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  • The first emerging markets impact fund in Finland attracted more interest than anticipated – raised EUR 76 million in capital

The first emerging markets impact fund in Finland attracted more interest than anticipated – raised EUR 76 million in capital

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OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I raised EUR 76 million in the first round of funding. As the first Finnish impact fund to invest in emerging markets, the fund targets significant sustainability impacts in addition to profits.

The fund made its first close on 17 June 2020. For example, Finland’s Church Pension Fund, Security Trading Oy, Oy Julius Tallberg AB, the Finnish Industrial Union, the Finnish Municipal Foundation, the Finnish Red Cross, OP Life Assurance Company Ltd and Finnfund have signed investment agreements. The target size of OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I is EUR 100 million.

“The successful first closing shows that investors are interested in promoting sustainability and emerging growth markets even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though investors are currently cautious and will carefully consider long-term investments, the impact fund attracted more interest than we could have anticipated,” says Tuomas Virtala, Head of Asset Management for Corporate and Institutional Customers, OP Corporate Bank.

The fund targets substantial positive impacts on, for instance, climate change, food security, gender equality, and the availability of financing. OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I focuses on three sectors in developing countries: renewable energy, financial institutions, and sustainable agriculture. The fund’s net profit goal is 8–12% (IRR).

The fund will only invest in projects with an expected return that corresponds to the risk, and that can also have a significant impact on sustainability. The first investments under consideration would target innovative food production in East Africa and fund female-owned businesses in Asia. The fund monitors impact indicators shared by all investments, which are based on e.g. CO2 emissions, jobs, tax income and equality. In addition, sector-specific impact indicators are monitored in reporting.

“Impact investing is not charity but aimed at having a positive impact alongside competitive investment yields. This is the only long-term way to organise financing to resolve sustainability challenges. It is encouraging that some of the world’s largest asset managers have got involved in impact investing,” Tuomas Virtala continues.

“Finnfund is one of the fund’s anchor investors. The fund utilises our long-standing expertise in identifying suitable investments. Having followed the field, I strongly believe in the growth of impact investing as, in addition to profits, investors want to promote solutions to sustainability challenges,” says Markus Pietikäinen, Chief Investment Officer of Finnfund.

OP Finnfund Global Impact Fund I will make its first investments over the summer. The fund’s second round of funding will be organised in the autumn.

Media enquiries: 
OP Corporate Communications, tel. +358 50 5239904, viestinta@op.fi

OP Financial Group is Finland’s largest financial services group, with two million owner-customers and 12,000 employees. We provide a comprehensive range of banking and insurance services for private and corporate customers. OP Financial Group consists of OP cooperative banks, its central cooperative OP Cooperative, and the latter's subsidiaries and affiliates. Our mission is to promote the sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing of our owner-customers and operating region. www.op.fi

OP Corporate Bank and OP Mortgage Bank are responsible for OP's funding in money and capital markets. As laid down in the applicable law, OP Corporate Bank, OP Mortgage Bank and their parent company OP Cooperative and other OP Financial Group member credit institutions are ultimately jointly and severally liable for each other's debts and commitments. OP Corporate Bank acts as OP's central bank.