Friday Funds: Equileap and Indxx launch US tech gender index

The latest developments in ESG-related funds: Germany commits €2bn to UN flagship climate fund; Aviva Investors makes LTAF debut.

Equileap and index firm Indxx have released a product giving exposure to US tech companies that are improving their gender equality performance. Index constituents will be selected based on how they score on Equileap’s gender equality scorecard and standard liquidity criteria. Companies that have lost legal cases concerning incidents of gender discrimination or sexual harassment will be excluded. Back-tested data showed an outperformance of 5 percent over five years, compared to its benchmark Indxx 500.

Germany has committed €2 billion to the UN’s flagship climate fund for low- and middle-income countries during the 2024-27 period. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was set up by the UN in 2010 to distribute public climate financing from wealthy countries as part of a broader commitment to mobilise $100 billion annually for climate action in developing countries. The target has not been met since it was first announced in 2020. The GCF warned last year that it could shut down funding due to a shortage of donor funds. Countries are due to announce pledging commitments to the GCF in October.

Aviva Investors has launched its first fund under the UK’s Long Term Asset Fund, a new regulatory category designed to provide access to long-term private market assets. The Aviva Investors Real Estate Active LTAF takes the view that “real estate assets incorporating sustainability considerations will materially outperform those that do not adequately price-in material risks from sustainability-related obsolescence”. Carbon emissions generated by portfolio assets will be used to inform asset allocation. The fund will consist of an initial £1.5 billion ($1.89 billion; €1.72 billion) portfolio seeded by Aviva UK Life. The manager will also assess the net-zero alignment of each building and conduct social value audits to assess the social needs of surrounding communities.

Folium Capital has launched a private equity dual-asset fund, which will combine atmospheric carbon sequestration and wood production for the first time. The Regenerative Natural Resources Fund seeks to raise $500 million, and will have an investment period of four years and a term of 12 years.

Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) has launched a private equity fund to invest in companies developing decarbonisation technologies. The vehicle will be managed by Marunouchi Innovation Partners, which has been jointly set up by MC, MUFG Bank and Pavilion Private Equity. The fund has already raised $400 million-worth of commitments and is planning additional rounds of funding to increase its size to between $800 million and $1 billion by final closing.

Energy Impact Partners has closed its diverse-focused climate venture fund at $112 million in commitments, having originally targeted $120 million at launch in 2021. The fund’s CEO, Anthony Oni, said: “The effects of climate change disproportionately impact marginalised communities, and investing in diverse founders and entrepreneurs can help to address these inequalities.”