Responsible Funds, June 2: Sweden’s AP2 puts $50m into SDG-themed fund from TPG

The latest responsible funds news.

Sweden’s Second AP Fund (AP2) has invested $50m in a private equity fund that is committed to achieving “measurable, positive social and environmental outcomes” alongside competitive financial returns. Managed by TPG Growth, the Rise Fund’s objectives align with various of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. AP2 CEO Eva Halvarsson said: “The idea of impact investing is not new, but what is new and unique about this strategy is that The Rise Fund is relying on independent research to measure the positive outcomes in financial terms.”

Denmark’s State-owned Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) plans to launch a $500m SDG fund in early 2018. An initial concept document was put forward in December 2016, and an updated document will be presented to the Development Policy Committee this month (June 2017). RI has learned that the SDG aligned fund, which will follow the same model as its Agri-business fund and the Danish Climate Fund , aims to be up and running by early 2018, with institutional investors (mainly Danish pension funds) being sought in the Autumn. IFU is owned by Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Rockfire Energy, the UK based renewables investment arm of Rockfire Capital Limited, with £500m in assets under management, has announced the acquisition of a 105MW portfolio from WIRSOL Energy Ltd. The portfolio consists of nineteen solar farms capable of generating enough energy to supply 30,000 households in the UK, saving 60 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

US sustainable infrastructure investment firm Hannon Armstrong has reportedly announced a quarterly cash dividend of $0.33 per share of common stock payable on 13 July 2017. The dividend represents an annualised yield of 6.0% based upon the company’s common stock closing price of $21.91 per share on 31May 2017.

Germany’s Munich Re has signed an agreement with wind firm Eolus to buy the 79MW Jenåsen wind farm in Sweden for €106m – with the power produced to be sold to Google via a power purchase agreement. Take over and payment is expected to occur after the completion of the project in the summer of 2018, while Eolus will provide technical, operational and administrative services for the facility, which is located in Liden in Sundsvall. It will be the sixth wind farm developed by Eolus that MEAG/Munich Re has invested in. “We are pleased to announce a further project acquisition in Sweden. The investment makes an attractive and lasting contribution to the risk diversification of our portfolio and helps to cover Munich Re’s long-term liabilities deriving from its insurance business,” said MEAG Managing Director Holger Kerzel.Switzerland’s ASGA Pensionkasse has awarded timber specialist Stafford Capital Partners a $100m mandate for investments into timber and agriculture. The CHF13.5bn (€12.4bn) investor will make the investment through Stafford’s latest timberland offering, Stafford International Timberland Fund VIII. The fund has a target of $500m and is seeking backing from institutional investors globally.
New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer has announced the creation of a Diversity Working Group in his office’s Bureau of Asset Management to “pinpoint ways to include diverse investment staff, asset managers, and suppliers in the City’s Pension Funds”. He made the announcement at the office’s annual conference for investment managers, outlining how the funds’ work on diversity has helped the portfolio grow over the last three years. He said: “Diversity isn’t a box to be checked — it’s a strategy for economic success.” And the recipients of the 2017 Diverse Practitioner Award were named as Neuberger Berman and Vista Equity Partners.

Amazon’s audiobook subsidiary Audible Inc. has launched a $5m fund dedicated to the commission and development of English-language works from playwrights around the globe. Grants will be awarded in collaboration with an advisory board, including British playwright, Tom Stoppard and US actor, Annette Bening.

Morgan Stanley, in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit, has launched a new type of thematic index, the ‘Inclusive Growth Opportunities Index’, to help investors identify technology investments in countries that enhance access to finance, education, healthcare, and reduce gender disparities. The Economist Intelligence Unit is the research and analysis arm of The Economist Group, owner of the namesake weekly publication.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has unveiled a new ‘mobile-friendly’ online database containing information on the climate change mitigation and adaptation projects it is financing. Last year, including financing from external sources, the Manilla based development bank provided over $4bn in climate finance.

UK’s Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC), the privatised manifestation of the UK Government’s former not for profit, is reportedly seeking to raise £5m to revive the scrapped Government energy efficiency programme, the Green Deal. The 3-year bond, available via the ethical investment platform Abundance, offers a 12% interest on investments, with a deadline of 5 June for applications. The original Green Deal programme was scrapped after 2 years in 2013 due to low take-up