Specialist asset managers Impax has been awarded a multi-asset, multi-manager portfolio by Italian investment firm Quaestio Capital Management.
UK-listed Impax will run the €79m mandate based on its Global Opportunities strategy, which seeks to achieve long-term capital growth through investment in companies with sustainable competitive advantages and track records of consistent returns on investment, where the portfolio managers believe that these characteristics are not reflected in the share price.
In a statement, Impax said Quaestio selected the strategy based on how it integrates ESG. The Global Opportunities mandate uses the proprietary Impax Sustainability Lens to identify durable companies best positioned to seize opportunities and mitigate risks. The investment process includes a focus on the risks arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy, whilst seeking to harness the opportunities that it presents, Impax said.
The group already ran €68.7m for Quaestio and has allocated an additional €10m bringing the total to €79m.
Rachel Greenway (pictured), director, business development at Impax Asset Management, said: “We are honoured to have been awarded this mandate, which is testament to Impax’s unique approach, the investment philosophy of the Global Opportunities Strategy, and our rigorous ESG analysis. Five years ago, we decided to launch the GO strategy because, as the global economy shifts to become more sustainable, the set of related investment opportunities is expanding rapidly.”
CIO of Quaestio Christian Prinoth, also commented: “Impax is well recognised worldwide for its expertise in understanding investment opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable economy. ESG-analysis is clearly an integral part of the Impax investment process, and we wanted to offer our clients access to that.”
Last month, Sweden’s AP national pension fund AP7 increased its exposure to a portfolio run by Impax. The €60bn pension fund initially plunged €48.5m into a green impact mandate managed by Impax after a “lengthy tendering process” in 2018, and increased this to €135.8m in August, with the position now making up 2.3% of the AP7 portfolio.
Impax hires SJP responsible investment head
Meanwhile, Impax has also announced the hire of former St James’s Place head of responsible investment Emma Hunt as a senior client director.
Starting this week, Hunt will be in charge of overseeing Impax’s segregated mandates, as well as its fund clients and strategic distribution partners. She will report to Meg Brown, executive director of marketing and business development.
Hunt previously headed up the responsible investment teams at Mercer Investments and Willis Towers Watson, as well as being joint lead of Federated Hermes’ EOS team during her 25-year career.
She was recruited by SJP in January 2019 to lead the strategic and operational development of its responsible investment offering and enhance its stewardship capabilities in a move that was viewed as the wealth manager positioning itself to become a more ESG-friendly outfit.
Months before her arrival SJP had rebranded its sole ethical segregated mandate to the Sustainable and Responsible Equity fund and replaced manager Aberdeen Standard Investments with Impax. Since Impax took the lead in November 2018 the £1.3bn fund has outperformed its benchmark the MSCI ACWI, returning 28.4% against the index’s 21.9%.
Brown said she was pleased to welcome someone with Hunt’s “impressive track record working at the forefront of developments in stewardship, ESG and sustainable investment” to the Impax team.
“We are always looking at ways of deepening our partnerships with our clients and achieving their investment objectives and I am confident Emma will make an invaluable contribution as Impax continues to expand,” Brown said.
Hunt added: “I have known Impax for many years and am delighted to now be joining the team. The firm’s pioneering investment philosophy, which intentionally directs capital towards companies benefiting from the transition to a more sustainable economy, is more relevant today than ever before. I am looking forward to continuing to build and strengthen Impax’s long standing client relationships in the European and Asia-Pacific regions.”