Friday Funds: New Harvest IM aims for A$500m for indigenous impact fund

The latest developments in ESG-related funds: Impax AM and BNRG launch solar project; Essex Pension Fund partners with UBS on sustainable transition fund.

Australian fund manager New Harvest Investment Management is approaching first close for its Indigenous Impact Investment Fund, following seed commitments from Australian financial institutions and family offices, affiliate title Agri Investor has reported. The fund aims to hold a first close on around A$150 million ($97.5 million; €99.3 million) before the end of the year, with a final target of A$500 million in the first half of 2023. The fund plans to invest in farmland assets and create equal partnerships with indigenous operators to support them in improving their assets. It is targeting returns of more than 10 percent for shareholders.

Impax Asset Management has partnered with BNRG, a solar development company, to launch portfolios of solar energy projects, with an initial focus on the US and Ireland. The companies will collaborate on a solar portfolio of more than 1GW, with advanced projects launching in the US state of Maine. The pair are looking to take 70MW of projects into construction in the coming months, with plans to develop this into other states. BNRG has an existing portfolio of more than 600MW of solar projects, which will be further developed in Ireland over the next few months.

Essex Pension Fund, UBS Asset Management and Hymans Robertson have partnered to launch the UBS Life Global Equity Sustainable Transition Fund, which is available to the wider UK institutional pensions market. The £1.5 billion ($1.7 billion; €1.7 billion) fund seeks to deliver returns in line with the global developed equity markets, with better exposure to metrics including expected contribution to climate change, overall ESG ratings and alignment with specific UN SDGs.

The fund will invest in businesses well positioned for the transition to a low-carbon economy, which have better sustainability characteristics than the FTSE Developed Index benchmark. It will also exclude companies from the investment universe in line with CTB guidelines and UBS AM sustainability exclusion policy.

The International Financial Corporation (IFC) has launched a $6 billion financing platform to support the private sector’s response to the food production crisis that has developed with the covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine and been worsened by climate change and extreme weather. The platform will supplement the World Bank’s $30 billion commitment. The financing will support private sector companies along the food value chain, looking to produce food sustainably and deliver supplies to affected countries. The IFC is engaging with development finance institutions, foundations, banks and a range of private companies to encourage collective action in response to global food security challenges.