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Rest notches first impact investment in decarbonising companies

Yasmine Masi27 February 2024
Rest impact investment Cibus

Australian superannuation fund, Rest, has made its first impact investment of $150 million into an international listed equities mandate from investment manager, Ninety One, focusing on companies contributing to the low-carbon economy transition.

The third impact investment made by Rest after the unlisted infrastructure Palisade Impact Fund and the agriculture-centred Cibus II Fund, this investment will focus on three main areas of decarbonisation, including renewable energy, resource efficiency and electrification.

Kiran Singh, Head of Listed Assets at Rest, said the investment was timely for the fund given the expectation of impact investments to propel “innovation and new technologies needed to enable the energy transition to net zero by 2050”.

“Through these investments, we aim to help our members grow their retirement savings with strong, long-term investment returns and also generate measurable positive environmental impacts,” he said.

“The transition to a lower-carbon economy is presenting us with new investment opportunities to accelerate returns for our members’ retirements. We believe it’s very important that our members have exposure to companies with growth leveraged to decarbonisation solutions.

“While impact investments are more commonly found in private markets, the opportunities in public markets are rapidly evolving, with new strategies and opportunities constantly emerging.

“We believe listed equities can play an important role in meeting our objective of a one per cent allocation to impact investments across the fund’s total portfolio by 2026, and can complement our existing private market impact investments.”

Justin Cowper, Head of Institutional Business for Ninety One in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, said more investors are on the lookout for opportunities that deliver suitable returns while driving measurable sustainable outcomes.

“Sustainability is becoming more important to forward-thinking Australian Institutional investors, such as Rest, who are pursuing strong returns in investments that are also expected to positively contribute to measurable environmental outcomes to make the world a better place.

“We are fully aligned with this philosophy and as such, are ecstatic to have partnered with Rest on our Global Environment Equity Strategy, which looks to provide superior investment returns in the medium to long term through its focus on decarbonisation.

“We look forward to partnering more with Rest as they continue to evolve their market-leading thinking on what is an essential topic for all investors.”

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