Health and community services super fund HESTA has announced today it is committing an additional USD$200 million ($290.8 million) to its sustainability-focused private investment program run in partnership with London-based firm Stafford Capital Partners.
The move will see HESTA’s Sustainable Capital Investment Trust (HSCIT) hit USD$450 million ($653.1 million) in capital, which will be used to invest in lower-mid-market private equity businesses.
The investments must align with at least one of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals targeting good health and well-being, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, climate action, clean water sanitation, as well as decent work and economic growth.
According to HESTA, which now manages almost $70 billion following the completion of its merger with Brisbane-based Mercy Super one month ago, its sustainable growth option returned 10.39 per cent as at 30 June 2022.
Current investments include US-based digital freight network Convoy, which efficiently connects shippers to carriers in order to reduce carbon emissions, as well as Gogoro - a Taiwanese provider of electric scooters, replaceable battery packs and battery change stations.
“We continue to look for ways to invest in opportunities arising out of the need to transition to a lower carbon and more sustainable future,” HESTA CIO Sonya Sawtell-Rickson said.
“Through private equity investments like this we’re supporting innovative, cutting-edge companies grow and develop their businesses to deliver sustainability solutions at greater scale to the market.
“This is helping us to provide strong, long-term returns for HESTA members while also having a positive impact on progressing global sustainable development goals.”
Originally founded in Sydney, Stafford Capital Partners was born out of a merger between Quay Partners and Stafford Timberland in 2014, creating a firm with $2.6 billion in assets under management at the time.
Since then, the company has grown to manage roughly USD$7.5 billion ($10.9 billion) in assets under management, employing 80-plus staff to advise more than 170 institutional clients globally.
The firm also manages investments in timberland, infrastructure, agriculture and food and sustainable private equity and private credit through secondaries, primaries and co-investments.
“We are delighted to have further strengthened our long-term partnership with HESTA, one of the world’s leading investors in sustainable private equity,” Stafford Private Equity partner Kurt Faulhaber said.
“By focusing on co-investments and GP-led transactions, our program offers unique and cost-efficient access to lower-midmarket private equity businesses that meet long-term sustainability goals.”
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