WWF and Ogier back Climate Impact Asia Fund
Ogier has advised WWF-Hong Kong on the restructuring and updating of the fund legal documents for The Climate Impact Asia Fund SP.
The Climate Impact Asia Fund is managed by Milltrust International in partnership with WWF-Hong Kong, who acts as the fund's environmental consultant. The fund completed its redomiciliation onto the Milltrust International Investments SPC platform on the 30 March 2021, after the preceding CIAF fund strategy generated 41 per cent for investors since its inception in January 2020, outperforming the MSCI Asia Pacific Index by 14 per cent over the same period.
The fund was also awarded "Impact initiative of the year: Asia" by Environmental Finance in 2020.
Ogier assisted in documenting WWF‘s role with respect to the fund as well as inputting to the fund documents from a climate and impact perspective. The fund focuses on long only equity investments in the Asia Pacific region with a defined "climate universe", investing in companies that contribute towards the adaptation or mitigation of climate change and/or the transition to a low carbon economy.
Kate Hodson, partner in Ogier’s investment funds team in Hong Kong and Head of ESG (legal) for the firm, says: "Partnerships between investment managers and non-governmental organisations in the impact investment and environmental, social and governance investing space can be extremely powerful. Such partnerships can bring the necessary in-depth environmental and conservation expertise to enhance the ability to achieve environmental and social goals alongside financial objectives. The involvement of NGOs can also provide additional comfort to investors that the impact elements of the strategy will be upheld and robustly defended.”
As a secondary impact, the CIAF also supports WWF-Hong Kong’s conservation programmes in Asia through meaningful donations from the advisory fees that Milltrust receives.
Hodson says: "The donations out of the investment advisor’s fees is indicative of a move by NGOs to find new funding streams through impact investing. This is a pioneering strategy that can be very attractive for investors who are looking to increase the depth and impact of their sustainable investments."
Alexander Kalis, Managing Partner and Head of Investments, Sustainability & Impact at Milltrust International, who leads the fund’s investments with Henry Soediarko, says: "The Climate Impact Asia Fund stands as one of the first climate impact funds dedicated to the Asia Pacific region. The region is home to many of the greatest businesses and leading innovators that will be needed in the coming years to meet the region’s net zero pledges.”
Jean-Marc Champagne, WWF-Hong Kong’s Head of Environmental Finance & Bankable Nature Solutions Asia, says: “The fund is one of WWF’s impact initiatives and is linked to the Asia-Pacific Bankable Nature Solutions hub embedded within WWF-Hong Kong’s Environmental Finance Unit. This linkage allows the fund to leverage WWF’s broad network of invaluable technical and scientific expertise in the region.”
Ogier established its sustainable investing and impact funds practice in 2019. In 2020 Ogier Global launched its ESG and Impact advisory service to support clients, including asset managers, on integration, strategy, impact assessment and to navigate ESG policy and regulation.