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Friday Funds: Launches by BNP Paribas, Snowball, Sycomore and more

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

Snowball has opened its total impact fund to professional investors, having built up a four-year track record with its founding investors, including, C. Hoare Bank, Friends Provident Foundation and Skagen Conscious Capital. The impact investor’s fund is available across all asset classes, geographies and in both public and private markets. Snowball predicts it to grow quickly towards its target of £150m from its current £15m.

BNP Paribas Asset Management has launched the first blue economy ETF, to finance companies working to ensure the more sustainable, long-term use of ocean resources. The UCITS fund will track the Global ESG Blue Economy Index from sustainability specialist ECPI, which comprises 50 large cap companies participating in the blue economy, excluding any involved in systematic violations of the UN Global Compact, arms producers and businesses with more than 10% of their revenues from tobacco, thermal coal, extraction or ‘unconventional’ oil and gas.

US investment house Lord Abbett has launched a climate-focused bond fund. The Dublin-domiciled Abbett Climate Focused Bond will exclude natural gas, coal and other fossil fuels, alcohol, tobacco, military equipment and gambling.

Sycomore Asset Management has launched a sustainable technology fund, investing in “tech for good”, “good in tech”, and “improvement enablers”. The Sycomore Sustainable Tech portfolio will hold between 40 and 60 stocks across all market capitalisations and countries. It will conduct ESG screening and exclude all segments that have a harmful impact on people’s lives or the environment. It is benchmarked against the MSCI AC World Information Technology Index Total Return, and seeks to outperform “over a minimum investment horizon of five years”.

B Capital Energy Transition Infrastructure, a Luxembourg fund by investment house B Capital Partners, has completed the acquisition of a 100% equity stake in the German SPV “Ravenstein”, owner of four wind turbines located in Baden-Württemberg.

Private equity investor Ambienta plans to become a leading player in the machinery of sustainable bags following its acquisition of environmental bag manufacturer Mobert, coupled with its investment in Amutec, another sustainable manufacturer.

Triple Point Energy Efficiency Infrastructure has raised £100m in its initial public offering, through the sale of 100 million shares. It will list on the Specialist Fund Segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange next week. The company, managed by Triple Point Investment Management, will invest in a diversified portfolio of energy efficiency assets.

Federated Hermes and Envestnet | PMC have collaborated to launch a series of ESG strategies known as the Federated Hermes PMC Impact Portfolios. Envestnet’s Quantitative Research Group has also launched an Impact Global Climate Solutions portfolio, focused on renewables, energy efficiency, green transport, green buildings and sustainable agriculture. 

African Infrastructure Investment Managers’ investment in Phakwe Group has established South Africa’s first majority black-owned independent power producer. Through AIIM’s support, the infrastructure-focused private equity fund manager was able to achieve financial close on a deal to become the 90%-owner of Witkop Solar Park, a 30MW solar PV facility located in the Limpopo province, South Africa.

Nuveen has invested in a battery producer, marking the debut investment of its Global Impact Strategy. The US heavyweight led a growth equity round in Advanced Battery Concepts. The new fund makes direct investments globally in high growth companies seeking to address climate change and contribute to inclusive growth.

Foster Denovo has launched a new range Sustainable Dynamic Portfolios in partnership with ESG fund research specialists Worthstone. 

Haitong International has launched its MSCI China A-share ESG ETF, which it claims is the only ETF on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that provides broad investment opportunities in China's A-share ESG segment. It will track the MSCI Global ESG General Index.

JP Morgan Asset Management has rebranded its Japan Select Equity fund as the JPM Japan Sustainable Equity fund. It will now focus on sustainable investing, reducing the number of holdings in the portfolio, according to Citywire Selector. This follows a report in the FT stating that the fund manager is looking to offer Asian institutional investors a range of ESG exchange traded funds, as well as thematic and sector-based ETFs.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments has expanded its fund range with the launch of an Emerging Market ESG Equities managed by Senior Portfolio Manager Young Kim. It has also rebranded its Threadneedle (Lux) Pan European Equities Fund as an ESG fund, retaining Ann Steele and Dan Ison as its managers.