Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: Lombard Odier Partners with Plastic Alliance

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including LOIM, Pictet, AXA, Tikehau Capital, BNPP AM, Eurazeo, and Cibus Funds. 

Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) has partnered with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste to introduce a new circular plastic fund. With ambitions to raise US$500 million from institutional and other accredited investors, the fund will target upstream and downstream scalable solutions to remove plastic waste from the environment and drive the global transition to a circular economy for the plastic value chain. The Alliance has mandated LOIM to build and manage the fund, ensuring both a positive environmental impact alongside strong financial returns. “Our goal in partnering with Lombard Odier in relation to a circular plastic strategy is to grow investments in solutions that can help end plastic waste and contribute to a circular economy. The strategy harnesses the collective intelligence of the plastic value chain and connects it with capital, bringing much needed solutions to scale,” said Jacob Duer, President and CEO of the Alliance, which will serve as the fund’s technical adviser. Jean-Pascal Porcherot, Co-Head of LOIM, added: “This strategy presents a compelling investment opportunity. It will target opportunities across all segments of the private equity spectrum – including direct and co-investments investments – with the objective to reduce plastic waste issues worldwide and deliver attractive financial returns and sustainability outcomes.” 

Pictet Asset Management has launched the Pictet-Global Climate Government Bond. Classified as Article 9 under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the fund will invest across developed and emerging markets by allocating capital to countries based on their approach to managing carbon emissions. “Our strategy rewards bond issuers that are addressing climate concerns, while we will penalise those that are less committed,” said Ella Hoxha, Senior Portfolio Manager for the fund. “Fixed income investors have a key part to play in providing the capital required to keep climate change in check. While individually, investors have a negligible influence on government policy, collectively they can make a real difference.” 

Global consumer goods company Unilever, alternative asset management group Tikehau Capital, and insurance and asset management group AXA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to creating an impact fund targeting the regenerative agriculture transition. “To convince investors, we need to reinvent the way we manage agricultural risk and measure impact locally, throughout the duration of the projects we fund. We hope that this initiative with Tikehau Capital and Unilever will be the first of many,” said Pascal Christory, AXA Group CIO. It will invest in solutions protecting soil health to enhance biodiversity, contributing to the future supply of regenerative ingredients, and unlocking technological solutions accelerating the transition to regenerative agriculture. “Through the launch of this fund, our goal is to pool resources, skills, and expertise to support the technological innovations and the changes of practices that are required to improve both soil and human health. The fund will help us to implement our climate plan, through which we aim to have €5 billion of assets under management by 2025 dedicated to addressing the climate emergency,” said Pierre Abadie, Group Climate Director at Tikehau Capital.  

BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has launched the Sustainable Asian Cities Bond fund. It offers investors exposure to multi-decade growth opportunities through sustainable urbanisation in Asia. “This is a focused and relevant theme to the future of Asia.  The region already accounts for more than half of the world’s population, and will likely experience increased urbanisation in the decades to come. Coupled with expected higher frequency and intensity of physical climate change impacts, we see great urgency for Asian cities to undergo sustainable change,” said Xuan Sheng Ou Yong, Green Bonds and ESG Analyst at BNPP AM. Classified as Article 9 under SFDR, the actively managed fund will target sustainable-labelled bonds where the potential use of proceeds aligns with sustainable city themes, such as clean transport and renewable energy. “We believe that the need for infrastructure development capital in Asia to make cities more sustainable is secular and long-term, taking place over several decades,” said Jean-Charles Sambor, Head of Emerging Market Fixed Income at BNPP AM.  

Investment group Eurazeo has provided an update on its Eurazeo Sustainable Maritime Infrastructure (ESMI) fund, which aims to support the global maritime industry’s transition to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. Classified as Article 9 under SFDR, the fund has so far raised €200 million, €70 million of which came from the European Investment Fund (EIF). Other investors include state organisations, insurers and international investors. The capital will be targeting investment opportunities in environmentally friendly technologies, alternative fuels, innovative port equipment and infrastructure, and assets supporting the development of offshore renewable energies. “Given the vast amount of goods transported across our oceans every day, it’s clear that the maritime industry needs to make a major contribution to our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy. “This transaction is therefore key for solid financing towards more sustainable vessels and port infrastructure and advance the development of offshore renewable energy.” 

The Cibus Funds, an investment manager specialising in sustainable food and agriculture investments, has acquired a majority stake in Australian vegetable seedlings business Withcott Seedlings. Through its Cibus Fund II, the firm will help the company enhance the use of automation technology for seeding, sorting, grafting, watering and feeding. “We partner with companies using innovative technology to disrupt food production, increase resource efficiency and ensure sustainability,” said Rob Appleby, CIO of The Cibus Funds. “Withcott Seedlings is an exemplar in the field of vegetable propagation and has experienced positive change by embracing technology. 

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