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EAPF commits £85m to new Ownership Capital fund

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The Environment Agency Pension Fund (EAPF) has committed £85m (€106m) to a new long-term equity fund launched by Ownership Capital.

The $750m (€578m) fund, still conducting its first round of capital raising, has attracted mandates from four pension investors, with the £6.5bn scheme for employees of Unilever and the UK’s Pensions Trust also named.

Mark Mansley, CIO at the EAPF, said his fund was impressed by Ownership’s commitment to stewardship and responsible investment and noted that it was implementing the recommendation’s of the UK’s Kay Review by focusing its portfolio on 20-30 stocks.

He told IPE the EAPF had committed £85m to the strategy, which would form part of the scheme’s 25% allocation to sustainable investments.

Ownership was launched in 2012 after four of PGGM’s responsible equity team, including its head Alex van der Velden, left the pension manager.

Van der Velden, now the company’s CIO, said much of the asset management industry was “overly short-termist”, an issue Ownership hoped to address

“We are excited to have the backing of such highly rated investors as Unilever, the Pensions Trust and the EAPF, and look forward to investing on their behalf,” he said. 

The fund will target returns over a decade-long period, the company said.

Dutch manager SPF Beheer has recently enjoyed some success with more concentrated equity portfolios, while both the EAPF and the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment have highlighted the opportunities stemming from a more long-term investment approach.

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