Friday Funds: LGIM raises €390m at first close of Clean Power Fund

The latest developments in ESG-related funds: Amundi launches suite of net-zero funds; Swedish equity funds far from Paris target, says Riksbank.

Legal & General Investment Management and renewable energy specialist NTR have raised €390 million in the first close of their Clean Power Fund. The Article 9 fund has raised commitments from a range of sources, including European asset managers, Japanese institutional investors and the NatWest Group Retirement Savings Plan. This is in addition to €50 million of co-investment from umbrella group Legal & General. The fund announced its first asset acquisitions in January: three Spanish pre-operational solar projects from global renewable energy developer BayWa.

Staying with LGIM, the manager has collaborated with ESG analytics company Verisk Maplecroft to develop a range of sovereign ESG index funds.

Amundi has launched a range of actively and passively managed Net Zero Ambition funds to invest in companies supporting the transition to a low carbon economy. The funds have a common goal of reducing portfolio carbon intensity by 30 percent by 2025, and 60 percent by 2030. The suite is comprised of seven funds across asset classes including equities, fixed income, real estate, multi-asset and emerging markets. The range adds to the manager’s existing climate offering, comprised of 30 climate ETFs aligned with the Paris Agreement goals.

Swedish equity funds are a long way from reaching the Paris Agreement target, according to research from Sweden’s central bank. The analysis – carried out by Riksbank adviser Cristina Cella – examined the temperature alignments of 122 Swedish equity funds. It found that on average the funds were aligned to a temperature increase of 2.77C, significantly above the upper 2C limit set in the Paris Agreement. It also showed no significant difference between the temperature alignment of funds that have joined leading climate initiatives and funds that have not.

Schroders and BlueOrchard have announced the first close of a jointly managed Green Earth Impact Fund (GEIF). The Article 9 fund allows investors to address environmental protection and climate change and to benefit from de-risking mechanisms such as first-loss protection. The fund was launched in June with a target of $250 million and has achieved its first closing with a $25 million commitment from the Luxembourg Ministry of Finance. GEIF will operate as a value-added vehicle to drive investments in climate mitigation, climate adaptation, and the protection of water and biodiversity.

AllianceBernstein has launched a global ESG improvers portfolio which uses a transition and engagement strategy to make investee companies more sustainable. The Article 8 fund invests in two areas which traditional ESG funds have tended to bypass. This includes overlooked businesses supplying important components that underpin wider ESG gains, and companies with underappreciated ESG profiles. The fund is domiciled in Luxembourg and registered in several European countries. The portfolio will be managed by Jeremy Taylor.

Pictet Asset Management has launched its China Environmental Opportunities, a concentrated active equity fund investing in leading Chinese environmental solutions providers. The Article 9 fund seeks capital growth by investing in Chinese companies operating in five environmental segments including renewable energy, green transportation, industrial decarbonisation, resource efficiency and environmental protection. The strategy, currently offered as a Luxembourg-domiciled UCITS fund, is led by Yi Du, senior investment manager at Pictet.

Rest Super, an Australian retail superannuation fund, has invested in the Palisade Impact Fund. The super fund has set a target to achieve a 1 percent allocation to impact investments by 2026. Australian-based Palisade Impact focuses on assets that target and contribute to practical solutions to social disadvantage and climate change by investing in next generation infrastructure and businesses providing essential services.

WisdomTree has launched Europe’s first California carbon allowance exchange-traded product (ETP). The California Carbon ETP (WCCA) is listed on the London Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana and Börse Xetra. California Carbon Allowances are issued by the California Air Resources Board as part of its trading system aimed at mitigating climate change and reducing global GHG emissions. The ETP seeks to reflect the movement in the price of ICE California Carbon Allowance Futures by tracking the Solactive California Carbon Rolling Futures TR Index. WCCA is the seventh addition to a suite of WisdomTree ETPs.