RRG brings in $225m for water vehicle

Chief operating officer Nicole Neeman Brady told the Global Climate Action Plan Summit late last year that government support for the solar industry provided a useful model for fostering private water investments.

Los Angeles-headquartered asset management firm Renewable Resources Group has raised $224.8 million for its RRG Sustainable Water Impact Access vehicle, according to a regulatory filing dated 2 July.

After securing its first investment in late June and setting no minimum investment, according to the filing, RRG Sustainable Water Impact Access received commitments from 185 investors.

The filing showed that RRG retained Goldman Sachs as placement agent.

“They [RRG] have accessed the high-net worth market,” a source familiar with the fundraising added, in reference to the filing.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment and RRG had not replied to messages seeking further detail at the time of publication.

RRG principal and chief operating officer Nicole Neeman Brady worked as an analyst in Goldman Sachs’ private equity unit for three years until July 2004. She joined RRG following the firm’s acquisition of Edison Water Resources, an Edison International subsidiary focused on brackish groundwater recovery, purification and recycling, according to a conference bio published last year.

RRG’s main focus, Neeman Brady told the Global Climate Action Plan Summit in September 2018, is energy and agriculture-related water projects. She added that the company had projects in California, Mexico, Chile and Australia.

While moderating a panel on the role of private markets in financing water-related innovation at the summit, Neeman Brady lamented that only 0.5 percent of venture capital investments in 2017 had been devoted to water. She also said regulatory hurdles and challenges in procurement that can relate to the identity of potential buyers of water-related technologies tended to slow innovation in the US water sector.

“It’s really quite a challenge to get investments going,” she said.

Neeman Brady added that large family offices were a good potential source of capital for entrepreneurs in the water market to focus on. She also said that her previous experience in solar industry had demonstrated the key role that state-level mandates for renewables played in spurring investments.

In February 2018, California Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed Neeman Brady to serve as a public member of the Colorado River Board of California.

Last month, RRG sold farmland belonging to Sun World International, a table grape producer headquartered in Bakersfield, California, to a newly-formed entity called Famous Vineyards for an undisclosed price.