Responsible Funds, Jan. 10: UK National Grid pension scheme selects Octopus Renewables for £185m mandate

The latest responsible funds news

The National Grid pension scheme in the UK has selected Octopus Renewables for a new £185m (€217m) mandate. The mandate, which has a duration of 25 years, will focus on investments into UK solar and onshore wind assets. It will be run as a segregated account, comprising Octopus’s third Renewable Energy Income Partnership fund. The first two funds in the series – both launched in the past two years – have £275m and £107m of assets under management, respectively. Octopus declined to disclose the previous investors, but said that the second fund “is a partnership with four Korean institutional investors”. National Grid, which is a London-listed gas and electricity utility company, listed on the London Stock Exchange. Its pension fund is around £20bn. Octopus Group is an £8.3bn London-based investment house. Its renewable energy unit owns assets with combined capacity of around 2.5GW and is the largest commercial solar investor in Europe.

Paris based asset manager Cedrus & Partners and Swiss Life Asset Managers have achieved the second close on their social social-housing-focused impact fund, Citywire reports. Immobilier Impact Investing fund, which was launched in April 2019 as a means of helping rehouse people facing difficulties, has now passed the €100m mark.

AMP Capital’s Ethical Leaders Fund has become the latest signatory to the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare’s (BBFAW) statement and investor collaboration on farm animal welfare, joining Aviva Investors, Brunel Pension Partnership and ACTIAM.

The Office of the Rhode Island State Treasurer, which oversees the US State’s $8bn pension pot, has selected Wilshire Associates to head its integration of ESG into private assets. The California based investment consultant saw of seven other bids, including from Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Aon Hewit. The appointment was made late last year.

Swiss group J Safra Sarasin has merged three thematic equity funds into a global sustainable fund. The move will see the JSS Thematic Equity – Global Thematic and JSS Thematic Equity – Global Real Return funds rolled into the JSS Sustainable Equity – Global Thematic fund.

DNB Asset Management, the investment management arm of Norway’s largest bank, has invested in energy firm E.ON through its DNB Renewable Energy fund. The firm said E.ON has “been through a large transformation over the recent years positioning it now as an attractive self-help earnings growth story with tailwind from the renewable driven energy transition”.

Northern Trust Asset Management has launched a series of quantitative sustainable solutions. The Emerging Markets Quality Low Carbon Strategy aims to provide investors an environmentally cleaner exposure to emerging markets equities with a carbon intensity reduction target of 70%, targeting companies that are efficiently managed, profitable, and have strong cash flows. Other strategies, including Europe Value ESG, North America Value ESG or Emerging Markets Multifactor ESG, incorporate a set of norm-based and business-involvement screens.

Franco-German financial services group ODDO BHF Asset Management has launched a green bond fund. The ODDO BHF Green Bond Fund will invest in a portfolio of government and corporate bonds as well as bonds from SSA-issuers that are used to finance sustainable projects, from infrastructure for renewable energy or clean transportation to ecologically sustainable solutions for waste management and water use. ODDO said the fund emerged from the repositioning of the international bond fund ODDO BHF Accu Zins.