New Africa ESG focused boutique pledges 25% of revenues to charities

Firm says donations could create 100,000 African jobs by 2012.

A new Africa-focused ESG boutique asset manager has launched with a novel, charitable aim of donating 25% of its fund revenues to charitable projects in Africa that it says could create 100,000 jobs by 2012 and a further 100,000 each year thereafter. London-based, Alquity Investment Management, will integrate environmental, social and governance factors into a Luxembourg-registered UCITS III fund investing in listed African equities. Its initial fund raising goal is £50m, but the firm says it is targeting an eventual £500m (€568m) in assets from pension investors, high net worth individuals and charities. The firm’s name is a combination of altruism and equity and chairman Paul Robinson, said: “We can transform the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet at no cost to investors.” Alquity is seeking seed investment from both retail and institutional investors and talking to independent financial advisors andinvestment consultants. Its chief investment officer, David McIlroy, is a former director of alternative investments at F&C Investments, the UK fund manager.
Using governance research from RiskMetrics, Alquity will engage with African companies on ESG issues. The firm is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. Consultant Dan Siddy, who is advising the venture, said Alquity would be a long-term, conviction-based investor holding 35-50 stocks. Siddy said there was a surprisingly large amount of ESG data on African companies, in part due to requirements of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange where many are listed.
Alquity IM is part of Alquity Group, founded by Robinson in 1999, which includes Smoothed Growth Investment Management (SGI-Management), a fund manager with $130m in assets under management.