Responsible Funds, July 20: Ircantec, Government Pension Fund of Thailand, Korea’s Government Employees Pension Service

The latest responsible funds news

French public pension scheme Ircantec, which incorporates responsible investment into manager selection, has awarded a €1.7bn bond mandate to AXA Investment Managers. The French investment firm will now manage a dedicated fund investing in inflation-indexed bonds in the OECD area on behalf of the €10bn public pension scheme. Documents reveal that four tenders for the mandate were received. Last month, Ircantec also announced it had invested in a €500m pioneering green finance fund raised by Europe’s largest fund manager, Amundi, as part of the Amundi Energy Transition (AET), a joint venture with French energy giant EDF.

The Government Pension Fund of Thailand (GPT) is to set up a THB1bn (€25m) ESG fund. On the back of a an agreement with the Stock Exchange of Thailand to promote sustainability, the GPS says that in September it will set up the “ESG-Focused Portfolio” fund to invest in Thai securities by benchmarking against the SET THSI Index, the new ESG index, and will further invest in international equities next year.

UK workplace scheme NEST has awarded a commodities mandate to CoreCommodity Management. The new fund will make up one of the asset class “building blocks” in NEST’s default strategy. It is a segregated fund, “delivered solely for NEST” which has been designed specifically to cater for the 6.9m-member fund’s environmental, social and governance requirements.

Federated Investors’ Hermes Investment Management says it plans to launch a Global Emerging Markets small- and midcap strategy that builds on the success of the Hermes Global Emerging Markets Strategy, which it says has outperformed its benchmark by an annualised 6.4% and 4.7% over the past five- and three-year periods. The new strategy would be managed by Gary Greenberg, Head of Emerging Markets, alongside Kunjal Gala, Co-Portfolio Manager.

S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) has launched a “first-of-its-kind” index series which seeks to incorporate potential future carbon prices alongside company performance. The S&P Carbon Price Risk Adjusted Index Series measures the performance of companies in each index with a weighting scheme based on estimated company market valuation at risk from predicted 2030 carbon prices, using data from Trucost’s Corporate Carbon Pricing Tool.

Up to $125m of impact investment notes are on offer from Capital Impact Partners – a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution. The Capital Impact Investment Notes, an investor opportunity to create social impact for underserved communities, are available from $1,000 at fixed interest rates with a range of maturities. S&P Global assigned the notes an AA rating. Information about how to invest is available through Incapital’s Legacy platfom.Korea’s Government Employees Pension Service (GEPS) says it will commit 100 billion won (€75.9bn) to a global equity fund integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in its investment, in what’s believed to be the first allocation to a global ESG fund by a South Korean pension fund. It will opt for a domestic equity house, according to the statement (in Korean). It comes as other funds in the country are preparing to adopt a Stewardship Code in the coming months

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase says it is expanding on the success of its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Detroit to support minority entrepreneurs in Chicago’s South and West Sides. This investment includes $4m from JPMorgan Chase to provide minority entrepreneurs with access to capital, education and other resources. Fifth Third Bank will invest $2.5m in the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, pending regulatory approval, bringing total funding to $6.5m in support of minority entrepreneurs in these Chicago neighborhoods.

The Nanuk New World Fund, an equity fund investing in companies involved in environmental sustainability, has reported returns of 17.9% over the last financial year. The fund outperformed its benchmark index by 4.9% and traditional global equities benchmarks such as the MSCI All Country World Index by 3.0%.

BlackRock Real Assets has completed the first close of its latest energy and power infrastructure fund, having secured $1.5bn in investor commitments. The Global Energy & Power Infrastructure Fund III (GEPIF III) focuses on financing energy infrastructure in developed countries to accompany global changes in powering industry, homes and transportation.

Impax Asset Management, investment advisor to Pax World Funds, is reportedly launching a new fund focused on sustainable investments. The Pax Global Opportunities Fund (PXGOX) is the first new product offered since Pax World Management was acquired by UK-based Impax Asset Management earlier this year.

Fund manager Althelia Ecosphere has reportedly completed a $37.5m first close for what is planned to be a $100m Sustainable Ocean Fund. The fund is intended to make EM investments that build resilience in coastal ecosystems and create sustainable growth and livelihoods, with at least 40% of funds to be allocated in Latin America and the Caribbean. Former BNP Paribas banker Simon Dent, who launched fundraising over two years ago, says the fund will deploy capital in three projects this year.