PGB, the €18bn pension fund for the Dutch printing industry, has committed €20m to a microfinance fund launched by Actiam, the successor of SNS Asset Management.
The fund – the Actiam Institutional Microfinance Fund III – has been launched for six institutional investors, including the €13bn railways scheme SPF and the €3bn pension fund for public transport, SPOV.
The asset manager said the duration of the fund would be eight years and that the target return would be approximately 6%.
It added that total commitments were €130m to date.
Rob Heerkens, board member for investments at PGB, said: “We consider microfinance as a deliberate choice for ESG investment.”
The industry-wide scheme previously invested €8m in a predecessor of the Actiam fund.
According to Jacques Kappé, SRI portfolio manager at SPF Beheer (the asset manager for SPF and SPOV), the new fund ties in with its clients’ desire to affect social and sustainable change against an acceptable return.
“With a return of more than 5%, Actiam’s first microfinance fund fully met our expectations, and also demonstrated its social impact,” he said.
However, Kappé declined to disclose the size of SPF and SPOV’s commitments to Actiam’s new fund.
Theo Brouwers, director at Actiam Impact Investing, said the social and financial returns of these microfinance funds met market expectations.
“Financially, the returns are at the same level as from regular funds with a similar risk profile,” he said.
“However, in this case, both the investor and the investment target receive a social return.”
Within Actiam, Actiam Impact Investing focuses on socially relevant corporate activities, such as microfinance, small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries and clean energy.