Responsible Funds, Nov. 25: Liechtenstein’s LGT backs new ethical wealth management firm

The round-up of the latest responsible funds developments

Tribe Impact Capital is a new ethical wealth management firm, launched by four co-founding partners and LGT Vestra, the wealth management firm majority owned since June 2016 by Liechtenstein private banking group LGT. Tribe’s four executive partners and co-founders are: Harry Catchpole (previously with JP Morgan and HSBC Private Bank), Amy Clarke (ex-Charities Aid Foundation), James Lawson (former UBS Wealth Management) and Lizzie Scott (ex-LGT Vestra). The partners started the firm to provide “wealth management for people who believe there’s more to wealth than money”. Tribe, a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), will contribute a minimum of 20% of annual profits to an impact foundation that will invest in mission-driven organisations and/or funds through “blended capital”. Home page

Schroders’ $231m Global Climate Change Equity fund has returned 4.3% in the 12-month period to the end of October, according to fund documents – vs. a benchmark (MSCI World – Net Return) return of 1.2%. The fund, launched in 2007 and managed by Simon Webber and Ben Wicks, invests in companies that “will benefit from efforts to accommodate or limit the impact of global climate change”. Year to date return is 2.6% (benchmark: 3.5%).

An index to integrate gender factors in investment strategies has been launched by Solactive, the Frankfurt-based index firm. Sustainalytics will provide the data to the Solactive Global Gender Diversity Index, which will be licensed to Swiss bank UBS.

A Luxembourg-based fund to finance responsible agriculture in emerging economies has been set up by Clarmondial AG partners in association with Duff & Phelps, Pictet Asset Services and Allen & Overy. Duff & Phelps will be the Alternative Investment Fund Managers for the fund; Pictet Asset Services will provide custody and fund administration services, and Allen & Overy has been appointed as the legal advisor to the fund. The fund aims at connecting responsible investors with farmers who follow industry best practices.

The Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT) fund has received pledges from 11 donors, worth $55.3m, after being declared “open for business” at COP 22 by Naoko Ishii, CEO of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which is behind the initiative. The CBIT came as a result of the 2015 Paris Agreement to help developing countries meet enhanced transparency requirements to cut emissions.

Most New Zealanders want the country’s long-term savings schemes, known as KiwiSaver funds, to consider environmental, social and ethical factors in their investment strategies, according to a new survey by Responsible Investment Association Australasia. More than 1,000 consumers participated in the survey, which showed that 95% believe it is “of at least some importance” for the funds, while 81% rated its importance as at least 5/10.Varma, Finland’s largest pension fund, has announced it has invested €300m into climate change mitigation, via its sustainability portfolio. The fund has been developing the portfolio over recent months, in a bid to align its investments with its climate policy – which states that it will reduce its carbon footprint and realign its portfolio in accordance with a 2°C scenario. “The sustainability portfolio invests in companies that benefit from climate change mitigation. It also includes companies that have their own clear targets concerning climate change or which do not incur major costs from adapting to climate change,” said Varma’s Portfolio Manager Hanna Kaskela.

Dutch development bank FMO has committed $25m to the Fund, which conserves biodiversity in Latin America through financing of sustainable businesses such as agriculture and eco-toursim. Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer of FMO, said: “This fund allows FMO to contribute to biodiversity and sustainable use of natural resources.” Link

Aegon Asset Management’s Government Related Investment Fund (GRIF) has bagged its first third-party investment. An undisclosed investor has put €30m into the fund, which seeks to invest more than half its capital into fixed-income, government-guaranteed investments that have explicitly social and environmental outcomes – such as social housing, renewable energy, development banks and hospitals. The fund, launched in April, now stands at more than €300m, according to Aegon.

NextEnergy Solar Fund has issued 110.3m shares, raising £115.3m. The London-based fund, which invests in operational solar assets in the UK, exercised its greenshoe option, raising the offering from 100m, on the back of high investor demand. NESF has raised around £350m in equity since it floated in 2014, and has secured £210m of credit facilities.

Italy has seen its first listed impact investment fund this week. Investimenti Sostenibili is run by Sella Gestioni – the asset management arm of Italy’s Banca Sella Group – and advised by London-based specialist Mainstreet Partners. It invests in debt linked to projects with social and environmental outcomes. It listed on the Italian Stock Exchange on Monday. Enrico Lo Giudice, investment analyst at Mainstreet, told RI there was growing interest in responsible investing in Italy, especially from retail investors.
Another impact investment fund advised by Mainstreet Partners – the Sustainable Finance Fund – will begin fundraising in coming weeks, he added. The fund was launched three months ago, seeded with €10m from private equity house Quadrivio Capital. It claims to be the first fund investing in publicly-traded financial institutions in emerging and frontier markets that support the development of SMEs and microfinance, and have positive impacts on local communities.

Hong Kong-based Mirae Asset Global Investments has launched its inaugural sharia-compliant Asian equities fund in response to demand from Islamic investors. The fund will be domiciled in Luxembourg as part of Mirae’s Global Discovery Fund SICAV, according to reports.