COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber called Altérra, the $30 billion platform created by United Arab Emirates to invest in climate funds and projects, “a vehicle like no other” in a statement on Friday.
In terms of sheer size, he may well be right: Altérra has already committed $6 billion to climate funds managed by TPG, Brookfield Asset Management and BlackRock. These include the largest ever single LP commitment to an impact fund ($2 billion to Brookfield’s Global Transition Fund II) and anchor commitments to new emerging markets-focused funds by Brookfield, TPG and BlackRock. The firm “will aim to mobilise” $250 billion by 2030.
Here’s what we know about Altérra so far:
Of the $30 billion commitment, $25 billion is earmarked for “climate investments at scale” in a programme named Altérra Acceleration, which will make direct investments and commit to funds. The remaining $5 billion is catalytic capital focused on the Global South in a programme named Altérra Transformation. The vehicle’s website lists infrastructure, private equity, private debt and venture capital as relevant asset classes.
Altérra has been set up by Lunate, an asset management firm with more than 150 staff, according to the press release. Lunate itself was launched in September by private investment firm Chimera Investments – part of a vast Abu Dhabi conglomerate chaired by national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of the founder of the UAE and brother of current president.
Handed $50 billion AUM on launch, Lunate invests through LP commitments, co-investments and direct investments across private equity, venture capital, private credit, real assets, public equities and public credit, according to a statement issued at the time. Altérra’s did not specify whether its capital came directly from Lunate, Chimera or elsewhere.
Chimera Investments manages a number of private markets strategies, including a PE fund that takes minority stakes in financial services and fintech launched in December last year, and a VC fund launched in 2021.
Altérra will have a team of “specialist climate investment professionals who bring a strong track record of investing in emerging and developing markets”, according to the announcement, though it is not known how large the workforce will be, or how much independence it will have from Lunate. Lunate declined to comment when contacted by New Private Markets.
Altérra has a four-person leadership team, per its website. Al Jaber is to serve as chairman. An Emirati political and businessman, he is the UAE minister of industry and advanced technology head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and chairman of Masdar, the state-owned renewable energy company.
Since Altérra’s unveiling, it has been widely reported that Al Jaber claimed there to be “no science” behind the idea that a phase-out of fossil fuels is needed to restrict global heating to 1.5C. He since clarified his views at a press conference, stating that “the phase down and the phase out of fossil fuels is inevitable, in fact it is essential, and this transition is in fact essential and it needs to be orderly, fair, just and responsible”.
Majed Al Suwaidi is Altérra’s CEO. His LinkedIn page states that has spent the last 17 years at Tecom Group, a publicly-listed real estate company that develops strategic, sector-focused business districts across Dubai, per its website.
Hazeem Al Suwaidi is listed as a member. He is currently CEO of Borouge, an Abu Dhabi-based petrochemicals company, a position he has held since 2020.
Completing the leadership group is fellow member and Lunate co-managing partner Murtaza Hussain. Hussain has served as CIO of alternative investments at Abu Dhabi investment company ADQ since 2021, according to his LinkedIn page. He previously spent 11 years – latterly as managing director – at Abraaj Group, the emerging markets-focussed private equity firm that collapsed dramatically in 2018 following accusations of fraud.
The next item on Altérra’s agenda is developing a climate impact framework in a bid to ensure it is meeting its objectives. The firm is also looking to make further investments; it is considering allocating to an African onshore wind and solar PV energy platform and a rural electrification project in Latin America, per the statement.