Robeco named as investment manager for new $400m Asian low-carbon platform

Asia Climate Partners launched with ORIX and Asian Development Bank

Robeco, the Netherlands-based asset management firm with €211bn under management, has teamed up with parent firm ORIX Corporation, the Japan-based financial conglomerate, and the Asian Development Bank on a new $400m joint venture that will make private equity investments into the low-carbon sector in Asia.

Asia Climate Partners (ACP) will be based in Hong Kong and invest in renewable energy, clean technology, natural resource efficiency, water, agriculture, forestry and other climate-friendly companies in Asia. A spokeswoman from Robeco said a Hong Kong-based team will be established, although the size of the group isn’t yet known.

Robeco – majority acquired by ORIX in 2013 in a €1.9bn deal with former owner Rabobank – will be the investment manager for the new venture while the other partners will provide support and advisory services. It has been backed by $400m in funding from its founders. A Robeco spokeswoman said it would not disclose whether it would be open to other investors at this point.

Earlier this year, Responsible Investor reported that ORIX, which is listed in both New York and Tokyo, was developing 425MW of solar power – which it terms“mega-solar” – at more than 200 sites across Japan, including both rooftop and large-scale facilities.

The trio said in a joint statement that investment in renewable energy and resource efficiency has the potential to grow at 2-3 times economic growth in Asia over the next several decades.

Todd Freeland, director general of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) private sector operations department, said: “ACP will benefit from the combined strengths of Robeco as a global asset manager and ORIX and ADB, which are two of the most active and successful investors in the low-carbon sector in Asia.” A core objective of the ADB is to “address the risks and mitigate the impacts of climate change” in Asia.

Leni Boeren, a member of the management board of Robeco, said: “This is further evidence of our growing commitment to creating attractive new investment opportunities in Asia for our institutional investor partners around the world.” The firm’s expertise in resource efficiency, sustainability and private would “contribute significantly to the ultimate success” of the platform. Announcement