Singlife With Aviva ‘seeking responsible investment opportunities’ with $50m seed in ESG fund of funds

Temasek subsidiary Azalea has launched an ESG fund of funds to back ‘managers committed to investing purposefully to create lasting positive environmental and social impact’.

Singaporean insurance company Singlife With Aviva has invested $50 million into an ESG-focused fund of funds launched by Temasek subsidiary Azalea Investment Management.

“We are actively seeking responsible investment opportunities,” Pearlyn Phau, group chief executive of Singlife, said in a statement announcing its investment. “Singlife is committed to creating a long-term positive impact through our sustainability agenda. We also want to contribute to Singapore’s net-zero goal by 2050.”

Azalea’s new fund, known as Altrium Sustainability Fund I, will invest in buyout and growth funds addressing problems in climate, resource management, healthcare, education and financial inclusion through “scalable, commercial solutions”, according to a statement from Azalea and Singlife. Azalea is targeting “PE market returns” and has also invested $50 million in ASF I.

Singlife With Aviva – named after Singlife acquired Aviva Singapore in a S$2.7 billion ($2 billion; €1.8 billion) deal in 2020 – had assets worth S$15.5 billion in December 2020. “In addition to ASF I, Singlife has also recently seeded two sustainable funds and will continue to pursue ESG-focused investments,” the statement said.

One of these seedings was in Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ first Green Credit fund, which launched in February 2022 with a €1 billion target. The other investment was not disclosed. Singlife is focused on “making significant impact through our investments”, its group chief investment officer, Kim Rosenkilde, said in a statement about the CIP fund’s launch.

“Investors share our vision to drive positive impact through collaboration with multi-fund managers,” said Azalea’s chief executive, Margaret Lui, in this week’s statement. “The principles of ESG are at the core of Azalea’s mandate. Since its inception in 2015, Azalea has been designing products and platforms to promote financial inclusiveness in private equity.

“Investing through a sustainability lens not only builds a forward-looking portfolio, it also assures enduring value, thus enhancing the likelihood of resilient returns.”

ASF I will seek “funds with managers that invest in companies that not only incorporate ESG factors in business decisions, but are also committed to investing purposefully to create lasting positive environmental and social impact”, the statement said.

Azalea is a private equity funds investor wholly owned by Seviora Holdings, which is wholly owned by Temasek. ASF I is its third managed fund: Azalea raised $650 million for the 2019-vintage Altrium Private Equity Fund I and $805 million for the 2021-vintage APEF II.

Azalea and Singlife with Aviva declined to comment for this story.