Responsible Funds, June 27: Danish government plans green fund

The round-up of responsible funds news

The Danish government has announced it plans to set up a DKK5bn (€670m) green fund, similar to the UK’s Green Investment Bank, according to a report in trhe Wall Street Journal. The Denmark Green Investment Fund will initially provide DKK2bn in government guarantees to attract investments from private institutions such as pension funds, the WSJ added.

California-based wealth management firm Sand Hill Global Advisors has announced a socially responsible investment (SRI) offering. Its SRI portfolio integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the investment analysis and decision-making process; the portfolio consists of exchange traded funds and mutual funds managed by “top-tier” SRI investment managers said Portfolio Manager Katherine Fischer.

The A$135.7m (€93m) international smart energy fund offered by specialist fund firm Australian Ethical had good performance last month. The company said: “For the month of May, the International Equities Trust rose 2.6% outperforming its benchmark, the MSCI Global Climate Index (AUD) which rose 2.0%. In local terms (which excludes the impact from currency changes), the Trust rose 3.5% and the MSCI Global Climate rose 2.8%.” Top holdings include BT Group (4.0%), Swiss Re (3.4%) and NGK Insulators (3.3%). Over the one-year period, it has returned 28.3%.

The New York City Change Capital Fund (CCF), a collaboration of 17 foundations and financial institutions, has launched a new initiative under which five community development corporations (CDCs) in the city will receive funding “to help them retool and refocus their strategies and business models to address persistent poverty more effectively”. Each CDC will receive up to $1 over four years and access to technical assistance.

Fund firm Standard Life Investments says its now 10-year-old £206.3m UK Ethical Fund has grown almost four-fold over the last decade – returning 149.3% to investors versus the UK All Companies sector average of 129% and its ethical subsector average of 120.2%.

Phaunos Timber, the listed timber fund with around $419m of assets, has tapped institutional timber manager Stafford Timberland to manage its portfolio. Stafford takes over from FourWinds Capital Management, whose contract was terminated last year. Stafford, which runs $1.5bn from 23 institutional investors, was brought in December last year to undertake a strategic review of the fund’s assets; it found that there were several assets whose valuations “are subject to significant uncertainty”. Announcement*The SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund,* which invests in the renovation of infrastructure to improve their energy efficiency, has had a successful second closing, taking in €175m from institutional investors in Germany and Switzerland. SUSI Partners, which manages the fund, said the volume for the closing was above target and that the fund was well on track to meeting its ultimate volume goal of €300m. SUSI added that the fund was already invested in four projects in Germany and Monaco.

The Triodos Organic Growth Fund, a €30m private equity fund run by Dutch sustainable bank Triodos, has made its second investment, taking a 20% stake in Triaz Group, a German online retailer of sustainable consumer products. Financial details were not disclosed. The fund’s first investment was made in February, or one month after its launch, when it bought a stake in a Danish organic foods company. The fund aims to take in €150m in assets from investors over the long term.

Greencoat UK Wind, the UK-listed wind investment vehicle, has agreed to buy two new wind farms in the UK. They are the Kildrummy and Maerdy projects in Scotland and Wales, which are being bought from BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH and Velocita Energy Developments – for £43.3m and £52.9m respectively. The acquisitions will be funded via cash and an acquisition debt facility provided by RBC, RBS and Santander.

A new water, agriculture, and energy solutions investment firm has been launched in the US with around $100m in assets under management. EcoAlpha Asset Management aims to be “at the intersection of global problems and global solutions”. The firm, with offices in New York, San Francisco, and Minneapolis, is headed by CEO Matthew Fitzmaurice, and chaired by Win Neuger.

A new index that screens out the world’s largest listed oil, gas, and coal companies ranked by their potential carbon emissions, has been launched by start-up firm Fossil Free Indexes. Fossil Free Indexes US (FFIUS) is believed to be the first fossil free index based on the S&P 500. The company added that plans are underway to create investable financial products from the index “in the coming months”. Link