ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including Man GLG, UBS AM, Aon, Clean Growth Fund, Foresight, Azalea and SUSI Partners.
Man GLG, the investment management arm of Man Group, has launched a Sustainable Water and Circular Economy fund, which will apply a long-term, actively managed equity thematic investment strategy. Classified as Article 9 under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), the fund aims to positively contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), focusing on 6 (clean water and sanitation), 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land), and 12 (responsible consumption and production). “This launch responds to clear and growing demand from investors for ESG-focussed investment strategies that seek to deliver attractive returns while actively protecting and improving the environment,” said Teun Johnston, Man GLG’s CEO. The fund will invest in companies working to address water scarcity, improve the supply and treatment of high-quality water and address the challenges of the circular economy. It is available for investors in a UCITS structure and will be benchmarked against the MSCI World Index. “The preservation of water and natural capital is one of the defining challenges of our time,” said Yohan Terry, Portfolio Manager at Man GLG. “We are proud to be launching a thematically-focused investment strategy that seeks to truly make a difference by backing companies with innovative solutions to the environmental challenges we face, at the same time as employing a rigorous investment process that delivers alpha for our clients.”
UBS Asset Management and insurance firm Aon have co-developed the USB Global Equity Climate Transition fund. It will target companies that are well-positioned for the transition to a low-carbon economy and aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The fund will also invest in companies with revenues aligned with the UN SDGs relating to health, decent work, clean energy, climate action, and responsible consumption and production. UBS AM’s stewardship strategy, such as its outcomes-oriented corporate engagement programmed and voting policy, will underscore the fund’s objectives. “Our members want to protect their investments from the effects of climate change and to make a positive social impact, as well as supporting the transition to a low carbon economy in a sustainable way,” said Joanna Sharples, CIO at Aon DC Solutions.
The Clean Growth Fund, a venture capital fund investing in early-stage UK clean technology ventures, has announced its final close with £101 million; £31 million of which came from the Merseyside Pension Fund, Aviva Investors, the South Yorkshire Pension fund and Queens’ College Cambridge. “The Clean Growth Fund connects investors with the innovators who will give us the tools to make the step change necessary to get to net zero,” said George Graham, Director of the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority. The fund was first established in 2020, with funding from the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and investment manager CCLA. The clean tech companies it invests in are positively contributing to carbon emission reductions in industries, including power and energy, buildings, industry, transport, and waste. Over the past 15 months, it has invested in companies covering smart charging, low-carbon heating, grid services, renewable energy generation, and more. “Given our background in clean tech commercialisation, the Clean Growth Fund is an active investor; we will help companies in our portfolio to fully realise their business goals and so make a massive and positive contribution to the UK’s Net Zero goal, whilst at the same time deliver top quartile returns to our investors,” said Beverley Gower-Jones, Managing Partner of the Clean Growth Fund.
Listed infrastructure and private equity investment manager Foresight Capital Management has established the FP Foresight Sustainable Future Themes fund. It will invest in a global portfolio 20-40 scalable listed companies meeting its sustainability criteria for positive environmental and/or social impact. The fund will target capital growth over a five-year period and is available to all UK-based retail and institutional investors. Companies must derive 80% or more of their revenue from sustainable activities across themes, including energy, forestry, biodiversity, the circular economy, and health and education. “This fund gives investors an access point to invest in companies that we believe will deliver the best financial outcomes and the most tangible, real-world impact for sustainable development,” said Nick Scrullion, Partner at Foresight.
Azalea Investment Management, a Singapore-based private equity manager, has launched the Altrium Sustainability Fund (ASF I), which will invest in ESG-focused opportunities. The fund was co-seeded by Azalea and financial services company Singlife with Aviva, both committing an initial US$50 million. ASF I will back funds in scalable solutions solving pressing issues across five core themes: climate, resource management, healthcare, education, and financial inclusion. “Private equity is uniquely positioned to be a force for good through its long-term investment horizon and innate appetite for value creation,” said Margaret Lui, Azalea CEO. “Investing through a sustainability lens not only builds a forward-looking portfolio, it also assures enduring value, thus enhancing the likelihood of resilient returns.”
Swiss-based infrastructure fund manager SUSI Partners has set up a joint venture with Singapore-based developer Entoria Energy to build out their rooftop solar PV assets. Through its Asia Energy Transition fund (SAETF), SUSI has exclusive investment rights to Entoria’s Southeast Asian project pipeline, with an initial focus on Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.