Responsible Funds, November 11: the round-up of ESG funds news

RI fund launches, closes and asset data.

Deutsche Bank has launched a £10m (€11.7m) social investment fund called the Impact Investment Fund. It will be managed to “external market standards” by Deutsche’s Private Equity group. “Deutsche Bank will help to create a new asset class that we hope will attract a wide range of investors and deliver a significant amount of money to social enterprises,” said Colin Grassie, CEO of Deutsche Bank UK. Announcement

An A$350m (€260.6m) fund to buy farms in northern New South Wales is being launched by legendary commodities investor Jim Rogers, according to the Australian Financial Review. “It’s the farmers, the producers who are going to be in the captain’s seat when the prices go through the roof,” Rogers told the AFR in an interview.

Franklin Templeton Investments’ new Australian Equity Fund has ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations “embedded into the investment process”. The new fund – under lead portfolio managers Andrew Sisson and Steven Fahey – aims to outperform the Standard & Poor’s/Australian Securities Exchanges (S&P/ASX) 100 Accumulation Index over the medium- to long-term after fees and taxes. Link

Canadian fund manager Investors Group has announced that its Investors Summa Global Environmental Leaders Fund will be merged into the existing Investors Summa Global SRI Fund. The move is part of a set of eight fund mergers that will occur as of February 3, 2012, the Winnipeg-based firm said in a statement.

Innovative recycling fund the New Earth Solutions Recycling Facilities Investment Sub Fund has seen its assets grow to £90m (€105m). The fund, launched in July 2008, has delivered total returns of 44.2%. It is managed by Isle of Man-based fund group Premier alongside waste treatment and renewable energy developer New Earth Solutions.Ten percent of the profits of a planned $1bn Indonesia private equity fund will go to social causes, according to a Reuters report. The fund is being launched by former Bank of America executive Chad Holm and will focus on financial, resources, and infrastructure investments.

An Asian cleantech fund is being launched in Malaysia, according to a report from national news agency Bernama. It reported the Asia CleanTech Fund is a venture between RHB Investment Bank subsidiaries and Japan’s SBI Investment Co. Ltd. It will have a minimal commitment of $50m.

A new private equity fund targeting North African companies including agribusiness has had a first close at over €96m. CDC Entreprises and Proparco’s Maghreb Private Equity Fund III also seeks to improve governance in investee companies. The fund is managed by the Tuninvest-Africinvest group and investors include development investors such as the Netherlands’ FMO and Germany’s DEG.

The SBI Macquarie Infrastructure Fund has invested $25.5m (€18.7m) in a Bangalore-based hydro-electric power firm, Soham Renewable Energy India, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The fund’s “commitment to green energy make them an ideal partner for our renewable energy business,” said Sanjith Shetty, managing director of Soham Renewable Energy.

North Carolina-based venture capital firm SJF Ventures has gained approval to capitalise a $75m (€55m) fund to invest in cleantech start-up companies in low-to-middle income communities, according to a report in Social Funds. It comes under the umbrella of the Small Business Administration’s new Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Impact Fund programme.