Rest backs energy transition in latest impact investment

27 February 2024
| By Jessica Penny |
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Rest has made an initial investment of $150 million into an international listed equities mandate with global investment manager Ninety One, marking its first impact investment in the listed equities asset class.

The mandate aims to achieve long-term total returns by investing in companies that are expected to contribute to the transition to a lower-carbon global economy, with a focus on three key areas of decarbonisation: renewable energy, resource efficiency, and electrification.

Rest made its initial impact investments into the unlisted infrastructure Palisade Impact Fund, with specialist private equity firm ARCHIMED, and made a commitment to the agriculture-focused Cibus II Fund earlier this month.

Kiran Singh, Rest’s head of listed assets, said that impact investments are expected to help drive the 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,” Singh commented.

“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.”

Singh added that listed impact investment opportunities can be an exciting prospect for superannuation funds.

Namely, while impact investors are more often associated with private markets, new strategies and opportunities in public markets are continuing to emerge.

“We believe listed equities can play an important role in meeting our objective of a 1 per cent allocation to impact investments across the fund’s total portfolio by 2026, and can complement our existing private market impact investments,” Singh said.

Justin Cowper, head of institutional business for Ninety One in Asia Pacific and the Middle East, commented: “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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