Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: Mediolanum Picks KBI, Pictet for Circular Fund

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including Mediolanum, KBI Global Investors, Pictet Asset Management, Invesco, Nuveen, SWEN Capital Partners and SIS Ventures.

 Mediolanum International Funds has launched its Mediolanum Circular Opportunities Fund in partnership with KBI Global Investors and Pictet Asset Management. The fund’s objective is to achieve long-term capital growth through the selection of companies that contribute to the transition towards a sustainable circular economy, a model that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design. The fund will invest in a diversified portfolio of global equity securities through an active multi-manager approach.  At launch, KBI and Pictet will be the main delegate managers, with additional AUM allocation invested in target funds. Mediolanum said the fund’s combination of different, low correlated, yet complimentary investment approaches would create a highly diverse portfolio with a strong focus on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The fund will be classified as Article 9 under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation with “significant alignment” to eight SDGs. The fund will be managed and overseen by David Whitehead, Equity Portfolio Manager on Mediolanum multi manager team, responsible for ensuring that the product outcome meets client expectations, including positive impact. Mediolanum International Funds is the European asset management platform of Mediolanum Banking Group.

Invesco has launched its Invesco Environmental Climate Opportunities (ECO) Bond Fund, which offers UK investors income and growth while supporting the transition to a low-carbon global economy. The Invesco ECO Bond Fund will combine traditional credit research with corporate climate analysis to invest in a diversified portfolio of bonds issued by companies with strong climate characteristics. It will target predominantly corporate issuers in the investment grade, high yield and emerging markets sectors, but also includes government bonds for risk management and liquidity purposes. The fund will take a “multi-pronged and pragmatic approach” to climate investing, investing in issuers with low emissions; those with high emissions that have significant potential to reduce their carbon output; green, transition and sustainability-linked bonds that aim to raise funds for climate-friendly projects; and companies that have made commitments to net zero carbon emissions. It will be managed by Michael Matthews, Co-Head of the Henley Fixed Interest team, and Tom Hemmant, fixed income fund manager, drawing also on the climate expertise of Invesco’s ESG team, led by Cathrine de Coninck-Lopez. Invesco’s bespoke Climate Comparator, which measures a wide range of climate indicators such as CO2 data and third-party assessments, will help identify investment opportunities among businesses performing well compared to others in their sector when it comes to climate change.

Global investment manager Nuveen has closed Nuveen Global Impact Fund, its first private equity impact fund, having secured US$218 million from a diverse mix of global investors. The fund aims to generate strong financial returns while addressing climate change and inequality. The fund will target investments that enable disruptive businesses to reduce waste and use resources in a circular manner, improving energy efficiency and reducing emissions. In addition, it will target investments that expand access to and reduce the cost of basic products and services for under-served consumers. Nuveen takes an active approach to impact management, working with portfolio companies to both better understand the social and environmental outcomes of their companies’ products, services, and operations; and actively working with them to improve those outcomes. “There is an immediate opportunity to drive positive influence on some of world’s most pressing problems relating to climate change and inequality,” said Rekha Unnithan, Co-head of Private Markets Impact Investing at Nuveen. “We are proud to build on our momentum from our initial fund closing in 2020 and look forward to engaging with more companies that meet our investors’ values and market views.”

SWEN Capital Partners, a provider of unlisted sustainable investment solutions, has raised a further €43 million from institutional investors globally for its Blue Ocean Fund in its latest funding round. The fund now stands at €95 million, making it one of the leading venture capitalist funds worldwide dedicated to ocean health. Launched less than six months ago, the fund aims to raise €120 million this year.  BPI, the French Sovereign Investment Fund and Ifremer, the National Institute for Ocean Science, are among the latest investors to back the Blue Ocean strategy, joining pension funds, insurance companies, banks and family offices from Europe and the US. The Blue Ocean Fund was launched at the World Conservation Congress in September of last year, with a specific focus on tackling three major issues effecting ocean health today: pollution, over-fishing, and climate change. It will deploy €120 million across 20 to 25 innovative start-ups companies dedicated to issues such as sustainable aquaculture, ocean data, plant and cell-based seafood, alternatives to single-use plastic, renewable marine energies and decarbonisation of maritime transport.

SIS Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Social Investment Scotland (SIS), is launching a second round of fundraising to attract up to £5 million to scale its support for high impact potential early-stage businesses. SIS Ventures’ Impact First fund offers tax-efficient financial returns alongside impact returns by investing equity into Scotland-based businesses aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals. The fund has already invested around £1.3 million into eight high impact and high growth potential businesses and continues to deploy £5 million Scottish Government funding into a strong pipeline of impactful businesses. This second Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) fundraise presents an opportunity for investors to support both existing Impact First investees to grow through follow-on funding rounds, as well as invest in new, early-stage businesses.

 

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