Friday Funds: Varma pumps €230m into State Street climate bond funds

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

Varma has invested €230m in State Street’s new climate bond funds. The funds, which cover European and US corporate bonds, claim to be Paris-aligned and have 70% lower carbon emissions than their benchmark. They will prioritise investment in green bonds and companies well prepared for the Net Zero transition.

BNP Paribas Asset Management has launched a fund investing in companies engaged in the restoration and preservation of global ecosystems and natural capital. It will invest in 40-60 global equities focused on aquatic, terrestrial and urban ecosystems.

Lyxor’s Climate ETFs have passed €1bn in assets just one year after their launch. The range of eight ETFs track the S&P Paris-Aligned Climate and MSCI Climate Change indices, seeking a 7% year-on-year decarbonisation trajectory.

Whitehelm Capital says its Low Carbon Infrastructure Fund outperformed its benchmark by 3.4% in the five years since inception. The fund, which aims for “maximum 2°C warming pathway compliance”, saw strong performance over the past year, outperforming its OECD CPI +5% benchmark by 10.1%, according to figures from the firm.

Kathy Matsui, former Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs Japan, has launched a venture capital fund to help startups improve their ESG values. The MPower Partners Fund will invest in growth-to-late stage Japanese startups and early stage firms overseas in areas including fintech and sustainability. The fund, which aims to attract $150m in capital commitments, has already attracted investments from Dai-ichi, Sompo Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui.

Nuveen has launched a new Global Core Impact Bond fund. The fund, co-managed by Stephen Liberatore, Anupam Damani and Jessica Zarzycki, will launch with $25m in seed capital. It may invest in up to 40% emerging markets and 15% high yield and aims to direct capital towards issuers which provide “direct and measurable” environmental and social impact.

Fidelity has launched three sustainable multi asset funds – conservative, balanced and growth variants – to invest up to 70% in securities deemed to have sustainable characteristics. All holdings in the funds will be subject to Fidelity’s exclusions policy.

iClima will launch a distributed renewable energy ETF, to invest in companies involved in the decentralisation of energy generation, including smart meters, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and rooftop solar. The ETF is expected to list on the London Stock Exchange this month.

Vontobel has launched its second Global Impact Equities fund, managed by Elena Tedesco who joins the firm from Federated Hermes. It will invest in companies contributing to the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals.