Responsible Funds, July 6: CalSTRS among backers of new alternative energy fund

The round-up of responsible funds news

A range of institutional investors has backed a new alternative energy fund from venture firm Braemar Energy Ventures. Braemar Energy Ventures III LP has closed at $300m with commitments from existing investors MassMutual, Alpinvest, Morgan Stanley Alternative Investments, Macquarie and Singapore’s GIC Special Investments. New limited partners include Munich Re, HarbourVest, the State of Rhode Island, Rothschild Investment Trust and Invesco on behalf of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). Announcement

Luxembourg-based Solar Investment Group SIF is planning a 25-year infrastructure fund focused on acquiring renewable energy power plants. The Real Asset Energy Fund (RAEF) will be the team’s third fund and will begin investing in the first quarter of 2013. It has been designed specifically to meet the requirements of institutional investors; management aims to raise €500m. The investment committee is led by former Climate Change Capital CEO Mark Woodall. Link

Deutsche Bank’s $5.1m db x-trackers S&P U.S. Carbon Efficient ETF (exchange traded fund) has returned 5.07% so far in 2012 and 62.13% since inception in 2009. The top three holdings are Apple Inc., Chevron Corporation and AT&T Inc.

The total assets for the Jupiter Green Investment Trust Plc, the London-listed investment trust, fell by 10% in the year to the end of March to £36.2m, according to its annual financial report. This compares with a 4% decrease in its benchmark, the MSCI World Small Cap Index. Net asset value fell by 10% to 108.49p. The trust invests globally in companies which have a significant focus on environmental solutions.

The €90.6m Pictet-European Sustainable Equities I-EUR fund has returned a cumulative 41.8% since inception in 2002 – or 3.68% annualized. The sub-fund, managed by Laurent Nguyen, seeks capital growth by investing at least two-thirds of its assets in European companies which apply the principles of sustainable development.Dutch development bank FMO and social investor Oikocredit have launched a €10m fund to create business opportunities in low-income countries. The Low Income Countries (LIC) Fund aims to support micro and small entrepreneurs in countries recognized by the United Nations as low income. It will invest predominantly in central and southern African countries through rural-based microfinance institutions and small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Luxembourg-based Sustainable Capital SA is launching a new agro forestry and sustainable resources investment fund. The Sustainable Resources Fund’s initial offering period commences on July 23. The fund is Sharia compliant and all projects will be required to pass strict ethical, environmental and commercial due diligence tests. Ten percent of the Investment Advisor’s revenue from the fund will be donated to UNICEF. Link
The €16.73m AXA WF Framlington Global Environment A EUR fund is up 1.79% in 2012 so far. Since inception in April 2007, the Luxembourg-domiciled fund has returned -40.92% (benchmark return: -8.38%). The fund targets clean technologies in the sectors of energy, water, waste, industrial process and safety.

The Savannah Fund is a new seed capital fund specializing in $25,000-500,000 investments in early stage high growth technology (web and mobile) startups addressing the Sub-Saharan Africa market. Initially focused on Kenya and East Africa, the Fund aims to bridge the gap in early stage/angel and venture capital investment that currently exists in Africa. Link

The €2.7m Pictet-Water-HP USD fund has returned 46.6% since inception, against a benchmark (MSCI World Hedged in USD) return of 31.5%. The annualized return is 11% (benchmark: 7.75%). It’s managed by Hans Peter Portner, Philippe Rohner and Arnaud Bisschop.