Funds round-up: ABN Amro sustainable impact fund targets private and early-stage firms

The latest developments in ESG-related funds

ABN AMRO has launched a €425m sustainable impact fund investing in private companies and early-stage ventures. It will invest in companies which “accelerate the transition to a sustainable and inclusive society”. The fund will be able to invest up to €30m in private companies with a proven business model, and make venture investments of up to €4m in companies if there is a “proven concept”. Investments will be made across the themes of circular economy, energy transition and social impact.

Vontobel has launched a thematic equity ‘megatrend’ fund, investing in firms which benefit from long-term technological, demographic, environmental and social trends. The fund will invest in companies “that disrupt entire industries and have the potential to become market leaders”.

Bloomberg has launched a series of 10 emerging markets ESG fixed income indices. The series includes global, pan-Euro and USD versions of an ESG tilted index, a standard screen index and an index based on an emerging markets debt benchmark including only issuers with BB and above MSCI ESG ratings.

ESG Mutual Funds should not be subject to different regulatory treatment from vanilla funds, according to a new paper from the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance. The paper claims to address concerns from the SEC that ESG mutual funds are not doing what they purport to do and from the US Department of Labour that their performance is inferior to vanilla funds, and concludes that “in short, the ESG fund market appears to be working relatively well”.

Mirova’s Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund has agreed a $1.2m facility with the government of Belize to improve the management of its marine protected areas, including sustainable fisheries, coral reef, mangrove and seagrass management.

Twelve British universities including Cambridge, Oxford and Warwick have joined together to launch an impact investment fund to support ventures with a social and environmental impact. The 10-year fund will be managed by SIS Ventures and will target an initial fundraising launch of £8m.

Circulate Capital has announced the $14m first close of its new venture fund, focusing on innovations in the circular economy and plastic waste solutions. The fund will also invest in waste management and recycling in South and Southeast Asia alongside its companion fund, the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund.

Purpose Investments and HANetf have launched a clean energy ETF. The ETF will track the S&P Global Clean Energy Select Index, and use published S&P figures on carbon to value invested to offset the emissions from investments. The pair claim that it is Europe’s first ETF to incorporate carbon offsetting.