Fund Solutions

This Week’s Fund News: RLAM Sustainable Growth Fund to Target Equities, Fixed Income

ESG Investor’s weekly round-up of news about funds designed to meet sustainable investing criteria, including RLAM, LOIM, Synthesis, Putnam, Victory Hill, and DWS. 

Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) has this week announced the launch of its Sustainable Growth Fund. The fund aims to combine RLAM’s expertise in fixed income and equities to capitalise on the undervaluation of companies which it thinks can positively impact the environment and wider society. Mike Fox, Head of Sustainable Investments and Co-Portfolio Manager of the fund, said: “We consistently find companies that are attractive from a sustainability perspective are undervalued by the market, leading to exceptional opportunities for investors to benefit from the returns available whilst meeting their risk and sustainability requirements.” The fund will invest in fixed income assets and global equity over a period of 3 to 5 years and launches with £100 million in AUM. “Demand for sustainable and responsible investment solutions continues to grow, with investors more aware than ever of the importance and merits of tackling the world’s challenges in addition to accessing attractive returns,” said Rob Williams, Chief Distribution Officer at RLAM. 

Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) has announced the first closing of its Sustainable Private Credit strategy as the company aims to advance its transition to net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The strategy has been labelled as Article 9 under the EU’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The Environmental Agency Pension Fund (EAPF), which manages approximately £4.5 billion in assets, has committed to the strategy with LOIM which aims to provide diversified US-based climate transition-oriented industries with bilateral senior secured private loans. Ritesh Bamania, LOIM’s Head of UK & Ireland International Sales, said: “The EAPF is recognised for its strong sustainability focus and we are excited to be working together with them as a key partner […] Our strategy seeks to deliver both these traditional objectives and a sustainability tilt to help accelerate the transition to net zero.” 

Synthesis Capital, a UK-based global food technology and alternative protein investor, has launched the world’s largest dedicated food technology venture capital fund: Synthesis Capital Fund I. Synthesis manages over US$300 million in assets and intends to use the new capital to stimulate and support business innovation in the food tech business and alternative protein technology platforms. The fund will be invested globally and is currently targeting investments in 15 companies with an average US$15 million investment in each. The fund will be managed by Jeremy Coller through CPT Capital. Costa Yiannoulis, Co-Founder of Synthesis Capital said: “In order to transform our food system to feed ten billion people by 2050 […] these new food technologies and platforms are imperative.” 

Putnam Investments, a Boston-based investment management firm with US$180 billion in AUM, has announced it is rebranding the existing Putnam RetirementReady Funds series as Putnam Sustainable Retirement Funds. The funds’ use ESG principles and strategies and will offer five-year vintages from 2025 to 2065 along with a maturity fund, investing in active ETFs advised by Putnam. Putnam has been expanding its sustainable investing since 2017, launching two ESG-focused mutual funds in 2018 and launching its first sustainable portfolios in an active ETF format in 2021. Robert L. Reynolds, President and CEO of Putnam Investments, said: “Putnam Sustainable Retirement Funds will combine our commitment to two of our firm’s key focus areas in the marketplace – sustainable investing and helping individuals prepare for retirement.”  

Victory Hill Capital, a UK-based private asset investment and advisory business, has announced a commitment of an additional £28 million to acquire a flexible power plant in Durham, UK. The site will have a high efficiency 35 megawatt (MW) combined heat power with carbon capture and re-use plant to provide a clean electricity solution that contributes to the UK’s energy transition. Construction of the plant is expected to begin in August 2022 and will be the second project Victory Hill have undertaken, following the construction of a 10MW plant in Nottingham, UK. Richard Lum, Co-CIO of Victory Hill Capital Advisors, said: “The UK’s plans to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050 are ambitious. Increasing capacity for dependable net zero power generation is critical if we are to achieve this goal, and all the more important if we are also to address the current energy crunch that we are experiencing. The challenge of meeting growing energy demand without resorting to excessive levels of harmful fossil fuels particularly from questionable sources, all in a cost-effective way, is more acute than ever.” 

German asset management company DWS has secured green energy for landlord-controlled energy supplies for 150 buildings held in in its European Real Estate portfolio. DWS will save approximately 130,000 tonnes of CO2 over the contract term, bringing the total number of DWS-held European buildings supplied by green energy to almost 300. DWS has centralised to just one energy provider per country in order to streamline and improve efficiency in both management and reporting. Suppliers selected are digital-enabled to allow for e-billing and automated streaming of consumption to translate easily through ESG data platforms to bolster reporting to investors. Benita Schneider, DWS’ Head of Real Estate Asset Management for Europe, said: “This Green Energy Procurement programme closes the gap on our European properties that are already using green energy. Ensuring that almost all of our 300 European properties will use renewable energy in our landlord-controlled areasmarks a further commitment to climate protection.”  

The practical information hub for asset owners looking to invest successfully and sustainably for the long term. As best practice evolves, we will share the news, insights and data to guide asset owners on their individual journey to ESG integration.

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