In brief: Desjardins backs new climate impact firm Idealist Capital

‘We want to give businesses the support they need to make this transition’, says Guy Cormier, chief executive of Desjardins, which is an LP in Idealist Capital’s debut climate fund.

Desjardins Group, a C$91 billion-AUM ($69 billion; €76 billion) Canadian co-operative banking giant, is backing a new climate-focused private equity firm’s debut fund.

Idealist Capital, formed in 2022, has reached a first close for the Idealist Climate Impact Fund on C$250 million. Joining Desjardins as LPs are several Canadian institutions including Investissement Québec, Fondaction, TD Bank and the National Bank of Canada, as well as “prominent family offices and accredited investors”, according to a statement from Idealist. The fund has a C$500 million hard-cap and will invest growth capital to decarbonise the energy, transport and industrial sectors.

“We see fast-tracking the energy transition as critically important to contain global warming and reduce the impacts on our members and communities. We want to give businesses the support they need to make this transition,” said Desjardins’ president and chief executive Guy Cormier.

The company is also raising a private equity impact fund targeting C$115 million, to which Desjardins has committed $50 million.