF Green Planet strategy, focused on clean energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transport and nature conservation. Nicolas Jacob, Head of ESG Research, and Baptiste Lemaire, Equity Fund Manager, will manage the global fund, which will hold 40 stocks of different sizes and across all sectors.

Legal & General Investment Management has launched a Clean Energy ETF that tracks the Solactive Clean Energy Index NTR. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Börse, Borsa Italiana and the Swiss Exchange, the fund will invest in companies aligned with SDG 7, which aims to substantially increase the provision of affordable and clean energy by 2030. 

JP Morgan Asset Management has launched a carbon transition ETF which invests in global equities in a way that provides a "meaningful reduction" in portfolio-level carbon intensity. Tracking the JPMorgan Asset Management Carbon Transition Global Equity index, the UCITS fund will be managed by the investor’s CIO of sustainable investing and quantitative beta solutions, Yazann Romahi, and portfolio manager, Aijaz Hussain.

Energy infrastructure specialist Victory Hill Capital Group is preparing to to float its VH Global Sustainable Energy Opportunities fund on the London Stock Exchange in January. The closed-ended investment company will focused on global sustainable energy infrastructure investments that are aligned with the SDGs and are operational or under construction.  

The Renewables Infrastructure Group, better known as TRIG, has acquired a 14.3% indirect equity stake in a 714MW newly operational offshore wind farm in the UK from Macquarie’s Green Investment Group.

Financial service provider Apex has been hired to provide fund administration services to INVL Asset Management’s Sustainable Timberland and Farmland Fund II. The Lithuanian asset manager will use the fund to invest in sustainably managed forests and agricultural land in the Baltic Sea region and Central and Eastern Europe. €32.45m has been raised for the strategy so far, with a hard cap of €100m. 

State Street Global Advisors has launched the SPDR Bloomberg SASB® Corporate Bond ESG Select ETF, to track the Bloomberg SASB US Corporate ESG Ex-Controversies Select Index. 

Whitehelm Capital’s Capital Listed Core Infrastructure Fund has been awarded the Towards Sustainability label by the Central Labelling Agency (CLA). The fund invests in infra that is compatible with 2°C, and is the first listed core infrastructure fund to be awarded the label.