Aquila Capital, the European real assets firm that currently fundraising for the Aquila Farms dairy fund, has joined forces with sustainability research and advisory firm ECPI to offer sustainable investment opportunities to its investors.
The partnership will see ECPI asses the sustainability of potential real asset investments, including agri assets, in relation to environmental protection and governance for Aquila. Aquila will then offer these deals as co-investment opportunities to its investors.
“We are excited about working with ECPI, which is a leader in its field. Aquila Capital’s real asset proposition is ideally suited to meet the growing demand for sustainability-driven real asset investments,” said Roman Rosslenbroich, chief executive of Aquila Capital.
The tie-up comes at a time of growing investor interest in responsible investment. A strong majority (75 percent) of LPs now ask GPs about their environmental, social and governance (ESG) management during due diligence, according to 2013 Malk Sustainability Partners research.
And last month the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) put together a workbook that contains practical guidance for private fund advisors wanting to better integrate ESG considerations into their dealmaking process.
The workbook offers readers a step-by-step action plan to build from. It begins with appointing an in-house ESG expert and ends with engaging LPs to better understand their ESG-related expectations.
Aquila Capital, which was established in 2001, is part of Hamburg-headquartered Aquila Group. It has nine offices in cities around the world, including Zurich, London, Frankfurt and Singapore. The group currently has more than 250 staff and €6.9 billion assets under management.
Aquila Capital Farms (ACF), the agriculture management arm of the firm, has a long track record in agriculture fund management, with five closed German retail funds in its AgrarInvest range. The Aquila Farms fund is targeting a first close on $400 million in the third quarter.
ECPI is a provider of research and advisory services on the adoption and the implementation of ESG.
Reporting by Thomas Duffell