Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: Invesco, Nature Capital Investment Alliance, Assenagon, OnePlanetCapital and More

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of new funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria. 

Invesco has expanded its ESG-focused ETF offering with the launch of two new funds, covering listed companies in both Japan and the Pacific ex-Japan region. The Invesco MSCI Japan Universal Screened Ucits ETF and Invesco MSCI Pacific ex-Japan ESG Universal Screened UCITS ETF are listed on the London Stock Exchange and will increase exposure to companies that are actively improving their ESG credentials, while excluding any stock involved in controversial sectors. “Many investors want to reduce their portfolio’s carbon footprint and improve other ESG characteristics, but, at the same time, maintain their overall risk and expected returns. We designed these ETFs to provide investors with materially significant ESG improvements for their core equity exposure,” said Chris Mellor, Head of EMEA ETF Equity and Commodity Product Management at Invesco. 

HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management, Lombard Odier and Mirova Asset Management have co-launched the Nature Capital Investment Alliance. The Alliance aims to mobilise US$10 billion towards natural capital themes across asset classes by 2022. HSBC Pollination Climate AM is establishing a series of Natural Capital funds that directly invest in the preservation, protection and enhancement of nature. Lombard Odier launched its global equities investment strategy for natural capital last year. Mirova AM has established its own natural capital platform which proposes strategies for land restoration, the blue economy and forest protection. The Alliance was initially established by His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales as part of his Sustainable Markets Initiative. “As we urgently seek to rescue the situation, we must now look to invest in Natural Capital as the engine of our economy,” he said at the One Planet Summit. 

Munich-based asset manager Assenagon has merged two of its fixed income funds, creating the Assenagon Credit Selection ESG fund. Assenagon’s  Michael Hünseler, Lead Credit Portfolio Manager, will be running the fund. Before the merger, the Assenagon Credit ESG fund and Assenagon Credit Selection ESG fund both followed similar strategies, investing in companies with corporate bonds, managing €75 million and €252 million in assets respectively. “We have found that the more comprehensive sustainability approach from the Credit ESG Fund is fundamentally the right path. This is reflected in performance and also in the rare AAA ESG rating from MSCI, as well as the FNG sustainability label,” Hünseler said. 

OnePlanetCapital has launched a specialist Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Fund that will invest in businesses tackling climate change. The fund is “broad-based” and aims to deliver market rate returns while supporting the emerging green economy. OnePlanetCapital was launched in 2019 and focuses on three interrelated areas: climate change, the environment and consumer sustainability. “It is now clear that investment performance does not need to be sacrificed in order to tackle the environmental problems of the day, with UK sustainable funds likely to outperform the market over the short-, medium- and long term. We only have one planet and now it’s time to get involved and make a difference for our collective future,” Co-founder Matthew Jellicoe said.  

MPC Capital has launched a new renewable energy platform called MPC Energy Solutions. The platform will develop and invest in renewable energy generation, such as energy storage, wind farms and infrastructure. It will “cover the full lifecycle” of a project, acting as owner, developer and operator of the projects, which will mostly be located in renewable projects in emerging markets. “The successful initiation of MPC Energy Solutions underlines the ability of the MPC group to tap capital markets for attractive real asset investment strategies. The impressive track record with renewable companies provides for an educated and professional domestic and international investor base for companies like MPC Energy Solutions,” said CEO Ulf Holländer. 

Global non-bank structuring specialist Bedford Row Capital (BRC) has been mandated by Sustainable Capital for a listed multi-currency ICMA-compliant green bond. This will fund the development and construction of thermal clean generation and green power plants in Australia. This is the latest in a series of US$ and €-denominated ICMA-compliant green bonds issued by Sustainable Capital, which are listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. They have a fixed annual interest rates of US$ 8.14% and £ 8.21%, paid quarterly and maturing on July 6 2025. We are highly committed to this sector as a growing asset class due to the fundamental positive impact for the environment. The green credentials of this project are vitally important in current times and we are pleased to work closely with excellent team at Energy Storage to ensure the highest sustainability standards,” said Dr Scott Levy, CEO of BRC. 

Asset manager Alquity has entered into a strategic partnership with East Capital Group, which has become a shareholder with a 10% stake. Alquity has injected 10% of its revenues into its Transforming Lives Foundation, which has so far granted more than US$2 million to regions it invests in. East Capital Asset Management, based in Luxembourg, has been appointed as the management company overseeing both administration and custody services. Former CEO and co-founder of Aberdeen Asset Management, Martin Gilbert, and the founders of Australia’s seed stage investor Investible have also invested and backed Alquity. 

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