Responsible Funds, February 24: New manager at LGT sustainable global equity fund

The round-up of ESG funds news

Christian Scherrer has taken over the management of the €26m Liechtenstein-domiciled LGT Sustainable Impact Global Equity Fund as of the start of this year. Daniel Kerbach is co-responsible. The fund, whose investments are selected for their sustainable value creation and improvement to human well-being, has returned 7.2% in the year to date, against 4.1% for its benchmark.

A new private equity fund targeting companies run by diverse management teams has had its first close, according to reports. Netherlands-based Karmijn Kapitaal has attracted 30 investors to the planned €50m fund, including family offices and high-net-worth individuals, reported FIN Alternatives. The European Investment Fund has signed on as an anchor investor.

Osmosis Investment Management, the UK funds firm, has launched a new strategy to value listed companies called Model of Resource Efficiency (MoRE). It is based on the idea that firms that are more resource efficient provide greater returns to shareholders. Osmosis said the £1bn Oxford University Endowment Management has committed capital to the strategy.

A new pan-European $5m low carbon incubation fund has been launched by industrial group GE and the Carbon Trust. The partnership will support start-up clean technology businesses in an extension of GE’s $200m ‘ecomagination’ project. Link

An investment vehicle for California-compliant forest carbon offset projects has been launched by New Forests Inc. It’s called Forest Carbon Partners LP, and two transactions have already been closed, with a family forest owner and a Native American tribe to develop forest carbon offset projects on over 11,000 acres of forest land in the western US. Link

Institutional and private investors and the International Finance Corporation, the African Development Bank and UK development finance institution CDC have backed rock star and Live Aid founder Bob Geldof’s new 8 Mile African private equity fund. The fund, named after the shortest distance between Europe and Africa, has raised $200m.The €69.84m F&C Stewardship International (A) fund returned -6.75% in 2011. The fund, which is benchmarked against the MSCI World Index, has returned 45.73% over a three-year period; it is managed by Sophie Horsfall.

Citi Community Capital and Rose Investments plan to launch a $75m affordable housing fund. It will target urban areas of Connecticut, New Jersey and the Washington area, according to a report on real estate web site

The £89.2m BlackRock New Energy Trust Investment Trust plc saw its net asset value (NAV) gain 2.3% in January. “The renewable energy sub-sector, which had such a troubled 2011, enjoyed a meaningful bounce in January,” say fund managers Robin Batchelor and Poppy Allonby.
The €7.57m UBS Sustainable Global Leaders fund, which provides access to mostly large-cap companies which place an emphasis on sustainability, has returned 14.85% over a two-year period, according to fund documents. Climate change sector exposure is 47.9%, with demographics (nutrition/healthcare) accounting for 28.1%.

Global Forestry Capital, the Luxembourg-based investment and advisory firm focused on sustainable forestry, has affiliated to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The company advises the Global Forestry Growth Fund LFP PRIME SICAV SIF, the open-ended fund which invests in FSC certified forestry projects. Link

The BNP Paribas L1 Sustainable Equity World fund has returned 29.67% since inception in November 2008, according to its latest fund factsheet. The 83-stock fund is managed by Gaetan Obert.

The Hong Kong government is planning a HK$100m microfinance scheme, according to reports. Financial Secretary John Tsang said in his budget speech that the Mortgage Corporation would be commissioned to introduce a three-year pilot microfinance scheme.