Nuveen has secured $150m (€129m) in commitments for a first close of a private equity strategy aiming to help foster inclusive growth and resource efficiency, with one-third coming from Danish pensions provider Velliv.

The asset manager is targeting a $400m offering for the Global Impact Strategy, which targets direct private equity investments in growth stage companies in developed and emerging markets that Nuveen considers “are at an inflection where [it] can help them scale”.

For the inclusive growth theme Nuveen will primarily pursue investments in the emerging markets, while the developed markets will be the primary focus for investments enabling “disruptive businesses that create efficiency and reduced waste”.

Velliv has invested via Nuveen for several years, and CIO Anders Stensbøl Christiansen said the provider was “delighted to further strengthen our relationship”.

“Now more than ever, there is a compelling case for impact investing, and we believe this strategy provides us with an appealing market opportunity to achieve competitive returns, whilst ensuring we are also achieving measurable impact goals,” he added.

According to Nuveen, the strategy will support six of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with “a combined focus on both investment performance and advancement on issues relating to the SDGs […] an important motivation or investors”.

David Haddad, co-head of private markets impact investing at Nuveen, said: “We are seeing attractive investment opportunities at a time of tremendous dislocation in the economy, allowing us to collaborate with businesses focused on creating scalable and commercially viable products that are focused on solutions for people and planet.”

Nuveen’s parent company TIAA also committed to the global impact strategy first closing; no further participating investors were identified by name.

Velliv was not able to respond to questions from IPE. The provider has moved to mutual status from being a subsidiary of the bank Nordea, and in December, when this transition was complete, it said: “Being 100%-customer-owned and as an integral part of the Danish business community, Velliv will focus on social responsibility to a higher degree.”

Earlier this year it launched a pension saving product pitching a strong focus on the investments’ social and environmental footprint. An upcoming fully digital pension product targeting small firms and the self-employed will feature sustainable investment profile choices.

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