Friday Funds: Launches from Swiss Re, Phoenix Group and Aberdeen Standard

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

The Renewables Infrastructure Group, better known as TRIG, will issue 160m New Ordinary Shares in order to raise £200m to pay back debt accessed through its Revolving Credit Facility.  

Phoenix Group is launching an ESG default option for its Defined Contribution clients for Standard Life Assurance. The Standard Life Sustainable Multi Asset will blend screening, tilting and stewardship in one passive strategy.

ADM Capital has received a $100m in seed funding from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to launch a new USD-denominated Asia-focused debt fund for renewables. The Hong Kong-headquartered investment manager’s ADM Capital Elkhorn Emerging Asia Renewable Energy Fund is targeting a final close of $500m in 2021.

Impact-focused fintech firm iClima Earth has developed a decarbonisation-focused ETF, which will list on the London Stock Exchange later this month. The UCITS fund will invest from a universe of 151 firms reducing their emissions or offering products and services that directly support decarbonisation. 

Clearway Capital, the firm of activist investor Gianluca Ferrari, will be launching a fund targeting ESG laggards in early 2021, according to Reuters. “Not only is there a void of stewardship, i.e. there’s very few traditional activist funds in Europe; second of all, these mid-cap companies have not dedicated the resources to get up to date on sustainability metrics,” he told the publication. Target companies will have a market capitalisation of between €500m and €3bn and the fund is expected to target somewhere in the range of €100m initially. 

Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Virgin Money Foundation are among the new investors to get behind Social and Sustainable Capital’s housing fund in its latest fundraising round. The fund now stands at £58m with existing UK investors such as CCLA Investment Management, Big Society Capital, Garfield Weston and Tudor Trust, upping their investments too. The fund enables homeless charities to own social housing in order to tackle the UK’s housing crisis. 

Swiss Re, through its subsidiary Swiss Re Insurance-Linked Investment Management, has opened up its natural catastrophe portfolio to investors via a permanent fund format, The Core Nat Cat Fund. 

Taiwanese asset management firm CTBC Investments has partnered with ICE Data Services to develop ESG indices and financial products for market participants in Taiwan.

Aberdeen Standard Investments has launched five risk-graded, multi-asset portfolios, with ESG considerations. The MyFolio Sustainable portfolios will avoid controversial weapons and tobacco manufacturers, thermal coal producers, and firms that fail to meet the UN standards on human and labour rights, environment and anti-corruption. Aberdeen has also developed four new ESG equity mutual funds as part of its Sustainable Leaders family.

Impax Asset Management Group’s assets under management increased 34% to £20.2bn, according to its final audited results for the year ending 30 September 2020. The dedicated environmental investor saw its net inflows rise from £1.4bn to £3.5bn.

Nordea Asset Management has launched a Global Social Empowerment Strategy, which focused on equities that support improvements on social issues. 

AllianceBernstein has launched a global low-carbon strategy that factors carbon pricing into its valuation of companies. The new offering is part of the investment manager’s ESG-focused Portfolios with Purpose platform and seeks to achieve approximately 90% less emissions than the MSCI World Index.