Nuveen Secures $150M For Its Impact Investment Fund

By McCord Pagan
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Law360 (July 21, 2020, 10:44 PM EDT) -- Global asset management group Nuveen announced the initial close Tuesday on $150 million for an impact investment fund whose goals include addressing inequality and climate change.

The investment manager's Nuveen Global Impact Fund LP secured the commitments as part of its $400 million target for the fund. Nuveen's fund will look to back solutions to global challenges like inequality and resource inefficiency.

"The current global pandemic heightens the need for investment in mitigating accelerated climate change, pollution and waste, and in creating a more inclusive economy addressing inequality," Rekha Unnithan, co-head of private markets impact investing at Nuveen, said in a statement Tuesday.

"Low-income individuals have been hit the hardest by COVID-19, further widening the equality gap as the lack of access to quality and affordable services like education, health and financial products is more starkly visible than ever," she added.

Nuveen said the fund will support six of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty, hunger, health and climate action.

Nuveen said investment performance as well as addressing development goals helped motivate Danish pension fund Velliv to commit $50 million to the fund.

"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," Anders Stensbøl Christiansen, chief investment officer at Velliv, said in the statement.

The practice of impact investing is no longer novel, and limited partners have warmed up to the idea that considering environmental, social and governance issues in their investments does not necessarily mean less-than-stellar returns.

According to the Global Impact Investing Network's 2019 Annual Impact Investor Survey, 82% of the 229 respondents said their investments have met expectations for impact, and 76% said their investments have met expectations for financial performance. Roughly 15% said their investments had outperformed expectations for both of those categories.

A spokesperson for Nuveen and Velliv did not immediately respond to a request for further comment Tuesday.

Counsel information for the deal was not available.

--Additional reporting by Benjamin Horney. Editing by Janice Carter Brown.

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