EUROPE – AP3, one of Sweden's five national buffer funds, has invested $50m (€38.3m) in a new global credit fund run by Generation Investment Management, as part of the pension fund's sustainable investment strategy.
The fund management company was co-founded in 2004 by former US vice-president Al Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for work in counteracting climate change.
Kerstin Hessius, chief executive at AP3, said: "This is a further step in AP3's strategy to invest in sustainable investments."
She said the fund manager had a strong track record of integrating sustainability in its investment decisions.
The SEK233bn (€27bn) Swedish fund said Generation's new global credit fund focused on companies that require debt financing for growth purposes.
It aims to build relationships with companies "embracing sustainability challenges and opportunities", including the transfer to a low-carbon economy, AP3 said.
The fund is expected to include sectors such as energy efficiency, waste to energy, water treatment and solutions, healthcare and disposable and bio-based environment packages, according to AP3, which described itself as an anchor investor in the fund.
"This is an investment in companies with focus on sustainability challenges and opportunities, and that are typically unable to access the wider capital markets," said Hessius.
Before this, AP3 had invested in World Bank Green Bonds, she said, adding that AP3 had put a total of SEK2.05bn into sustainable fixed income investments, including this latest one.
Proceeds of World Bank Green Bonds are used to finance climate mitigation management and adaptation projects in countries where the World Bank is active.
In other news, Danish pensions group Unipension is now shelving plans to take a 25% stake in pensions administration joint venture Forca, and outsource service and advice for the three professional pension schemes it runs.
The two parties could not find terms that satisfied them both, they said.
In April, Forca and Unipension signed a letter of intent to cooperate over pensions administration, saying they would analyse whether there would be an economic benefit in working together.
Mette Carstad, chairman at Unipension, said: "Regardless of the conclusion, the analysis phase has been really good and constructive, and a very professional piece of work was carried out."
Unipension's strategy was to continue securing the future of the pension funds, so their members could get the best pensions, she said.
Carsten Koch, chairman at Forca, said: "We are obviously annoyed by the cooperation not going through this time around."
Forca is a great business that reduces administrative costs for its existing customers, he said, adding that this work would continue.
Plans announced in April had involved Unipension taking a 25% stake in Forca, joining Forca's existing owners – teachers' pension fund Lærernes Pension, the five pension funds administered by PKA and Pædagogernes Pensionskasse (PBU), the Danish pension fund for education practitioners.
Forca was to manage Unipension's service and advice work, with investment and administration remaining the work of Unipension's investment arm Unipension Fondsmæglerselskab.
Some Unipension employees would have been moved to Forca, while others would have been retained in-house.
Unipension said in April that some redundancies would be unavoidable as a result of the outsourcing deal.
The three pension funds run by Unipension are the Architects' Pension Fund (AP), the Pension Fund for Danish MAs, MScs and PhDs (MP) and the Pension Fund for Agricultural Academics and Veterinary Surgeons (PJD).