Responsible Funds, Sept. 29: Credit Suisse, Social Ventures Australia, Actiam, MSCI, Evolve Funds

The latest responsible funds news.

Credit Suisse is setting up an impact investing arm, according to Reuters. It reports that a staff memo from the bank’s chief executive Tidjane Thiam outlines the move with Credit Suisse’s new Impact Advisory and Finance department to be headed by Marisa Drew, who co-heads the bank’s investment banking and capital markets business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Social Ventures Australia (SVA) is seeking to raise A$10 to A$15m for a new impact investment fund. The SVA Diversified Impact Fund will focus on investing in areas such as education, employment and housing. The term of the fund is ten years and it will aim to make 10 to 15 investments between A$500,000 to A$1.5m. It will also provide 20% downside protection from leading philanthropists. SVA CEO Rob Koczkar commented: “SVA has a track record of pioneering success in the market, having launched Australia’s first social impact bond in 2013, and this latest development builds on that expertise and spirit of innovation.”

Emerging market regulators who are members of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) have reportedly agreed to establish a Task Force on Sustainable Finance. The news was announced at an IOSCO Growth and Emerging Markets Committee meeting by Securities Commission Malaysia Chairman Ranjit Ajit Singh who said the move was aligned with its efforts in advancing Malaysia’s position as a leading Islamic finance centre and its value proposition as a centre for sustainable finance.

Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has filed a tender for an “independent evaluation” of its Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU)”. The evaluation will cover all IFU activities since its last review – with “an emphasis on the last ten years of operation” – including the IFU’s investments and other managed funds. RI reported last week that the Danish Government had launched a $1bn fund tied to the Sustainable Development Goals which will be run by the IFU.Dutch asset manager Actiam says it is the first funds house in the country to disclose the carbon footprint for all its investment funds, according to IPE.com. The move will help the €23bn firm help it meet the goal of reducing the CO2 emissions of all its holdings by 25% by 2025.

Index and ESG firm MSCI has launched a family of factor indices. The MSCI Factor ESG Target Indexes are designed to help clients leverage the power of MSCI Factor Indexes while integrating environmental, social and governance elements into their investment strategies.

Fund industry data platform fundinfo has become a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). It said its fund selection tool, Digital-Advisor, “makes it easy for investors to find funds that exhibit a high level of sustainability and social responsibility”.

Foresight Group, the £2.7bn infrastructure and private equity house, has bought the 110MW Bannerton Solar Project in Victoria, Australia on behalf of Foresight Solar Fund Limited (FSFL), KDB Infrastructure Investments Asset Management and Hanwha Energy Corporation. FSFL is taking a 48.5% stake in the project. The deal is Foresight’s second solar acquisition in Australia following the acquisition of Barcaldine Solar Farm in early 2017.

Evolve Funds, the Canadian investment solution provider, has launched two pioneering ETFs – focusing on gender and cyber security, respectively – on to the Toronto Stock Exchange. The North American Gender Diversity Index ETF (HERS) and the Evolve Cyber Security Index ETF (CYBR) have closed their initial offering of hedged and unhedged units and have begun trading. HERS offers investors access to North American equity securities of companies that have demonstrated commitment to gender diversity as part of their corporate social responsibility strategy. And, CYBR is the first ETF in Canada that invests primarily in equity securities of global companies that are involved in the cyber security industry through hardware and so ware development.