Nuveen closes debut impact fund below target

The asset management giant was originally targeting $400m for its first private equity impact fund.

Investment management firm Nuveen has closed its first private equity impact fund on $218 million, undershooting its initial target of $400 million. The firm held a first close for the Nuveen Global Impact Fund back in July 2020 on $150 million and has so far made two investments from the fund.

In a statement about the fundraise, Rekha Unnithan, co-head of private markets impact investing at Nuveen, said she was “proud to build on the momentum” of the 2020 first close. Nuveen did not respond to a request for comment on the length of time it took to raise the fund or why it closed below its initially stated target.

The strategy of the impact fund is to generate “strong financial returns” while addressing “two of the greatest sustainable development challenges: climate change and inequality,” the firm said in a statement.

The fund’s first deal, which was announced in October 2020, was a growth equity investment into Advanced Battery Concepts, a company with technolgy that “improves the performance, cost, and resource intensity of lead-acid batteries while preserving full recyclability,” Nuveen said at the time. In March last year, Nuveen made its second investment from the fund into Indian microfinance business Annapurna Finance Private Limited. Annapurna is one of the largest microfinance institutions in India, serving over 1.7 million mostly female entrepreneurs with small working capital loans in rural areas, said Nuveen.

Unnithan, who has been with Nuveen since 2012, leads the private equity impact effort alongside co-head David Haddad, who joined the firm in 2019 from mid-market PE firm Olympus Partners.

Nuveen is an asset management giant, with $1.3 trillion in assets under management across various asset classes. It’s biggest strategies are fixed income, equities and real estate, which account for more than $1 trillion of its AUM. The firm says it manages over $5.8 billion across all of its public and private markets impact investing strategies.