Responsible Funds, June 22: Trillium AM launches Growth and Income Strategy

The round-up of responsible funds news

Trillium Asset Management, the US sustainable funds firm with over $1bn in assets under management, has launched a dedicated Growth and Income Strategy – in response to increasing calls for a higher dividend equity product. The firm said: “This product targets higher dividend paying companies to increase the income generation of the portfolio, while still investing in companies with strong environmental, social, and governance profiles.” It will be run by Portfolio Manager Stephanie Leighton, Managing Partner Cheryl Smith and new Portfolio Manager Elizabeth Levy. Announcement

The proposed merger of the £72.8m (€90.5m) Henderson Global Care Income fund with the £182m Henderson Global Care Growth fund has been postponed due to objections from clients, according to reports. The merger was announced amid a shake-up at Henderson Global Investors earlier this year which saw the departure of the firm’s dedicated socially responsible investing (SRI) team.
Brown Advisory, the Baltimore-based fund firm with around $29bn in assets under management, says its American SRI Fund has exceeded $50m in assets, one year since launch – “with strong UK and Pan-European investor interest”. The fund only invests in companies that observe internationally recognised principles including the UN Global Compact’s Principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US development finance institution, has made a series of investments in responsible vehicles. It has approved a total of $175m for the TPG Alternative & Renewable Technologies Partners and the GEF Africa Growth Fund. It has also OK’d $100m for the Actis Africa Real Estate Fund 2 LP, which focuses on real estate in sub-Saharan Africa. Also approved is $185m for two 20MW solar power plants in Peru.

A new carbon efficient exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been launched on Brazilian exchange BM&FBOVESPA. ECOO11 is indexed to the Carbon Efficient Index (ICO2), which tracks the performance of the shares of companies participating in the IBrX-50 index that have agreed to join in this initiative, by adopting transparent practices with respect to their greenhouse gas emissions.Good Energies Capital has changed its name to become Bregal Energy, reflecting its transformation from a renewable energy-only fund to a broad energy investor. Although the fund will continue to invest in renewables, the primary focus of future investments will be in the traditional energy sector throughout North America. Bregal Investments is the investment business of Cofra Holding AG, a sixth-generation family holding company based in Switzerland. Announcement

The sustainable fund industry for the German-speaking countries saw the launch of 25 new investment funds in the first quarter of 2012, bringing the total number of the products to 375, according to the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI). SBI said the funds held €3bn in assets, bringing the total volume for Germany, Austria and Switzerland to €34bn as of March 31. Three months before, the sustainable fund volume for the region stood at €30bn.

Frankfurt-based Prime Capital AG has launched Prime Renewables GmbH, a €600m investment company targeting investments in European renewable energy assets. It is expected that the company will be able to fund up to 400MW of generating capacity divided between about a dozen facilities across Europe, with a focus on the latest iteration of low complexity technologies such as solar PV and onshore wind power. Sustainable investment manager WHEB Group will advise the company on the origination, acquisition and management of a diversified portfolio of clean energy infrastructure assets. Link

Dutch fund firm Robeco is teaming up with the Islamic Development Bank to launch a $600m food and agriculture fund, according to a Reuters report. It said the Saudi-based fund would make private equity investments in food and agriculture projects as well as companies in a sharia-compliant way.

The Global Environment Fund, the Washington-based private equity firm, has invested $10m in supply chain research, analytics, and consulting firm Chainalytics. The investment is the first that GEF has made through its US Growth Fund II. Announcement

The first retail ethical investment fund in Malta has been launched in Malta by APS Funds SICAV, according to the Times of Malta. The APS Regular Income Ethical Fund, to be run APS Bank Ltd., would only invest in companies that bring positive changes to society and to the environment.