PG Impact pivots to PE

PG Impact Investments, an offshoot from private markets giant Partners Group, has hired Kayode Akinola, a former KKR chief, to lead its first foray into direct private equity.

PGII’s $300 million Climate Growth Fund will aim for “market-rate returns” by investing in North American and European climate companies, Akinola tells New Private Markets.

This is the first time PGII has sought to raise third-party capital for a private equity fund. The firm was created by Partners Group co-founders Urs Wietlisbach and Alfred Gantner, and Peter Wuffli, then chairman of Partners Group, in 2015. It previously invested in funds and direct private debt with a social impact mandate.

Read the full story here.

Taking impact to the bank

The US Impact Investing Alliance is calling for an impact bank “to flow capital into positive impact infrastructure projects and companies”, its president Fran Seegull tells New Private Markets. That’s among a raft of “inclusive economic growth” policy ideas for the Biden-Harris administration. The proposal, which doesn’t go into detail on policy, already has the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and a slew of other non-profits onboard.

Among the various proposals, it calls for “a clarification of the fiduciary duty standards about the permissibility of investing with impact” for charities and foundations, said Seegull. Pension funds and charities in the US may be prohibited from considering ESG and non-financial criteria under ERISA and UPMIFA laws. The coalition calls for clarification on this point.

What next? Signatories of the proposal now hope to work with policymakers to develop these ideas into policies as the administration turns its attention from immediate pandemic relief to long term economic transformation.

Apax into impact

In case you missed it: we broke the news this week that Apax Partners, a venerable name in the world of private equity, is plotting to raise a global impact fund. It will join a growing group of buyout heavyweights that have launched separate impact vehicles. We have little detail on the strategy as yet, but we do know it will be co-lead by Alykhan Nathoo, a 10-year partner at Helios Investment Partners, who will join the firm in mid-May. Full story here.

KKR tools up for the transition

The listed private markets giant has poached a team of renewable energy specialists from Capital Dynamics (press release). Tim Short and Benoit Allehaut join the firm’s global infrastructure team as managing directors and Benjamin Drox joins as principal. “Tim, Benoit and Ben’s deep expertise and experience in renewables, storage and electrification will greatly contribute to our investments in support of a clean energy future,” said Brandon Freiman, KKR’s head of North American infrastructure.

KKR is already a renewable energy player. Last year it invested $2 billion across a series of renewable energy agreements with energy provider NextEra and NestEra Energy Partners, reports affiliate title Buyouts, which first broke the hire story last month (registration or subscription required).

WTW signs up

Willis Towers Watson, the listed financial services firm, has joined the net zero push, committing to a 50 percent net greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2030 and to reach net zero by 2050 (press release). This is across its $166 billion of delegated assets under management, $17 billion of which is in private equity, private debt and real assets. This target puts it in line with other net zero-focused organisations.

Dig deeper on net zero here.