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Responsible Funds, July 13: Deutsche’s DWS to manage Apple’s new $300m clean energy fund

The latest responsible funds news

Apple has announced a new ‘first-of-its-kind’ investment fund in China to connect suppliers with renewable energy sources. The computer giant said that as part of its commitment to address climate change and increase the use of renewable energy within its supply chain, 10 initial suppliers and Apple will jointly invest nearly $300m over the next four years into the China Clean Energy Fund. Apple said the fund would be managed by Deutsche Bank’s DWS Group, which would also invest in the fund. Announcement

Dedicated impact investor Bridges Fund Management has beaten its fundraising target, hitting £50m for Bridges Evergreen Holdings – a long-term financing vehicle supporting “mission led organisations” such as healthcare and affordable housing providers in the UK. Launched in 2016, the latest round of investment comes from backers including Big Society Capital. More than 90% of the capital came from existing investors.

Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), the Swiss private bank, has reportedly merged one of its conventional investment strategies with an existing sustainable strategy because the former wasn’t generating enough investor demand. The UBAM Global Equity Income fund has been integrated into the UBAM Global Equity Sustainable Growth fund. Both were already run by the same portfolio manager, Martin Moeller, but investor preferences prompted a decision to merge the pair. The sustainable strategy returned 25.79% over three years to June, according to figures.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is considering contributing €140m to a €400m risk sharing instrument for a portfolio of green loans originated by Mediocredito Italiano (MCI). The EIB’s contribution, along with CDP (the Italian National Promotional Bank), will cover on a pari-passu basis up to 50% of the credit risk. The projects financed by MCI will “contribute to meeting Italy’s renewable energy and energy efficiency objectives and will actively support the transition to a circular economy”.
Guernsey has confirmed the launch of the world’s first regulated green fund product, which requires 75% of a fund’s assets to meet specified green criteria. The new rules are part of the Channel Island’s push to become a global green finance hub and comes in the wake of a consultation exercise carried out by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission earlier this year. Link

Skagen’s Kon-Tiki fund has exited French transport group Bolloré over governance issues, according to its new quarterly report. “Our focus on increased sell discipline in the portfolio can also be seen through our exit of Bolloré,” it said, adding that its African holdings came under the spotlight after Vincent Bolloré was placed under formal investigation relating to suspected bribery of foreign officials in Africa. Skagen added: “We are in no position to judge whether rules have been broken, but a long drawn out investigation is likely to put a lid on the share price and we decided to move on due to heightened governance risk.”Investment research and ratings provider Morningstar, the 40% owner of ESG house Sustainalytics, is launching a range of in-house mutual fund products. Its Morningstar Investment Management arm said that during the second half of 2018, it plans to begin converting existing U.S. mutual fund-based Morningstar Managed Portfolios assets to the Morningstar Funds, which will be offered exclusively through fee-based financial advisers offering Managed Portfolios. The Morningstar Funds will not be offered as standalone vehicles.

London-based impact investment bank ClearlySo has seen fundraising grow 200% since 2016, in what it describes as a sign the investment category has become mainstream. Capital invested in the bank’s clients has surpassed £200m in a “dramatic acceleration. “ClearlySo’s clients have raised more capital in the last two years than in the previous eight,” it said in a statement, adding that “several mainstream institutions” have invested over the period.
South Korea’s Woori Bank is the main private backer in what is claimed to be the country’s first impact investing fund. The bank – South Korea’s second largest lender – has pledged to put 5bn won ($4.5m) into an equity fund focused on supporting the SDGs. The 20bn won vehicle is slated to launch this month, with the lion’s share of investment coming from fund-of-funds management company the Korea Growth Investment Corporation. Co-managers Crevisse Partners and Lime Asset Management will invest 700m won and 300m won respectively into the fund.
BMO Global Asset Management will complete its rebrand of F&C funds after acquiring the asset manager in 2014, it has confirmed.

NN Investment Partners has overtaken Storebrand to become the manager of the world’s biggest green bond fund. In the second quarter of this year, the asset manager saw inflows bring the fund up to €900m, and says it “is expected to grow rapidly to over €1bn”. It was launched in 2016 at €20m, and has accreditation under both the LuxFLAG Climate Finance Label and France’s TEEC Label. Storebrand had long held the top stop with its green bond fund, which stood at $410m last November. Bram Bos, Lead Portfolio Manager of Green Bonds at NNIP, called the fund “dark green” and claimed it  “has been the best performing green bond fund in recent years, both in terms of relative and absolute performance.”

The Mayor of London has launched a £500m (€564m) investment fund aiming to provide financing for viable low carbon projects across London. The Mayor of London’s Energy Efficiency Fund (MEEF) could be used to deliver new low carbon technology or upgrade existing low-carbon infrastructure, with an investment period of up to 20 years. The fund is established by the GLA with funding from the European Commission and is managed by the Amber Infrastructure Group (Amber).