Impact mergers continue with UK-based M&G taking a majority stake in Swiss impact investor responsAbility.
Founded in 2003, the Swiss impact firm has $US3.5 billion under management, and since inception has invested $US11 billion into impact investments.
Australian pension fund, Christian Super, became responsAbility’s first international shareholder when it took a 10% stake in 2019, as part of their impact investing strategy, and they confirmed they’d sold the holding in this round.
“Our investment was based on a number of factors including responsAbility’s strong business and impact fundamentals, diverse market and sector exposure, as well as a thesis that there would be a strong likelihood of increased demand from mainstream investors for established impact investment managers and products over time. With the recently announced M&G acquisition, this thesis has well and truly played out, resulting in an excellent investment return outcome for Christian Super members. The transaction also provides a strong signal for the continued maturation and growth of the impact investing sector.” Says Ross Piper, CEO of Christian Super.
M&G claim to have acquired 90% of the company, with the remainder ‘a formality’.
The deal will boost M&G’s exposure to emerging markets through responsAbility’s pioneering work in impact investing where it’s needed most. The firm is focussed on private equity and private debt, with the bulk of their investments being in developing markets. They stretch across 273 companies in 68 countries, with the SDG’s being the key impact framework guiding their investments.
It’s guided by three key impact themes: Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population.
M&G is an international investment and lending behemoth, with £370 billion under management. The firm is making a concerted drive towards sustainability and impact investing.
“This acquisition strengthens M&G’s position in the rapidly growing market for sustainable investments, especially in the exciting area of emerging markets. It also accelerates the growth of our private assets franchise and augments our European institutional distribution.” Says John Foley, Chief Executive of M&G.
responsAbility will retain its own brand and its headcount, and won’t move from Zurich. And CEO Rochus Mommartz will stay at the helm.
“We are excited to join forces with M&G, as this will bring our vision for impact investing to the next level. M&G’s financial strength, distribution network and its strong commitment to sustainability will accelerate our endeavours to meet the massive unmet demand in developing countries and the needs for climate finance. Together we can achieve an even more meaningful contribution to a sustainable world.” Says Rochus Mommartz.