Responsible Funds, January 13: LA pension fund commits to Bain Capital impact fund

The latest responsible funds news

The Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System (LACERS) will commit up to $10m to a new impact investment fund from $75bn private equity firm Bain Capital. The fund, Bain Capital Double Impact Fund, is focused on North America and will invest in ‘mission-driven’ companies. The investment, recommend by consultants Portfolio Advisors, follows a $15m investment by LACERS into the Bain Capital Asia Fund III.

The Green Investment Bank Offshore Wind Fund, the world’s first dedicated offshore wind fund has today (January 13) passed its initial £1bn target with its sixth UK asset acquisition. Assets under management are now £1.12bn, exceeding the original target of £1bn; investors in the fund include five UK local authority pension funds, including Strathclyde Pension Fund and Sweden’s AMF Pensionsförsäkring AB. The Fund’s most recent acquisition is a 44% stake in the 270MW Lincs offshore wind farm, acquired from Centrica plc and Siemens Project Ventures for £429m.

Bridges Ventures has launched a $25m real estate fund with Prudential Financial as one of the first investors. The fund, Bridges UrbanView, will invest in urban areas that need revitalization, with a focus on building healthy neighborhoods and broadening access to economic opportunity. As its first investment, the Fund has committed $11m to finance Spoke, a project involving the construction of 224 new units of housing on the east side of Atlanta. The Spoke project will form part of a larger ‘transit-oriented development’ (TOD) that aims to transform an underutilized parking lot adjacent to a train station into a vibrant, sustainable neighbourhood. Bridges UrbanView will be led by Rachel Diller, who was most recently Managing Director at Goldman Sachs’ Urban Investment Group. Along with Prudential Financial, Ron Moelis, CEO and chairman of L+M Development Partners is a strategic investor.

John Hancock Investments, part of Canada’s Manulife, has launched two new ESG funds. Boston Common Asset Management will manage the John Hancock ESG International Equity Fund, which will invest in developing and emerging market companies, while Breckinridge Capital Advisors will manage the John Hancock ESG Core Bond Fund, focusing on corporate and taxable municipal debt. John Hancock Investments already launched two US equity ESG funds in 2016, managed by Trillium Asset Management.

‘Green’ fund manager Premier Group (Isle of Man) Ltd, has reportedly gone into administration. The firm, which was launched in 2007 as a reincarnation of an existing fund manager, offered investment opportunities in “sustainable biological assets, waste re-cycling and recoverable energy facilities”. It specialised in bamboo plantations. At the end of last year, it appointed liquidators to wind up the firm.Candriam Investors Group has launched an SRI bond fund focusing on emerging markets. “We believe that an assessment of SRI factors is vital in gauging a country’s long-term development potential and risk profile,” said Diliana Deltcheva, Head of Emerging Markets Debt at Candriam. The SRI screen seeks to assess countries on four areas of sustainable development – human capital, natural capital or the environment, social capital and macro-economic management. Candriam, which is owned by New York Life Investment Management, manages €100bn of assets, of which more than 20% are in SRI accounts. Link

The €231.2m JSS Sustainable Equity – Water fund from J. Safra Sarasin returned 8.45% in the year to December 31 2017, according to fund documents (there is no benchmark cited). The makes at least two-thirds of its investments in shares of “forward-looking and innovative enterprises” involved in sustainable water practices. The Luxembourg-domiciled fund is managed by Rainer Männle and has retuned 77.92% since inception in 2007.

AIM-quoted investment firm Impax Asset Management Group published a quarterly update reporting total assets under management (AUM) of £5.1bn over the quarter ended 31 December 2016, up £2bn from the results reported the previous year over the same period. Ian Simm, Impax CEO, said the growth during the 2016 financial year came from “quarterly inflows into our listed equity funds this quarter, particularly from clients in Continental Europe and North America.”

What’s claimed to be the first Sukuk UCITS fund has been launched by CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management (Ireland) PLC. The Islamic bond fund is denominated in US dollars and obtained the Central Bank of Ireland’s approval in September 2016. According to the Kuala Lumpur-based Islamic investment firm, the fund will be offered to investors for a minimum investment of $1,000 and has an initial offer price of $10.00 per share. The Shariah adviser for the Fund is CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad.

Access – the Foundation for Social Investment – the organisation set up by Big Society Capital, the UK government and the Big Lottery Fund to help develop the social investment market has chosen the Barrow Cadbury Trust to run its Access Social Investment Infrastructure Fund. The fund will seek to strengthen the social investment intermediary market through blended finance. The Barrow Cadbury Trust is currently seeking a fund manager for the product.