Bridges enters emerging markets with UBS partnership

Fund launch marks a new strategy for impact specialist Bridges, atypically investing outside the UK.

Bridges Fund Management, one of the pioneers of impact investing, is going global. The 20-year-old impact firm has launched a fund for emerging and middle-income markets – a departure from its usual focus on UK social impact.

Bridges has struck a partnership with UBS Asset Management for this fund: UBS is an investor and will also market the fund to its private wealth clients, a source familiar with the partnership told New Private Markets. This is a model that UBS has used with several other impact funds, such as with MPM Capital’s second oncology fund last year.

The fund is a social outcomes strategy, which involves financing social projects and generating returns through financial rewards from governments or stakeholders for achieving social KPIs. It will invest in sectors such as education, healthcare and climate.

This is not Bridges’ first foray outside the UK. The firm allocated “a small portion” of its £350 million fifth property fund, which closed earlier this year, to European opportunities. It also has a $63 million US-focused buyout fund that closed in 2016. Co-founder and chief executive Michele Giddens told New Private Markets last year about the firm’s ambition to recruit more global LPs.

Bridges manages buyout, fixed income, real estate and social outcomes strategies. Bridges declined to comment for this story.