Responsible Funds, July 14: Royal London Asset Management axes ethical fund

The latest responsible funds news.

Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) is reportedly closing its £35m UK Ethical Equity fund after five years. Citywire reported the move would enable fund manager Mike Fox to focus on the firm’s £536m Sustainable Leaders trust. The ethical offering, launched in 2011, will close at the end of next month. The report quoted RLAM as saying clients have the option to switch to the Sustainable Leaders fund or to transfer to any other RLAM fund.
Swiss asset manager SUSI Partners and climate consultants South Pole Group are set to jointly launch a €250m green infrastructure fund. The Asian Energy Transition Fund (AETF) – SUSI’s first institutional investor investment vehicle dedicated to the Southeast Asian energy transition – aims to respond to the growing demand for renewable infrastructure and energy efficiency technologies in the region.
Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd, the £237m Guernsey-based investment company in the process of being wound up, has reportedly announced that its manager, Stafford Capital Partners, has resigned. Last month shareholders of the troubled fund voted against the continuation of its operations following a campaign by Hong Kong activist investor LIM Advisors, who had concerns over the fund’s poor returns and discounted shares. The resignation will take place with effect from August, with a six-month notice period commencing from that date.
The Africa Climate Change Fund (ACCF) is calling for proposals to scale-up access to climate finance in Africa. This is the second time the ACCF has requested concept notes for projects and programmes between $250,000 and $1m to support climate resilient, low-carbon development in African countries. The fund is housed in the Climate Change and Green Growth Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The Climate Investment Funds, the $8.3bn developing nations’ climate financing fund, has approved a $25m loan to Morocco to finance a new “hybrid solar project” in the country. Supported by the African Development Bank and the World Bank, it is hoped that the Midelt Phase I Concentrated Solar Power Project will help the Government of Morocco achieve its goal of 52% of installed capacity from renewable energy (20% from solar) by 2030.UBS has raised $325m for TPG’s private equity impact investment vehicle, The Rise Fund – marking what the Swiss wealth management firm describes as its biggest step so far in realising its SDG commitment of $5bn to impact investments within five years. The $2bn SDG-aligned fund, founded by Bill McGlashan, Managing Partner at TPG Growth, aims to achieve measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes alongside competitive financial returns.
Hermes Investment Management, the £30.8bn fund manager owned by the BT Pension Scheme, has released the third-year results of its Global Equity ESG Fund showing a return of 21.3% compared to the MSCI World AC Index’s 16.7%. The fund, launched in May 2014, aims to generate consistent, positive returns by investing in companies with strong fundamentals and ESG characteristics.
Impax Asset Management Group, the AIM quoted investment manager focused on environmental markets, has seen assets under management rise by 17% to £6.7bn over the last quarter, according to its third quarter report. Overall, the UK-based firm’s assets have grown by 48% since the start of its financial year on 1 October 2016.
Régime de rentes du Mouvement Desjardins, a Québec-based private pension plan, has bought two French windfarms in partnership with Innergex Renewable Energy, a North American developer, owner, and operator of renewable energy projects. The sites are Eole de Plan Fleury and Les Renardières, located in Champagne-Ardenne, which have been bought from BayWa r.e., a French subsidiary of German project developer BayWa AG.
Foresight Group LLP, a UK based infrastructure and private equity investment manager, has launched a new funding solution to drive the implementation of smart meters in the UK. The Foresight Smart Bonds Fund, which aims to raise £10m in its first tranche, will generate returns by lending to companies that own, operate, and rent installed Smart Meters to UK energy suppliers. Investors, with a minimum contribution of £10,000, are offered the choice to invest over one to three years for a return of between 4%-5%.