Partners targets PE and real assets with debut impact fund

The fund, which has a $1bn hard-cap, will focus on education, healthcare, energy access, clean energy and social inclusion.

Partners Group has joined a growing number of firms moving into impact investing with the launch of a cross-asset fund targeting private equity, real estate, debt and infrastructure.

PG LIFE has a $1 billion hard-cap and will target deals in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across developed and emerging markets globally, a spokeswoman for the firm told Private Equity International. The vehicle will have a 75 percent allocation to equity and up to 25 percent to debt.

It will include a particular focus on education, healthcare, energy access, clean energy and social inclusion.

PG LIFE will deploy capital roughly in line with Partners Group’s existing strategies, the spokeswoman added. The firm invested $13.3 billion in private markets last year, of which 51 percent went to Europe, 36 percent to North America and the remainder to Asia-Pacific or rest of world.

Partners Group has created an impact committee that will review all investment opportunities approved by global investment committee to assess which are eligible for the impact fund, the spokeswoman said. The committee – which will comprise only existing staff – is led by partner and chairman of Asia Kevin Lu, who is joined by head of responsible investment Adam Heltzer.

An additional external PG LIFE International Advisory Council will advise the committee on impact methodology and strategy, according to a statement. Confirmed members include Vuk Jeremic, president of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, and Cesar Purisima, secretary of finance for the Philippines from 2010 to 2016. Urs Wietlisbach, co-founder of Partners Group, has also joined the LIFE Council.

“PG LIFE was launched in response to clients who asked us to build on our existing ESG integration capabilities and create a mainstream private markets fund delivering quantifiable social and environmental impact,” Lu said. “We believe there is a genuine interest from many long-term investors globally in such strategies as a potential complement to more traditional impact investment funds, which tend to be smaller-scale and focused on more niche investments.”

KKR and Goldman Sachs are also in market with impact funds, PEI reported in February. Bain Capital raised $390 million for its Double Impact Fund last year, having tapped former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick to lead the unit in 2015.